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Episode #74 – Using Microsoft DSC as a runbook in Azure Automation

In this Episode, a follow up to Episode 71. The teams walks through the process of running Microsoft 365 DSC in Azure Automation.

What is MicrosoftDSC?

Microsoft365DSC is an Open-Source initiative hosted on GitHub, lead by Microsoft engineers and maintained by the community. It allows you to write a definition for how your Microsoft 365 tenant should be configured, automate the deployment of that configuration, and ensures the monitoring of the defined configuration, notifying and acting on detected configuration drifts. It also allows you to extract a full-fidelity configuration out of any existing Microsoft 365 tenant. The tool covers all major Microsoft 365 workloads such as Exchange Online, Teams, Power Platforms, SharePoint and Security and Compliance.

Why automate MicrosoftDSC using a runbook?

Ordinarily, you would need to run MicrosoftDSC manually or setup an “agent” on a server to monitor changes in your tenant (tenant drift) which can be cumbersome and not always practical for some environments.

Azure Automation is a service in Azure that allows you to automate your Azure management tasks and to orchestrate actions across external systems from right within Azure.

The following guide shows you what how to setup Microsoft DSC as an Azure runbook.  The runbook will monitor for changes in your Office 365 tenant an alert you when any changes do occur.

Getting everything setup in your Azure Tenant

Running MicrosoftDSC requires many prerequisite PowerShell Modules and dependencies to be installed into your Azure Tenant.  This quite a cumbersome process so we have created a script to simplify this. **Shout out to fellow MVP Barbara Forbes for the inspiration for this code -**


Before running this you will need to do the following things:

  1. Get your Tenantid.  (use
  2. Find your Azure SubscriptionID from the Azure Portal
  3. Create an Azure Automation Account - QuickStart Ref
  4. Create an Azure Resource Account
  5. Copy the script below into your a PowerShell window (as Administrator)

This will install all the required Microsoft 365 DSC Prerequisites PowerShell Modules to use within your automation RunBook.

install-module az.accounts
install-module az.automation

#Update the values below specific to your tenant!
$automationAccount = "Your M365Automation Account Here"
$resourceGroup = "Your Azure Resource Group Here"

$moduleName = "Microsoft365dsc"
Connect-AzAccount -SubscriptionId $subscriptionID -Tenant $tenantID 

Function Get-Dependency {
#Function modifed from:
        [Parameter(Mandatory = $true)]
        [string] $ModuleName    

    $OrderedModules = [System.Collections.ArrayList]@()
    # Getting dependencies from the gallery
    Write-Verbose "Checking dependencies for $ModuleName"
     $ModuleUri = "`$filter={1}&searchTerm=%27{0}%27&targetFramework=%27%27&includePrerelease=false&`$skip=0&`$top=40"
    $CurrentModuleUrl = $ModuleUri -f $ModuleName, 'IsLatestVersion'
    $SearchResult = Invoke-RestMethod -Method Get -Uri $CurrentModuleUrl -UseBasicParsing | Where-Object { $_.title.InnerText -eq $ModuleName }

    if ($null -eq $SearchResult) {
        Write-Output "Could not find module $ModuleName in PowerShell Gallery."
    $ModuleInformation = (Invoke-RestMethod -Method Get -UseBasicParsing -Uri $

    #Creating Variables to get an object
    $ModuleVersion = $
    $Dependencies = $
    $DependencyReadable = $Dependencies -split ":\|"

    $ModuleObject = [PSCustomObject]@{
        ModuleName    = $ModuleName
        ModuleVersion = $ModuleVersion
    # If no dependencies are found, the module is added to the list
    if (![string]::IsNullOrEmpty($Dependencies) ) {
        foreach ($dependency in $DependencyReadable){
            $DepenencyObject = [PSCustomObject]@{
                ModuleName    = $($dependency.split(':')[0])
                ModuleVersion = $($dependency.split(':')[1].substring(1).split(',')[0])
            $OrderedModules.Add($DepenencyObject) | Out-Null

    $OrderedModules.Add($ModuleObject) | Out-Null

    return $OrderedModules

$ModulesAndDependencies = Get-Dependency -moduleName $moduleName

write-output "Installing $($ModulesAndDependencies | ConvertTo-Json)"

#Install Module and Dependencies into Automation Account
foreach($module in $ModulesAndDependencies){
    $CheckInstalled = get-AzAutomationModule -AutomationAccountName $automationAccount -ResourceGroupName $resourceGroup -Name $($module.modulename) -ErrorAction SilentlyContinue
    if($CheckInstalled.ProvisioningState -eq "Succeeded" -and $CheckInstalled.Version -ge $module.ModuleVersion){
        write-output "$($module.modulename) existing: v$($CheckInstalled.Version), required: v$($module.moduleVersion)"
        New-AzAutomationModule -AutomationAccountName $automationAccount -ResourceGroupName $resourceGroup -Name $($module.modulename) -ContentLinkUri "$($module.modulename)/$($module.moduleVersion)" -Verbose     
        While($(get-AzAutomationModule -AutomationAccountName $automationAccount -ResourceGroupName $resourceGroup -Name $($module.modulename)).ProvisioningState -eq 'Creating'){
            Write-output 'Importing $($module.modulename)...'
            start-sleep -Seconds 10

DSC PowerShell RunBook Sample

Here is the sample code as your Azure RunBook.  This can be scheduled to run on regular basis.

  1. Browse to your Azure Automation account.
  2. Under process automation, click Run Books.
  3. Create a new Azure RunBook, give it a name and make sure to select the runbook type asPowerShell.
  4. Edit the RunBook and copy the code below and paste it into your RunBook.
  5. In your Azure Automation Account, browse to shared resources -> credentials to add your credentials which will be used to execute the RunBook.
  6. Set the schedule for how often your Runbook executes
$creds = Get-AutomationPSCredential -Name "AutomationAccount"
$GitHubDSCConfig = ''

$path = "$env:TEMP" 
$Date = $(Get-Date -f yyyy-MMM-dd-HHMMtt)

write-output "Pulling DSC from Tenant $Date" 
Export-M365DSCConfiguration -Quiet -Workloads @("TEAMS") -GlobalAdminAccount $creds -path $path -filename "runbook_$date.ps1" *>&1 | out-null

write-output "Pulling DSC from GitHub" 
Invoke-RestMethod -Uri $GitHubDSCConfig -OutFile "$path\dscconfig_$date.ps1"

write-output "Generating Delta Report`r`n" 
New-m365dscdeltareport -source "$path\dscconfig_$date.ps1" -destination "$path\runbook_$date.ps1" -OutputPath "$path\DeltaNew_$date.HTML" *>&1 | out-null

$readfile = Get-Content -path "$path\DeltaNew_$date.HTML"
write-output $readfile

write-output "Send Email"

$sendMailParams = @{
    Credential = $Creds
    From = $($Creds.username)
    To = '', '','',''
    Subject = "DSC Delta Report - $Date"
    Body = "This is the delta report between your tenant and the Baseline Configuration $readfile"
    BodyasHtml = $true
    Attachments = "$path\DeltaNew_$date.HTML"
    SMTPServer = ''
    Port = 587
    UseSsl = $true    
    DeliveryNotificationOption = 'OnFailure','OnSuccess'    
    Encoding = 'UTF8'
    Priority = 'High'
    EA = 'Stop'

Send-MailMessage @sendMailParams