How to configure Paged Imports on the Granfeldt FIM/MIM PowerShell Management Agent


In the last 12 months I’ve lost count of the number of PowerShell Management Agents I’ve written to integrate Microsoft Identity Manager with a plethora of environments. The majority though have not been of huge scale (<50k objects) and the import of the managed entities into the Connector Space/Metaverse runs through pretty timely.

However this week I’ve been working on a AzureAD Groups PS MA for an environment with 40k+ groups. That in itself isn’t that large, but when you start processing Group Memberships as well, the Import process can take an hour for a Full Sync. During this time before the results are passed to the Sync Engine you don’t have any visual of where the Import is up to (other than debug logging). And the ability to stop the MA requires a restart of the Sync Engine Server.

I’ve wanted to mess with Paging the Imports for sometime, but it hadn’t been a necessity. Now it is, so I looked to working out how to achieve it. The background information on Paged Imports is available at the bottom of the PSMA documentation page here.  However there are no working examples. I contacted Soren and he had misplaced his demo scripts for the time being. With some time at hand (in between coats of paint on the long weekend renovation)  I therefore worked it out for myself. I detail how to implement Paged Imports in this blogpost.

This post uses an almost identical Management Agent to the one described in this post. Review that post to get an understanding of the AzureAD Differential Queries. I’m not going to cover those elements in this post or setting up the MA at all.

Getting Started

There are two things you need to do in preparation for enabling Paged Imports on your PowerShell Management Agent;

  1. Enable Paged Imports (if your Import.ps1 is checking for this setting)
  2. Configure Page Size on your Import Run Profiles

The first is as simple as clicking the checkbox on the Global Parameters tab on your PS MA as shown below.

The 2nd is in your Run Profile. By default this will be 100. For my “let’s figure this out” process I dropped my Run Profiles to 50 on one Run Profile and 10 on another.

Import Script

With Paged Imports setup on the MA the rest of the logic goes into your Import Script. In your param section at the start of the script $usepagedimport and $pagesize are the variables that reflect the items from the two enablement components you did above.

$usepageimport is either True or False. Your Import.ps1 script can check to see if it is set and process accordingly. In this example I’m not even checking if it is set and doing Paged Imports anyway. For completeness in a production example you should check to see what the intention of the MA is.

$pagesize is the pagesize from the Run Profile (100 by default, or whatever you changed your’s too).

param (
    [bool] $usepagedimport,


An important consideration to keep in mind is that the Import.ps1 will be called multiple times (ie. #of_times = #ofObjects / pagesize).

So anything that you would normally expect in any other MA to only process once when the Import.ps1 runs you need to limit to only running once.

Essentially the way I’ve approached it is, retrieve all the objects that will be processed and put them in a Global variable. If the variable does not have any values/data then it is the first run, so go and get our source data. If the Global variable has values/data in it then we must be on a subsequent loop so no need to go process that part, just page through our import.

In my example below this appears as;

if (!$global:tenantObjects) {
    # Authenticate
    # Search and get the users
    # Do some rationalisation on the results (if required)
    # setup some global variables so we know where we are with processing the data
} # Finish the one time tasks

As you’ll see in the full import.ps1 script below there are more lines that could be added into this section so they don’t get processed each time. In a production implementation I would.

For the rest of the Import.ps1 script we are expecting it to run multiple times. This is where we do our logic and process our objects to send through to the Sync Engine/Connector Space. We need to keep track of where we are up to processing the dataset and continue on from where we left off. We also need to know how many objects we have processed in relation to the ‘pagesize’ we get from the Run Profile so we know when we’ve finished.

When we reach the pagesize but know we have more objects to process we set the $global:MoreToImport  to $true and break out of the foreach loop.

When we have processed all our objects we set $global:MoreToImport = $false and break out of the foreach loop to finish.

With that explanation out of the way here is a working example. I’ve left in debugging output to a log file so you can see what is going on.

You can get the associated relevant Schema.ps1 from the Management Agent described in this post. You’ll need to update your Tenant name on line 29, your directory paths on lines 10 and 47. If you are using a different version of the AzureADPreview PowerShell Module you’ll need to change line 26 as well.

Everything else is in the comments within the example script below and should make sense.


For managing a large number of objects on a PS MA we can now see progress as the import processes the objects, and we can now stop an MA if required.

I’m sure this will help someone else. Enjoy.

Follow Darren on Twitter @darrenjrobinson







Provision Users for Exchange with FIM/MIM 2016 using the Granfeldt PowerShell MA, avoiding the AD MA (no-start-ma) error

Forefront / Microsoft Identity Manager provides Exchange Mailbox provisioning out of the box on the Active Directory Management Agent. I’ve used it in many many implementations over the years. However, in my first MIM 2016 implementation in late 2015 I ran into issues with something I’d done successfully many times before.

I was getting “no-start-ma” on the AD MA on export to AD. The point at which the MA sets up its connection to the Exchange environment. After some searching I found Thomas’s blog detailing the problem and a solution. In short update the MIM Sync Server to .NET 4.6. For me this was no-joy. However when MS released the first rollup update for MIM in December everything fired up and worked as normal.

Step forward a month as I was finalising development for the MIM solution I was building for my customer and my “no-start-ma” error was back when I re-enabled mailbox provisioning. Deselect the Exchange Provisioning option on the AD MA and all is good. Re-enable it and it fails. One week left of dev and I need mailbox provisioning so time for a work around whilst I lodge a Premier Support ticket.

So how can I get mailbox provisioning working reliably and quickly? I was already using Søren Granfeldt’s PowerShell MA for managing users Terminal Services configuration, Home Directories and Lync/Skype for Business. What’s one more. Look out for blog posts on using the PS MA to perform those other functions that I’ll be posting in the coming weeks.

Using the Granfeldt PowerShell Management Agent to Provision Exchange Mailboxes

In this blog post I’ll document how you can enable Mailbox Provisioning in Exchange utilising Søren Granfeldt’s extremely versatile PowerShell Management Agent. I’ll show you how to do the minimum of enabling a user with a mailbox. Understanding how this is done you can then easily then extend the functionality for lifecycle management (e.g. change account settings for POP/IMAP/ActiveSync and de-provisioning).

My Exchange PS MA is used in conjunction with an Active Directory MA and Declarative Provisioning Rules in the MIM Portal. Essentially all the AD MA does, when you enable Exchange Provisioning (when it works) is call the ‘update-recipient’ cmdlet to finish of the mailbox provisioning. My Exchange PSMA does the same thing.


There are three attributes you need to supply values for in order to then provision them a mailbox (on top of having an Active Directory account, or course);

  • mailNickName
  • homeMDB
  • homeExchangeServerName

The later two I’m flowing the appropriate values for using my Active Directory MA. I’m setting those attributes on the AD MA as I’m provisioning the AD account on that MA which then lets me set those two attributes as initial flow only. I’m doing that as over time it is highly likely that those attribute values may change with normal business as usual messaging admin tasks. I don’t want my Exchange MA stomping all over them.

Getting Started with the Granfeldt PowerShell Management Agent

First up, you can get it from here. Søren’s documentation is pretty good but does assume you have a working knowledge of FIM/MIM and this blog post is no different. Configuration tasks like adding additional attributes the User Object Class in the MIM Portal, updating MPR’s, flow rules, Workflows, Sets etc are assumed knowledge and if not is easily Bing’able for you to work it out.

Three items I had to work out that I’ll save you the pain of are;

  • You must have a Password.ps1 file. Even though we’re not doing password management on this MA, the PS MA configuration requires a file for this field. The .ps1 doesn’t need to have any logic/script inside it. It just needs to be present
  • The credentials you give the MA to run the scripts as, needs to be in the format of just ‘accountname’ NOT ‘domain\accountname’. I’m using the service account that I’ve used for the Active Directory MA. The target system is the same directory service and the account has the permissions required (you’ll need to add the management agent account to the appropriate Exchange role group for user management)
  • The path to the scripts in the PS MA Config must not contain spaces and be in old-skool 8.3 format. I’ve chosen to store my scripts in an appropriately named subdirectory under the MIM Extensions directory. Tip: from a command shell use dir /x to get the 8.3 directory format name. Mine looks like C:\PROGRA~1\MICROS~4\2010\SYNCHR~1\EXTENS~2\Exchange

Schema Script (schema.ps1)

As I’m using the OOTB (out of the box) Active Directory MA to provision the AD account and only showing mailbox provisioning, the schema only consists of the attributes needed to know the state of the user with respect to enablement and the attributes associated with enabling and confirming a user for a mailbox.

Password Script (password.ps1)

Empty as described above.

Import Script (Import.ps1)

Import values for attributes defined in the schema.

Export Script (Export.ps1)

The business part of the MA. Take the mailnickName attribute value flowed from FIM, (the other required attributes are populated via the AD MA) and call update-recipient to provision the mailbox.

Wiring it all together

In order to wire the functionality all together there are the usual number of configuration steps to be completed. Below I’ve shown a number of the key points associated with making it all work.

Basically create the PS MA, import attributes from the PS MA, add any additional attributes to the Portal Schema, update the Portal Filter to allow Administrators to use the attribute, update the Synchronisation MPR to allow the Sync Engine to flow in the new attribute, create the Set used for the transition, create your Synchronisation Rule, create your Mailbox Workflow, create your Mailbox MPR, create your MA Run Profiles and let it loose.

Management Agent Configuration

As per the tips above, the format for the script paths must be without spaces etc. I’m using 8.3 format and I’m using the same service account as my AD MA.

Password script must be specified but as we’re not doing password management its empty as detailed above.

If your schema.ps1 file is formatted correctly you can select your attributes.

My join rule is simple. AccountName (which as you’ll see in the Import.ps1 is aligned with sAMAccountName) to AccountName in the MetaVerse.

My import flows are a combination of logic used for other parts of my solution, a Boolean flag & Mailbox GUID to determine if the user has a mailbox or not (used for my Transition Set and my Export script).

Below is my rules extension that sets a boolean value in the MV and then flowed to the MIM Portal that I use in my Transition Set to trigger my Synchronisation Rule.

Synchronisation Rules

My Exchange Outbound Sync rule doesn’t and isn’t complex. All it is doing is sync’ing out the mailnickName attribute and applying the rule based on an MPR, Set and Workflow.

For this implementation my outbound attribute flow for mailnickName is a simple firstname.lastname format.


I have a Set that I use as a ‘transition set’ to trigger provisioning to Lync. My Set looks to see if the user account exists in AD (I flow in the AD DN to an attribute in the Portal) and the mailbox status (set by the Advanced Flow Rule shown above). I also have (not shown in the screenshot) a Boolean attribute in the MIM Portal that is set based on an advanced flow rule on the AD MA that has some logic to determine if employment date as sourced from my HR Management Agent is current and the user should be active or not).


An action based workflow that will use the trigger the Synchronisation rule for Exchange Mailbox creation.


Finally my MPR for provisioning mailboxes is based on the transition set,

and my Mailbox Workflow.


Using the Granfeldt PowerShell MA I was able to quickly abstract Mailbox Provisioning from the AD Management Agent and perform the functionality on its own MA.


Follow Darren on Twitter @darrenjrobinson