Deploying a SailPoint IdentityNow Virtual Appliance in Azure


The CentOS image that SailPoint provide for the IdentityNow Virtual Appliance that performs integration between ‘Sources’ and IdentityNow is VMWare based. I don’t have any VMWare Infrastructure to run it on and really didn’t want to run up any VMWare environments for this component. All my other infrastructure is in Azure. I’d love to run my VA(s) in Azure too.

In discussions with SailPoint I understand it is simply a case that they haven’t certified their CentOS image on Azure. So I figured I’d convert the VM, get it into Azure and see if it works from my Sandpit environment. This blog post details how I got it working.

Disclaimer: If you use this for more than a Sandpit/Test environment let your SailPoint CSM know. This isn’t an approved process or a support configuration. That said it works for me.


This is the high-level process I threw together that worked for me.

  1. Obtain the CentOS Image from the IdentityNow Virtual Appliance Setup
  2. Convert the VMWare VMDK image to Hyper-V VHD format using VirtualBox vboxmanage (free)
  3. From the Azure MarketPlace create a Seed VM based on CentOS (with new Resource Group, Storage Account, Virtual Network etc)
  4. Upload the VHD to the Azure Storage Account (associated with VM from Step 3) using Azure Storage Explorer
  5. Create a new VM based off the VM from Step 3 to use the disk from Step 4 as the Operating System disk
  6. Log in and configure the Virtual Appliance

Convert VMWare VM to Hyper-V.png


  1. Virtual Box (for the disk image converter). You could probably do it with other tools but I’ve used this before and it just works.
  2. Enough hard disk space for the VA image and the converted image. The base image is ~2.8Gb and when converted to a fixed disk image it becomes ~128Gb (which can compress to ~3Gb for initial upload).
  3. Azure Storage Explorer. We’ll need this to upload the converted virtual disk to Azure.

SailPoint Virtual Appliance CentOS VMWare Image

To download the CentOS VMWare Image login to the Admin section of your IdentityNow Tenant.  Under Admin => Connections => Virtual Appliances create a New Cluster. Select that Cluster then Virtual Appliances => New 

Download the Appliance Package 

Create New VA.PNG

Converting the CentOS VMWare Virtual Disk to a Fixed Hyper-V Virtual Disk

I already had Virtual Box installed on my computer. I had to give the full path to VBoxManage (as shown below) and called it with the switches to convert the image;

vboxmanage clonehd –format VHD –variant Fixed

The –variant Fixed switch takes the dynamic image and converts it to Fixed as this is a requirement in Azure.

ConvertVADisk 1.PNG

The image conversion started and completed in under ten minutes.

Converted Fixed.PNG

Creating an Azure CentOS VM

In the Azure Portal I created a New Resource and chose CoreOS.

NewCoreOS 1

I gave it a name, chose HDD as the disk type and gave it a Username and Password.

NewCoreOS 2

I chose sizing in line with the recommendations for a Virtual Appliance.

NewCoreOS 3

And kept everything else simple (for my sandpit environment).

NewCoreOS 4

After the VM had deployed I had a Resource Group with the necessary Virtual Network, Storage Account etc.

Resource Group.PNG

Upload the Converted Disk to Azure Storage

I created a vhd container (in the Storage Group associated with the VM I just created) to hold the new VHD. Using Azure Storage Explorer I then uploaded the converted image. Select Page Blob for the blob type.

Upload VHD

You’ll want to have a decent internet connection to do this. I converted the SailPoint image on an Azure VM (to which I added a 256Gb data disk too). I then uploaded the new 128Gb VHD disk image from within Azure to the target Resource Group in about 75 minutes.

Upload VHD 2

Below I show the SailPoint Virtual Appliance CentOS OS converted disk image uploaded to Azure Storage Account Blob Storage.

Upload VHD 3.PNG

Generate SAS Token / Get Blob URI

We won’t used a SAS Token, but this just gives easy access to the Storage Blob URL. Right click on the VHD Blob and select Generate Shared Access Signature. Select Create.

Right Click - Get Shared Access Signature

Copy the URL. We’ll need parts of this for the script to create a new CentOS VM with our VA Disk Image.

Get VHD and BLOB Details

Create the new VM for our Virtual Appliance

Update the script below for:

  • The Resource Group you created the Seed VM in (line 2)
  • The Seed VM Name (line 4)
  • The Seed VM Subnet Name (line 6)

Each of those are easily obtained from the Seed VM Summary as highlighted below.

  •  update the Disk Blob details in Live 8 and 10 as copied earlier

After stepping through the script to create the new VM, and happy with the new name etc, I executed the New-AzureRMVM command.

Create New VM

And the VM was created in a couple of minutes.

Create VM Initiated

Accessing the new VM

Getting the IP address from the new VM Summary I SSH’d into it.

VM Started

And logged in with the default credentials from SailPoint. (Windows Subsystem for Linux is awesome).

SSH In to VA

Next Steps

  1. Change the password on your Virtual Appliance (passwrd)
  2. Create a DNS Name, update the configuration as per SailPoint VA Configuration tasks
  3. Create the VA and Test the Connection from the IdentityNow Portal
  4. Delete your original SeedVM as it is no longer required
  5. Add an NSG to the new VM
  6. Create another VM in a different location for High Availability and configure it in IdentityNow

Below shows my Azure based Virtual Appliance connected and all setup.

Cluster Up and Running.PNG


Whilst not officially supported it is possible to convert the SailPoint Virtual Appliance VMWare based image to an Azure compatible Hyper-V image and assign it as the Operating System disk on an Azure Linux (CoreOS) Virtual Machine. If you need to do something similar I hope my approach gives you some ideas.

If you then need to create another Virtual Appliance in Azure you have a Data Disk you can assign to a VM and upload to wherever it needs to be for creation of another Virtual Appliance VM.

How to use the FIM/MIM Azure Graph Management Agent for B2B Member/Guest Sync between Azure Tenants



Just landed from the Microsoft Identity Manager Engineering Team is a new Management Agent built specifically for managing Azure Users and Groups and Contacts.

Microsoft have documented a number of scenarios for implementing the management agent. The scenarios the MA has been built for are valid and I have customers that will benefit from the new MA immediately. There is however another scenario I’m seeing from a number of customers that is possible but not detailed in the release notes. That is B2B Sync between Azure Tenants; using Microsoft Identity Manager to automate the creation of Guests in an Azure Tenant.

This could be one-way or multi-way depending on what you are looking to achieve. Essentially this is the Azure equivalent of using FIM/MIM for Global Address List Sync.

B2B MA.png


The changes are minimal to the documentation provided with the Management Agent. Essentially;

  • ensure you enable Write Permissions to the Application you create in the AAD Tenant you will be writing too
  • Enable the Invite Guest users to the organization permission on the AAD Application
  • Create an Outbound Sync Rule to an AAD Tenant with the necessary mandatory attributes
  • Configure the Management Agent for Export Sync Profiles

In the scenario I’m detailing here I’m showing taking a number of users from Org2 and provisioning them as Guests in Org1.

What I’m detailing here supplements the Microsoft documentation. For configuring the base MA definitely checkout their documentation here.

Microsoft Graph Permissions

When setting up the Graph Permissions you will need to have Write permissions to the Target Azure AD for at least Users. If you plan to also synchronize Groups or Contacts you’ll need to have Write permissions for those too.

Graph Permissions 1

In addition as we will be automating the invitation of users from one Tenant to another we will need to have the permission ‘Invite guest users to the organization’.

Graph Permissions 2

With those permissions selected and while authenticated as an Administrator select the Grant Permissions button to assign those permissions to the Application.

Grant Permissions 1Grant Permissions 2

Repeat this in both Azure AD Tenants if you are going to do bi-directional sync.  If not you only need write and invite permissions on the Tenant you will be creating Guest accounts in.

Creating the Import/Inbound Sync Rules Azure Tenants

Here is an example of my Import Sync Rules to get Members (Users) in from an Azure Tenant. I have an inbound sync rule for both Azure Tenants.

Sync Rules.PNG

Make sure you have ‘Create Resource in FIM‘ configured on the source (or both if doing bi-directional) Graph Connector.

Sync Rule Relationship.PNG

The attribute flow rules I’ve used are below. They are a combination of the necessary attributes to create the corresponding Guest account on the associated management agent and enough to be used as logic for scoping who gets created as a Guest in the other Tenant. I’ve also used existing attributes negating the need to create any new ones.

Inbound SyncRule Flow.PNG

Creating the Export/Outbound Sync Rule to a Partner B2B Tenant

For your Export/Outbound rule make sure you have ‘Create resource in external system’ configured.

Export Relationship.PNG

There are a number of mandatory attributes that need to be flowed out in order to create Guests in Azure AD. The key attributes are;

  • userType = Guest
  • accountEnabled = True
  • displayName is required
  • password is required (and not export_password as normally required on AD style MA’s in FIM/MIM)
  • mailNickname is required
  • for dn and id initially I’m using the id (flowed in import to employeeID) from the source tenant. This needs to be provided to the MA to get the object created. Azure will generate new values on export so we’ll see a rename come back in on the confirming import
  • userPrincipalName is in the format of
    • SOURCEUPN (with @ replaced with _ ) #EXT# DestinationUPNSuffix
    • e.g

Export Attributes.PNG

Here is an example of building a UPN.


Sets, Workflows and MPR’s

I didn’t need to do anything special here. I just created a Set based on attributes coming in from the source Azure Tenant to scope who gets created in the target Tenant. An MPR that looks for transition into the Set and applies the Workflow that associates the Sync Rule.

End to End

After synchronizing in from the source (B2B Org 2) the provisioning rules trigger and created the Users as Guests on B2B Org 1.

Prov to Org1 1.PNG

Looking at the Pending Export we can see our rules have applied.

Pending Export.PNG

On Export the Guest accounts are successfully created.

Export Success.PNG

On the confirming import we get the rename as Azure has generated a new CN and therefore DN for the Guest user.

Rename on Import 2.PNG

Looking into Azure AD we can see one of our new Guest users.

User in AAD.PNG


Using the Microsoft Azure B2B Graph Management Agent we can leverage it to invite Users from one Tenant as Guests in another Tenant. Essentially an Azure version of GALSync.


Validating a Yubico YubiKeys’ One Time Password (OTP) using Single Factor Authentication and PowerShell

Multi-factor Authentication comes in many different formats. Physical tokens historically have been very common and moving forward with FIDO v2 standards will likely continue to be so for many security scenarios where soft tokens (think Authenticator Apps on mobile devices) aren’t possible.

Yubico YubiKeys are physical tokens that have a number of properties that make them desirable. They don’t use a battery (so aren’t limited to the life of the battery), they come in many differing formats (NFC, USB-3, USB-C), can hold multiple sets of credentials and support open standards for multi-factor authentication. You can checkout Yubico’s range of tokens here.

YubiKeys ship with a configuration already configured that allows them to be validated against YubiCloud. Before we configure them for a user I wanted a quick way to validate that the YubiKey was valid. You can do this using Yubico’s demo webpage here but for other reasons I needed to write my own. There wasn’t any PowerShell examples anywhere, so now that I’ve worked it out, I’m posting it here.


You will need a Yubikey. You will need to register and obtain a Yubico API Key using a Yubikey from here.

Validation Script

Update the following script to change line 2 for your ClientID that  you received after registering against the Yubico API above.

Running the script validates that the Key if valid.

YubiKey Validation.PNG

Re-running the submission of the same key (i.e I didn’t generate a new OTP) gets the expected response that the Request is Replayed.

YubiKey Validation Failed.PNG


Using PowerShell we can negate the need to leverage any Yubico client libraries and validate a YubiKey against YubiCloud.


A synopsis of my first Microsoft (MVP) Summit

Last week I attended my first Microsoft Most Valuable Professional (MVP) Summit. Compared to a lot of the conferences I’ve been to over the years this was tiny with just over 2000 attendees. The difference however is that every attendee is an expert in their field (associated with at least one Microsoft technology) and they come from over 80 countries. It is the most diverse mix of attendees for the number of participants.

The event is also not the typical tech type conference that provides you details on current trends, public road maps and guidance on how to implement or migrate technology. Instead it is a look behind the development curtain and almost full transparent dialogue with the product and engineering teams determining and building the future for each technology stream. It also isn’t held at a sterile function center. It’s held on site at Microsoft’s headquarters in Redmond, Washington. Everywhere you look you can find nuggets of Microsoft’s history. Nightly activities are predominantly centered around Bellevue (a short distance from Redmond).


My MVP is associated with Identity & Access. Internally at Microsoft they refer to the small number of us in that category an Identity MVP’s. I spent the week in deep technical sessions around Identity and Access Management getting insights for the short, medium and longer term plans for all things Identity & Access Management related and conversing with my peers. I can’t say more than that, as privilege for that level of insight is only possible through a strict and enforced NDA (Non Disclosure Agreement) between each MVP and Microsoft.


I thoroughly enjoyed my first MVP Summit. I reconnected with a number of old colleagues and acquaintances and made a bunch of new connections both within Microsoft and the Identity MVP community. It has prepared me with vision of what’s coming that will be directly applicable to many of the longer term projects I’m currently designing. It definitely filled in the detail between the lines associated with recent Microsoft announcements in the Identity and Access Management space.

Want to become an MVP? Looking to know what it takes to be awarded with MVP status? Want a full rundown on the benefits? Checkout this three-part blog post starting here by Alan about the MVP program.

Identifying Active Directory Users with Pwned Passwords using Microsoft/Forefront Identity Manager v2, k-Anonymity and Have I Been Pwned



In August 2017 Troy Hunted released a sizeable list of Pwned Passwords. 320 Million in fact.

I subsequently wrote this post on Identifying Active Directory Users with Pwned Passwords using Microsoft/Forefront Identity Manager which called the API and sets a boolean attribute in the MIM Service that could be used with business logic to force users with accounts that have compromised passwords to change their password on next logon.

Whilst that was a proof of concept/discussion point of sorts AND  I had a disclaimer about sending passwords across the internet to a third-party service there was a lot of momentum around the HIBP API and I developed a solution and wrote this update to check the passwords locally.

Today Troy has released v2 of that list and updated the API with new features and functionality. If you’re playing catch-up I encourage you to read Troy’s post from August last year, and my two posts about checking Active Directory passwords against that list.

Leveraging V2 (with k-Anonymity) of the Have I Been Pwned API

With v2 of the HIBP passwod list and API the number of leaked credentials in the list has grown to half a billion. 501,636,842 Pwned Passwords to be exact.

With the v2 list in conjunction with Junade Ali from Cloudflare the API has been updated to be leveraged with a level of anonymity. Instead of sending a SHA-1 hash of the password to check if the password you’re checking is on the list you can now send a truncated version of the SHA-1 hash of the password and you will be returned a set of passwords from the HIBP v2 API. This is done using a concept called k-anonymity detailed brilliantly here by Junade Ali.

v2 of the API also returns a score for each password in the list. Basically how many times the password has previously been seen in leaked credentials lists. Brilliant.

Updated Pwned PowerShell Management Agent for Pwned Password Lookup

Below is an updated Password.ps1 script for the previous API version of my Pwned Password Management Agent for Microsoft Identity Manager. It functions by;

  • taking the new password received from PCNS
  • hashes the password to SHA-1 format
  • looks up the v2 HIBP API using part of the SHA-1 hash
  • updates the MIM Service with Pwned Password status

Checkout the original post with all the rest of the details here.


Of course you can also download (recommended via Torrent) the Pwned Password dataset. Keep in mind that the compressed dataset is 8.75 GB and uncompressed is 29.4 GB. Convert that into an On-Premise SQL Table(s) as I did in the linked post at the beginning of this post and you’ll be well in excess of that.

Awesome work from Tory and Junade.


Automating the generation of Microsoft Identity Manager Configuration Documentation


Last year Microsoft released the Microsoft Identity Manager Configuration Documenter which is available here. It is a fantastic little tool from Microsoft that supersedes its predecessor from the Microsoft Identity Manager 2003 Resource Toolkit (which only documented the Sync Server Configuration).

Running the tool (a PowerShell Module) against a base out-of-the-box reference configuration for FIM/MIM Servers reconciled against an exported configuration from the MIM Sync and Service Servers from an implementation, generates an HTML Report document that details the existing configuration of the MIM Service and MIM Sync.


Last year I wrote this post based on an automated solution I implemented to perform nightly backups of a FIM/MIM environment during development.

This post details how I’ve automated another daily task for a large development environment where a number of changes are going on and I wanted to have documentation generated that detailed the configuration for each day. Partly to quickly be able to work out what has changed when needing to roll back/re-validate changes, and also to have the individual configs from each day so they could also be used if we need to rollback.

The process uses an Azure Function App that uses Remote PowerShell into MIM to;

  1. Leverage a modified (stream lined version) of my nightly backup Azure Function to generate the Schema.xml and Policy.xml MIM Service configuration files and the Lithnet MIIS Automation PowerShell Module installed on the MIM Sync Server to export of the MIM Sync Server Configuration
  2. Create a sub-directory for each day under the MIM Documenter Tool to hold the daily configs
  3. Execute the generation of the Report and have the Report copied to the daily config/documented solution

Obtaining and configuring the MIM Configuration Documenter

Download the MIM Configuration Documenter from here and extract it to somewhere like c:\FIMDoco on your FIM/MIM Sync Server. In this example in my Dev environment I have the MIM Sync and Service/Portal all on a single server.

Then update the Invoke-Documenter-Contoso.ps1 (or whatever you’ve renamed the script to) to make the following changes;

  • Update the following lines for your version and include the new variable $schedulePath and add it to the $pilotConfig variable. Create the C:\FIMDoco\Customer and C:\FIMDoco\Customer\Dev directories (replace Customer with something appropriate.
######## Edit as appropriate ####################################
$schedulePath = Get-Date -format dd-MM-yyyy
$pilotConfig = "Customer\Dev\$($schedulePath)" # the path of the Pilot / Target config export files relative to the MIM Configuration Documenter "Data" folder.
$productionConfig = "MIM-SP1-Base_4.4.1302.0" # the path of the Production / Baseline config export files relative to the MIM Configuration Documenter "Data" folder.
$reportType = "SyncAndService" # "SyncOnly" # "ServiceOnly"
  • Remark out the Host Settings as these won’t work via a WebJob/Azure Function
#$hostSettings = (Get-Host).PrivateData
#$hostSettings.WarningBackgroundColor = "red"
#$hostSettings.WarningForegroundColor = "white"
  • Remark out the last line as this will be executed as part of the automation and we want it to complete silently at the end.
# Read-Host "Press any key to exit"

It should then look something like this;

Azure Function to Automate execution of the Documenter

As per my nightly backup process;

  • I configured my MIM Sync Server to accept Remote PowerShell Sessions. That involved enabling WinRM, creating a certificate, creating the listener, opening the firewall port and enabling the incoming port on the NSG . You can easily do all that by following my instructions here. From the same post I setup up the encrypted password file and uploaded it to my Function App and set the Function App Application Settings for MIMSyncCredUser and MIMSyncCredPassword.
  • I created an Azure PowerShell Timer Function App. Pretty much the same as I show in this post, except choose Timer.
    • I configured my Schedule for 6am every morning using the following CRON configuration
0 0 6 * * *
  • I also needed to increase the timeout for the Azure Function as generation of the files to execute the report and the time to execute the report exceed the default timeout of 5 mins in my environment (19 Management Agents). I increased the timeout to the maximum of 10 mins as detailed here. Essentially added the following to the host.json file in the wwwroot directory of my Function App.
 "functionTimeout": "00:10:00"

Azure Function PowerShell Timer Script (Run.ps1)

This is the Function App PowerShell Script that uses Remote PowerShell into the MIM Sync/Service Server to export the configuration using the Lithnet MIIS Automation and Microsoft FIM Automation PowerShell modules.

Note: If your MIM Service is on a different host you will need to install the Microsoft FIM Automation PowerShell Module on your MIM Sync Server and update the script below to change references to http://localhost:5725 to whatever your MIM Service host is.

Testing the Function App

With everything configured, manually running the Function App and checking the output window if you’ve configured everything correct will show success in the Logs as shown below. In this environment with 19 Management Agents it takes 7 minutes to run.

Running the Azure Function.PNG

The Report

The outcome everyday just after 6am is I have (via automation);

  • an Export of the Policy and Schema Configuration from my MIM Service
  • an Export of the MIM Sync Server Configuration (the Metaverse and all Management Agents)
  • I have the MIM Configuration Documenter Report generated
  • If I need to rollback changes I have the ability to do that on a daily interval (either for a MIM Service change or an individual Management Agent change

Under the c:\FIMDoco\Data\Customer\Dev\\Report directory is the HTML Configuration Report.

Report Output.PNG

Opening the report in a browser we have the configuration of the MIM Sync and MIM Service.



Provisioning Hybrid Exchange/Exchange Online Mailboxes with Microsoft Identity Manager


Working for Kloud all our projects involve Cloud services, and all our customers have varying and unique requirements. Recently one of our customers embarked on their migration from On-Premise Exchange to Exchange Online. Nothing really groundbreaking there though, however they had a number of unique requirements including management of Litigation Hold. And that needed to be integrated with their existing Microsoft Identity Manager implementation (that currently provisions new users to their Exchange 2013 environment). They also required that management of the Exchange environment still be possible via the Exchange Management Console against a local Exchange server. This post details how I integrated the environments using MIM.


In order to integrate the Provisioning and Lifecycle management of Exchange Online Mailboxes in a Hybrid Exchange with Microsoft Identity Manager I created a custom PowerShell Management Agent simply because it was going to provide the flexibility I needed.

Provisioning is based on the following process;

  1. MIM Creates new user in Active Directory (no changes to existing MIM provisioning process)
  2. Azure Active Directory Connect synchronises the user to Azure Active Directory
  3. The Exchange Online MIM Management Agent sees the corresponding AAD account for the new user
  4. MIM Declarative Rules trigger the creation of a new Remote Mailbox for the AD/AAD user against the local Exchange 2013 On Premise Server. This allows the EMC to be used to manage mailboxes On Premise even though the mailbox resides in Office365/Exchange Online
  5. AADC/Exchange synchronises the information as part of the Hybrid Exchange topology
  6. MIM sees the EXO Mailbox configuration for the new user and enables Litigation Hold against the EXO Mailbox (if required)

The following diagram graphically depicts this process.

EXO IDM Provisioning Solution.png

Exchange Online PowerShell MA

As always I’m using my favourite PowerShell Management Agent, the Grandfeldt PS MA now available on Github here.

Schema Script

The Schema script configures the schema required for current and future EXO management requirements. The Schema is based on a single Object Class “MailUser” but pulls the information from a combination of Azure AD User and Exchange Online Mailbox object classes for an associated account. Azure AD User objects are prefixed by ‘AAD’. Non AAD prefixed attributes are EXO Mailbox attributes.

Import Script

The Import script connects to both Azure AD and Exchange Online to retrieve Azure AD User accounts and if present the associated mailbox for a user.

It retrieves all Member AAD User Accounts and puts them into a Hash Table. Connectivity to AAD is via the AzureADPreview PowerShell module. It retrieves all Mailboxes and puts them into a Hash Table. It then processes all the mailboxes first including the associated AAD User account (utilising a join via userPrincipalName).

Following processing all mailboxes the remainder of the AAD Accounts (without mailboxes) are processed.

Export Script

The Export script performs the necessary integration against OnPremise Exchange Server 2013 for Provisioning and Exchange Online for the rest of management. Both utilise Remote Powershell. It also leverages the Lithnet MIIS Automation PowerShell Module to query the Metaverse to validate current object statuses.

Wiring it all up

The scripts above will allow you to integrate a FIM/MIM implementation with AAD/EXO for management of users EXO Mailboxes. You’ll need connectivity from the MIM Sync Server to AAD/O365 in order to manage them.  Everything else I wired up using a few Sets, Workflows, Sync Rules and MPR’s.

Geographically Visualizing your workforce using Microsoft Identity Manager, xMatters and Power BI



In the last couple of weeks I’ve posted about visualizing relationships of data from Microsoft Identity Manager using Power BI. Earlier this week I posted about building a Management Agent for Microsoft Identity Manger to integrate with xMatters.

In this post I combine data from the last two in order to allow us to visualise the geographic office locations for an organisation and then summary data about it (how many employees are located there, and what departments).


You’ll need an Azure AD and Office 365 subscription to allow you to create a Power BI Application. Too create a Power BI Application see Registering a Power BI Application in this post here.

You’ll also need the Power BI PowerShell Module. I’m using available from the PowerShell Gallery here and of course the Lithnet MIIS PowerShell Module available from here.


Using our registered Power BI Application we’ll create a Dataset consisting of two tables. One for the xMatters Sites (that we also get the geographic co-ordinates of from the xMatters Management Agent), and the other with our xMatters Users that contains the officeLocation that maps to an xMatters Site.

I create a relationship between the two tables on xMattersSite displayName (which is the location name) and the xMattersUsers officeLocation. We can then create a nice visual using data from both tables.

Create the Dataset (two tables with relationship)

Initially I tried to create the dataset with a relationship as I’ve previously shown here. However that didn’t work. After some debugging I got the result I wanted after some trial and error using the Power BI API Explorer. So I’ll provide you with the raw JSON format for creating a New Dataset, Two Tables (xMattersSites and xMattersUsers) and a relationship between them (where xMattersSites\displayName joins with xMattersUsers\officeLocation) as per my xMatters Management Agent detailed here.

Start by authenticating to the Power BI API Explorer with an account in the environment where you created your Power BI Application and navigate to the Create Dataset section here.

Create Dataset

Update this JSON formatted object that details the Dataset, Tables and Relationships for your environment.

Paste your validated JSON object into the Body section of the API Explorer and select Call Resource.

Dataset Body

If your JSON object is formatted corrected you’ll get a 201 response and your DataSet and Tables with Relationship will be created.

Create Success

Switching over to Power BI you’ll see the xMatters Dataset in the bottom left, then the two tables in on the right hand side with their columns.

xMatters DataSet PBI.PNG

Load xMatters User Data into Power BI

Now that we have somewhere to put the data, lets populate the dataset. I’m using the Lithnet MIIS Automation PowerShell Module (detailed in the prerequsites to query the Metaverse and return all users. Then I refine the list down to those that are Active (based on my employeeActive Boolean attribute) then finally, only those users that are connected on the xMatters Management Agent (see lines 14 & 18).

The script will drop any existing values from the xMatters Users table then upload what we have retrieved from the Metaverse (and refined).

Upload Users.PNG

Load xMatters Site Data into Power BI

Again I’m also using the Lithnet MIIS Automation PowerShell Module to query the Metaverse and return all xMatters Sites.

The script will drop any existing values from the xMatters Sites table then upload what we have retrieved from the Metaverse.

Upload Sites.PNG

Creating the Power BI Visual

Now we have data we can build the visual. I’m using the ArcGIS Maps for Power BI visual which is available in the default set of visuals. Then by selecting displayName and geo the map will automagically show all xMatters Sites in their respective co-ordinates.

xMatters Sites to Map

We can then add a Card Visual and choose officeLocation and then configure the visual for Count of officeLocation and we’ll get a count of the employees at that location. As we can see below with the Sydney location selected from the map the card updates to tell me there are 665 Employees at that officeLocation.

Count of Employees at Selected Location

Pretty quickly we can also expand out other data points, like departments at a location, employees etc as shown below (I’ve obfuscated the departments and a number of the other office locations).



We haven’t generated any new data. We’ve taken information we already have in Microsoft Identity Manager from connected systems and quickly visualized it via Power BI. However providing this to the business and with the ability for consumers of the information to export it from the visual can be pretty powerful.

Building a FIM/MIM Management Agent for xMatters


A couple of weeks ago one of my customers had a requirement to provision and manage identities into xMatters. The xMatters API Documentation looked straight-forward and I figured it would be pretty quick to knock up an PowerShell Management Agent.

The identification of users (People) in xMatters was indeed pretty quick. I was quickly able to enumerate all users (that had initially been seeded independent of FIM/MIM) and join them to corresponding users in the MetaVerse.

It was then as I started digging deeper that the relationship between Sites (Locations) and Email/Mobile (Devices) attributes became apparent. This post details how I approached it and a base xMatters MA that should get you started if you need to do something similar.


A key concept to keep in mind is that at the simplest level there are 3 key Object Types in xMatters;

  • People
    • User Objects along with basic naming attributes
  • Device
    • Each contact medium is a device. Email Address, Mobile Phone, Home Phone, Text Phone (SMS) etc.
  • Site
    • Location of the entity (person)

Associated with each is an id which can be either dynamically created on provisioning (by xMatters) or specified. For People there is also targetName which is the equivalent of UID/sAMAccountName. When using the API (for people) you can use either their ID or their targetName. For all other entities you need to use the ID.

For each entity as you’d expect there are different API URI’s. They are;

  • Base URI
  • People URI
  • Devices URI
  • Sites URI (legacy API)

Finally to retrieve devices for a person use;

  • Devices associated with a person{ID}/devices

Other key points to consider that I uncovered are;

  • if you are updating a Device (e.g. someones Email Address or Phone Number) don’t specify the owner attribute (as you do when you create the Device). It considers that you are trying to change the owner and won’t allow it.
  • to update a Device you need to know the ID of the Device. I catered for this on my Import by bringing through People and Device ID’s.
  • When creating/updating a users location you need to specify the Site ID and Site Name. I brought these through as a separate ObjectClass into FIM/MIM and query the MV for them when Exporting
  • In my initial testing the API returned a number of different errors 400 (Bad Request), 409 Conflict (when trying to Add a Device that already exists), 404 (Not Found) along with API Timeouts. You need to account for these and perform processing appropriately
  • On success of Update, Create or Delete the API returns the full object that you performed the operation on. You need to capture this and let MIM know that on Success a full object being returned is Success and not an error
  •  xMatters expects phone numbers to be in E164 format (e.g +61 400 123 456). I catered for this on an import on another Management Agent
  • xMatters timezone is in the format of Country/Region. For Australia these are as follows. Correct, it doesn’t accept Australia/Canberra for ACT;
    • “NSW”  = “Australia/Sydney”
      “VIC”  = “Australia/Melbourne”
      “QLD”  = “Australia/Brisbane”
      “ACT”  = “Australia/Sydney”
      “WA”  = “Australia/Perth”
      “TAS”  = “Australia/Hobart”
      “NT”  = “Australia/Darwin”

xMatters PowerShell Management Agent

With all that introduction, here is a base xMatters PowerShell MA (implemented using the Granfeldt PowerShell MA) to get you started. You’ll need to tailor for your environment and trigger Provisioning, Deletes and Flow Rules for your environment and look to handle the xMatters API for your integration.

Schema Script

I’ve created two Object Classes. User and Site. User incorporates User Devices. Site is the locations (Sites) from xMatters.

Import Script

Credentials for the Import script to connect to xMatters are flowed in from the Management Agent Username and Password attributes. This isn’t using Paged Imports. If you have a large number of users you may want to consider that. After retrieving all of the People entities each is queried to obtain their Devices. I’m only bringing through SMS and Email Devices. You’ll need to modify for additional Devices.

Ensure that you flow into the MetaVerse (onto custom attributes) the IDs associated with your Devices (e.g MobileID and EmailID). That will allow you to use the ID when updating those attributes.

For Sites, I created a custom ObjectClass (Site) in the MV and used objectID of the SiteID and displayName for the Site Name (as shown below).

Attribute Flows.png

Export Script

This is where it gets a little more complicated. As PowerShell is not good at reporting webrequest responses we have to deal with the return from each API call and determine if we were successful or not. Then let FIM/MIM know so it can report that via the UI.

The Export script below deals with Adding, Deleting and Updating users. Update line 31 for your API URI for xMatters.


The detail above will get you started and give you a working Management Agent to import Users and Sites. You’ll need to do the usual steps (Set, Workflow, Sync Rule and MPR) to trigger Provisioning on the MA along with how you handle deletes.

Graphically Visualizing Identity Hierarchy and Relationships

Almost 15 years ago Microsoft released Microsoft Identity Integration Server (MIIS) 2003. Microsoft also released a couple of Resource Toolkits for MIIS to assist customers and IT Integrators’ implement the product as up to that time it’s predecessor (Microsoft Metadirectory Services) was only available as part of a Microsoft Consulting engagement.

At the same time Microsoft provided a Beta product – Microsoft PolyArchy Server. For someone who’s brain is wired in highly visually way, this was a wow moment. PolyArchy Server took a dataset from the Synchronisation Server and wrapped a small IIS website around it to expose intersecting relationships between data. When you selected a datapoint the visual would flip to the new context and display a list of entities associated with that relationship.

Microsoft proposed to deliver PolyArchy Server in calendar year 2006. However the product never made it to market. The concept of visualizing identity data was seeded in my brain and something I’ve always surfaced in one method or another as part of many Identity Management projects.

In this post I’ll detail how I’ve recently used Power BI to visualize relationship data from Microsoft Identity Manager.  The graphic below is an example (with node labels turned off) that represents Managers by Department by State.

Managers by Dept by State - Graphical.png

Using filters in the same report allows whoever is viewing the report to refine the visual based on State and Dept. By selecting a State from the map the visual will dynamically update to show that state only. Selecting a department only will show that department in each state.

Managers by Dept by State - Filtered.png

Hovering over the nodes will display the detail. I’ve turned off the node labels that show each nodes label to not expose the source of my dataset.

Managers by Dept by State - NSW Detail.png

Getting MIM MV User MetaData into Power BI

My recent post here details the necessary steps to get started publishing data directly in a Power BI Dataset using PowerShell. Follow the details listed there to register a Power BI Application.

Creating the DataSet

With that done the script below will create a DataSet in Power BI. My dataset is obviously specific to the environment I developed it in. You probably won’t have some of the attributes so you will need to update accordingly. The script is desinged to run on the MIM Sync Server. The MIM Sync Server will need to be able to connect to Azure and Power BI.

Publish data to the DataSet

Now that we have a Power BI DataSet (Table) we need to extract the data from the MIM MV and push it into the table. Using the Lithnet MIIS Automation PowerShell Module makes this extremely simple. Using the table schema created above I retrieve the values for each Active User, build a PowerShell Object and use the Power BI PowerShell Module to push the data to Power BI.

Creating the Power BI Visualization

The visualisation I’m using is the Journey Chart by MAQ Software which is available in the Power BI Store (free).

Journey Visual.PNG

With the Journey Visualization selected and dropped in we just have to select the attributes we want to visualize and the order of the relationships. The screenshot below shows the data sorted by State => managerName => accountName with Measure Data being accountName.

Visual Config.PNG


We never got PolyArchy Server from Microsoft, but we can quickly visualize basic relationship data from MIM with Power BI.

Automate the update of the data into Power BI, embed the Power BI Reports into your MIM Portal and provide access to the appropriate personnel.