“The provided value for the template parameter is not valid” in ARM template deployments

I’ve come across this one before, but I hit it again today and I wanted to share the details of what happened. Basically the scenario is this, I have an ARM template that I want to deploy and it takes in parameters. The deployment needs to run through PowerShell using the Azure RM PowerShell cmdlets….


Adding additional intellisense to VS Code when editing PowerShell scripts

Most people that I talk to about my experiences writing PowerShell scripts these days will know that Visual Studio Code is my absolute preference for editor these days. It’s a great tool with lots of little tricks to help you improve your productivity – and recently I came across another one to help when I work…


Getting IDs to use with the Package DSC resource

One of the questions I get from customers who are looking at using the Package DSC resource to install MSI’s and executables is “What is the ProductID for the installer I want to run?”. If you look at the documentation the ProductID is meant to be a unique identified for the product you are installing,…


Running Azure Automation runbooks from IFTTT tasks

I recently had an idea (ok lets call it ‘collaboratively came up with while talking to one of the grads in our office) to look at ways that I could trigger runbooks in my Azure Automation account from my phone. The specific issue we were looking to solve in this case was “how can I…


xSharePoint is now SharePointDsc – what you need to know!

For just over 12 months now we have been working hard to grow the xSharePoint DSC module to let SharePoint 2013 and 2016 administrators use PowerShell Desired State Configuration to manage their SharePoint deployments. We’ve come a long way in the last year, and now with the help of my core team we are making…


Consuming preview builds of xSharePoint through PowerShellGet

PowerShellGet is a new module that is installed as part of PowerShell 5 (in Windows Management Framework 5.0) which allows you to easily connect to remote repositories to install PowerShell modules from. When you install WMF5 you’ll get a repository configured to point to the PowerShell Gallery, where you can download the release versions of…


Configuring SQL Server AlwaysOn Availability Groups in Azure RM Virtual Machines

This week on a project I came up against the need to set up some AlwaysOn Availability Groups (AG’s) for SQL Server 2014 in an Azure IaaS environment, using v2 (or Resource Manager/ARM) based VMs as opposed to the v1 (or Service Manager/ASM) based ones. I came across varying bits of documentation to do with…


Retrieving the URL of an app catalog site in SharePoint 2013

In some of my recent work with the xSharePoint resources we came up with a need to retrieve the current URL of an app catalog so that we could determine if the current settings were correct or not. The issue with this is that we found there is no out of the box cmdlet to…


Better approaches to unit testing PowerShell scripts that call SharePoint cmdlets

For those who have come across my blog before you would have seen my recent post on how to unit test PowerShell scripts that call SharePoint cmdlets, which after I posted started a conversation between myself and Jakub Jareš (PowerShell MVP and Pester Owner) around the approach I had taken and some of the flaws…


How to unit test PowerShell scripts that call cmdlets from the SharePoint snap-in

Update: If you’re reading this then be sure to have a read of the comments too – some good insight and points from nohwnd on the Pester team that are also worth considering if you are interested in this stuff. Update 2: I’ve posted a new post related to this which shows an improved way…