Category Archives: Active Directory

AD Operation Validation class

‘Sup PSHomies,

I’m like a dog with a bone… 😛

2016 was all about operation validation for me. I did a series on Active Directory snapshot, report and validation that was well received by the community! Classes will definitely make the user experience more pleasant! I decided to refactor the code to a class 😉 Got a lot of ground to cover so let’s dive in!

Here’s a screenshot of the ADInfrastructure (was what popped in my mind at the time) class properties and methods:

classadinfra

The focus will be on Active Directory’s forest, domain, sites, sitelinks, subnets and domaincontrollers.

These are the methods I’ve worked out so far (work in progress):

GetCurrentConfig() will populate the necessary properties using the right activedirectory cmdletsgetcurrentconfig

ImportADSnapshot() will import a saved XML file to ADSnapshot property.importadsnapshot

ExportADSnapshot() saves the class object as a XML file. This will generate a new XML file using the current $exportDate valueexportadsnapshot

RunValidation() deserves it own section… 😉

RunValidation()

This is where the the operation validation will take place. This was a bit of a challenge getting the method right, but I think it worked out just fine… I should explain…

In my first attempt I ran the validation directly from the method. You can invoke the Describe block just like a function. That wasn’t the challenge, have a look at the It blockitblock

The test is hard coded to use $this as source and $this.ADSnapshot as target. I blogged about some possible validation gotchas a while back. To remedy this, I decided to use a scriptblock. You can also provide parameters to a scriptblock . In this case I provided ($Source, $Target) as parameters. This will make interchanging  input easier of which I’ll explain the advantages later on.

desribesourcetarget

Ok so the scriptblock was a good idea. One of the things I wanted to do was save the validation results. That’s where I ran into something interesting. The input has to be a *.tests.ps1 file(s). I tried using the scriptblock as input but that didn’t work. I visited the github page to see if scriptblock is supported as a feature, it isn’t. In order to save the results I would first have to save the test to a file. The scriptblock made that part a lot easier. As a workaround, this isn’t an issue.The file is generate every time RunValidation is executed, an inconvenience at most.  A scriptblock feature  would make for a cleaner approach.

Quick side step: There’s a poll on twitter for anyone interested in casting a vote 🙂 Only 5 more days left…

pester-poll

The test results are saved in ValidationResults. That’s RunValidation in a nutshell.

It’s quite a bit of code, so I’ll post that at the end of the blog. Here’s what you can expect if you try it out. First up, a simple verification of the current configuration against a saved snapshot

#region Verify Current Configuration against a snapshot
$snapShotDate = '12012017'
$ADInfra = [ADInfrastructure]::New()
$ADInfra.GetCurrentConfig()
$ADInfra.snapshotDate = $snapShotDate
$ADInfra.ExportADSnapshot()
$ADInfra.ImportADSnapshot()
$ADInfra.ADSnapshot
$ADInfra.RunValidation($ADInfra,$ADInfra.ADSnapshot,@('Forest','Domain'))
$ADInfra.RunValidation($ADInfra.ADSnapshot,$ADInfra,@('Forest','Domain'))
$ADInfra.ActionHistory | Select-Object -Property TimeGenerated,Tags,MessageData
#endregion

Before you get startetd, you need to instantiate the class. GetCurrentConfig() will save the information to the properties. ExportADSnapshot() will create a ADSnapshot-($exportDate).xml file. ImportADSnapshot will import any existing snapshot file of a given $snapshotDate formatted as ‘ddMMyyyy’.

Because I’m verifying the current configuration with a snapshot without any changes all the tests will pass.

currentconfigtest

No surprises.

For the next example, I wanted to validate against a manual configuration. This is where the scriptblock really made a difference. I added a non-existent DC to  $ADVerifyConfig for testing purposes.

 

The class is instantiated differently this time. The values are added externally. If you run GetCurrentConfig() at any point, it will rewrite the default values. Here are the results of the snapshot vs manual source first.

$ADVerifyInfra.RunValidation($ADVerifyInfra.ADSnapshot,$ADVerifyInfra,@('DomainControllers'))

mansnapshotvssource

The snapshot only has one DomainController, we never get to the second DomainController. Now if we switch parameters from positions…

$ADVerifyInfra.RunValidation($ADVerifyInfra,$ADVerifyInfra.ADSnapshot,@('DomainControllers'))

mansourcevssnapshot

Ah! DC-DSC-02 doesn’t exist in the snapshot so it will fail! There are always two sides to consider. RunValidation() makes it easier to test and verify both sides…

Bonus round

ActionHistory

I recently discovered the Information stream in PowerShell v5. I decided to make use of Write-Information to log activities as I go along. This makes for easier troubleshooting of actions and/or sequences of methods being executed, couldn’t hurt… 😉

actionhistory

ValidationResults

Saving the validation test result enables you to process the results in different ways.

For starters you can use Format-Pester by Erwan Quélin to generate documentation of the results. Now because it’s an object you can just as easily run a query:

$ADVerifyInfra.validationResults.Results.TestResult.Where{$_.Passed -eq $false}

You can even send a high-level overview to Slack (It’s on my to-do list).

Whew! I think I’ve covered all the essentials… Ok as promised the code:

Classes will definitely enhance your end-user’s experience…

Hope it’s worth something to you…

Ttyl,

Urv

Verify GroupMembership with Pester

‘Sup PSHomies,

Here’s another advantage of adding members with a different approach, Pester validation!

This makes for an easy way to process validation of  each member of a group.

Quick update: I’ve added  some extra code (at the end of the previous blog code) to export added- and revoked members.

#region Export for futher processing
$GroupMembers =@{
  Groups  = $Header
  Added   = $addADGroupMembers
  Revoked = $delADGroupMembers
}
$GroupMembers |
Export-Clixml .\export\dsa\ADGroupMembers-$exportDate.xml -Encoding UTF8
#endregion

Quick rundown, first we’ll import the saved object and used that to get a snapshot of the current group members. Then it’s time to vaildate who has been added or revoked.

adgroupmemberresults

In this case I wanted to generate different Describe blocks. This makes for a better distribution in the HTML report.

adgroupmembernunithtml

Here’s the code to generate the HTML report using reportunit.exe

#region
$exportDate = Get-Date -Format ddMMyyyy
#endregion

#region Main
$pesterGroupMembers = Invoke-Pester .\ps1\dsa\ADGroupMembers*  -OutputFile .\export\dsa\ADGroupMembers.NUnit.xml -OutputFormat NUnitXml -PassThru

#run reportunit against ADgroupMembers.NUnit.xml and display result in browser
& .\tools\ReportUnit\reportunit.exe .\export\dsa\ADGroupMembers.NUnit.xml
Invoke-Item .\export\dsa\ADGroupMembers.NUnit.html

#Export Pester results to xml
$pesterGroupMembers | Export-Clixml .\export\dsa\PesterResults-GroupMembers-$($exportDate).xml -Encoding UTF8
#endregion

Making sure a user is a member can be tricky at times especially when the members list is a few hundred.

As always, snapshots are your friend! When I exported the groups the first time I did it without validating if they existed. I recently ran into a situation where AD Objects were being deleted and recreated using the same SamAccountName! So having a little more information than just the SamAccountName can help when troubleshooting now and in the future.

When my project manager asked for logs and I handed him the HTML generated report of the group members… You should have seen the glee on his face!

So there you have it, verfying group membership using Pester!

Hope it’s worth something to you…

Ttyl,

Urv

Add Members to Group – a different approach

‘Sup PSHomies,

My Project Manager is slowly becoming a  true PowerShell believer! Of course he doesn’t have to do the actual scripting, that’s where I come in… 😉

So in walks the PM…

PM: “Say Urv, if I gave you an excel worksheet with the user/group relationship, think you’d be able to script it?”

Me:”Gee, this is so sudden, let me think about it and get back to you asap… (Grinning)”

Here’s an impression of the worksheet:

excel-groupmembers

I’ve done this in past by just going through each user adding each group. I remember reading a post by Mike F. Robbins on how this could be done more efficiently! I very much like this approach. I’ve added a lil’ extra to the mix. Let’s dig in!

Well for starters I’ll just get the source directly from the excel file using D. Finke’s ImportExcel Module. No need to convert to CSV first.

$xlsxADGroupMembers = Import-Excel .\source\xlsx\$xlsxFile -WorkSheetname $WorkSheet

The other thing was retrieving the GroupNames from PSCustomObject by selecting MemberType ‘NoteProperty’, I got this as a tip on my own blog by Dirk. This way you’re not depending on the position of where the group names start in the header.

#Select Group names from Object
$Header = $xlsxADGroupMembers |
   Get-Member -MemberType NoteProperty |
   Where-Object{$_.Name -ne  'UserID'} |
   Select-Object -ExpandProperty Name

This makes it just a bit resilient.

I also decided to use hashtable to store the results first before processing the group membership. This way I can also export the results for future reference (Always keep a log)

#Create empty hashtables
$addADGroupMembers = @{}
$delADGroupMembers = @{}

#Get Group membership
$Header |
ForEach-Object{
   $Group = $_
   $addADGroupMembers.$Group  = $xlsxADGroupMembers.Where{$_.$Group -eq '1'} | Select-Object -ExpandProperty 'UserID'
   $delADGroupMembers.$Group = $xlsxADGroupMembers.Where{$_.$Group -ne '1'} | Select-Object -ExpandProperty 'UserID'
}

Now it’s time to add the members to specified groups

$Header |
ForEach-Object{
   if($addADGroupMembers.$_){
      try{
         Add-ADGroupMember -Identity $_ -Members $addADGroupMembers.$_
      }
      catch [Microsoft.ActiveDirectory.Management.ADIdentityNotFoundException]{
         Write-Warning "AD Object $($Error[0].CategoryInfo.TargetName) not found"
      }
   }

   if($delADGroupMembers.$_){
      try{
         Remove-ADGroupMember -Identity $_ -Members $delADGroupMembers.$_ -Confirm:$false
      }
      catch [Microsoft.ActiveDirectory.Management.ADIdentityNotFoundException]{
         Write-Warning "AD Object $($Error[0].CategoryInfo.TargetName) not found"
      }
   }
}

I’m using Try/Catch to catch any errors on AD Objects not existing. Without it you’d get quite a few errors if the AD objects don’t exists.

Here’s the full script:

I like the fact that you can use the list to add, but also delete if it isn’t necessary. Of course if you fill it in wrong, then there is no fixing that. So be warned!

Another thing is that members can be added manually or another process, so don’t be surprised, when you’re evaulating the group membership….

Tip: Save the  GroupMembership just to be sure…

#Get current Group memberships
$SnapshotADGroupMembers = @{}

$Header |
ForEach-Object{
   $SnapshotADGroupMembers.$($_) = Get-ADGroupMember -Identity $_ | Select-Object -ExpandProperty SamAccountName
}

Next time I’ll blog about how we could to this in reverse… Stay tuned!

Hope it’s worth something to you,

Ttyl,

Urv

Active Directory ReportUnit Pester results

‘Sup PSHomies,

As excited as I get whenever I see all purple (or is it magenta? 😛 ) and green on my test results, how do you report your results? I saw this great article on reporting against Pester results by Dirk Bremen. I did see a screenshot of this somewhere on twitter but it didn’t register at that time. So having this article was great! You should definitely read his blog!

When I saved the Active Directory operational readiness, I realized that on screen it looked great, but as a report it was kinda flat. So I went back and looked at the code, I had only on Describe!

I decided to categorize the test by functionality and give the test appropriate Tags. Giving the tests tags helps target a specific test, no need to run the whole test to get a specific test 😉

Describe AD

Save the output to a XML file. I saw Flynn Bundy use the -PassThru switch to save the results as an object.

Pester ReportUnit

I also exported the results to XML just for good measure. You can always refer to past results if necessary…

Here’s a screenshot with the Forest operational test expanded:

ReportUnit AD Forest

Nice!

A little Slack notification on the side please!

Flynn also used Slack to send a notification. As luck would have it @pscookiemonster has a Slack Module aptly named, wait for it… PSSlack! Warren’s take on Slack is definitely worth reading if you’re considering using Slack as  a way to communicate with team members. I’m quite notorious for stalking my colleagues with unsolicited notification/reports. Slack is a great way to communicate without feeling pushy about it. Information is there, feel free to read it or don’t, your call.

I’m using the summary count of the Pester results for notification purposes.

SlackNotification

Quick tip on the token: Jaap Brasser has a blog about saving credentials safely. Your Slack token should be treated as careful as a password. I saved the token as a password using the Slack team name as the username for reference. This makes retrieving the token simple.

SlackToken-Hash

Here’s what the notification looks like in Slack

SlackNotification Resullts

Warren’s module is one to watch!

Ok here the code all put together:

Shout-out to you guys for your contribution to the PowerShell community! Keep it up! This is going to make Pester reporting and notifications way easier and not to mention cool! 😉

Hope it’s worth something to you

Ttyl,

Urv

 

 

 

 

PScribo for the win!

Sup’ PSHomies,

Is it just me or are there way too many cool development in the community happening right now? You know you’re addicted to PowerShell if your idea of unwinding on a Sunday evening is scripting! 😛

How I discovered PScribo

I was busy creating a server documentation script based on WMI. I’ve used sydi-server in the past, but I wanted it to be PowerShell-based for obvious reasons… 😉

My first idea was to create a well-defined XML document and use CSS to generate the HTML file. HTML had my preference. My first attempt was using the specialized XmlTextWriter object. That was only the first part, I had to do the CSS as well. It was a lot of code. At that time I didn’t make use of snapshots.

My next attempt was to use ConvertTo-HTML -Fragment -As (list,Table). This worked out pretty well for what I wanted, still it’s no PScribo. I’ve probably done three versions of this script.

As luck would have it, while working on the third version, the PSConfEu 2015 was taking place in StockHolm. I didn’t attend that one. Luckily for me, the presentations were uploaded. One presentation immediately caught my eye Documenting xxIT.

This is exactly what I wanted! HTML reporting capabilities!!! Having a Word version was a bonus! I downloaded the module and tried every example. Took me 2 hours to master the syntax. After that I never looked back!

PowerShell documentation made easy

PScribo has been brought to us by Iain Brighton.  Iain gave me some background information on how PScribo came to be:

I was helping Carl sort out a few “performance” issues with the Word functions he was using. As Carl’s documentation framework uses COM, it is painful! Here are a list of some of the issues:

  1. It’s slow
  2. When MS release a new version (or update) Word things can break
  3. There are localisation issues
  4. There is a reliance on Word actually being installed
  5. PS v5 has actually broken quite a lot of his code (although sped it up too)
  6. The code wasn’t factored particularly well, it is somewhat “better” now!

I told Carl I’d get rid of the Word dependency, improve performance and try to enforce a separation of concerns to aid maintenance. PScribo is the result of this.

So fun fact, I recently saw that Mr. Carl Webster is the guardian of Jeff Wouter’s ADHealthCheck script. A few lines into the script and I’m seeing a lot of Word configuration going on. I thought to myself this needs PScribo! In all my enthusiasm I sent a tweet to Mr Webster not knowing he already knew about PScribo 😛

Iain Twitt

Don’t I feel silly! I wasn’t trying to be cheeky or anything like that, I just thought I’d share what the advantages are of PScribo. I apologize for my ignorance. If I could just take a moment to demonstrate the awesomeness of PScribo, I’m sure you’ll be hooked as well!

Creating the ADHC snapshot

My mantra these days is to gather now and process later. I already did most of the grunt work with the Active Directory configuration snapshot. I just needed to extend it with Users, Privileged groups and Computers. With the snapshot, there’s no limitation where you get your source from. For Forest information, I gathered data using the Get-ADForest cmdlet and also [System.DirectoryServices.ActiveDirectory.Forest]::GetCurrentForest(). The latter also has sites,sitelinks and subnets data, which comes in handy if the Get-ADReplication* cmdlets aren’t available… Gather now, process later… 😉

Here’s what I came up with:

The snapshot helps me concentrate on the task at hand. It’s also a great way to separate the documentation process from gathering all the Active Directory bits and pieces. This makes a huge difference in maintenance! If you need to add anything just update the snapshot.

Now for the fun part!

Creating the PScribo ADHC report

First I need to import the saved snapshot. Export-CliXml & Import-CliXml are growing on me!

#Get ADSnapshot
$ADHCSnapshot = Import-Clixml .\export\adds\ADHC-$($snapshotDate).xml

Next I need to initiate the Document. PScribo is DSL (Domain-specific Language) oriented. This makes the flow quite logical.

#region Create PScribo Document
$reportAD = Document "ADHC snapshot report - $($snapshotDate)" {
   GlobalOption -ForceUppercaseSection -EnableSectionNumbering -PageSize A4 -Margin 24
   BlankLine -Count 20
   Paragraph "Active Directory Health report - $($snapshotDate)"  -Style Title
   BlankLine -Count 20
   PageBreak
   TOC -Name 'Table of Contents'
   PageBreak

A “Document” is an object that contains one or more “sections”, TOC and Paragraphs just to name a few. Just have a look at the README.MD on github get an idea of what is possible and by all means try the examples!

To find the commands available in PScribo run

get-command -Module PScribo

Quick update: Iain just updated PScribo to include landscape page orientation!

Iain Twitt - Landscape

Now to break the document down into sections. Sections can be nested to create sub-sections much like you would do in Word with Header1, Header2, Header 3 etc. The TOC (Table of Content) will be generated according to how the sections are nested. You can also exclude a section from the TOC.

For ADHC, I started with the Forest Information

   Section -Style Heading1 'Forest Information' {
      $ADForest = [Ordered]@{
         Name = $($ADHCSnapshot.ADDS.Forest.Name)
         RootDomain = $($ADHCSnapshot.ADDS.Forest.RootDomain)
         ForestMode = $($ADHCSnapshot.ADDS.Forest.ForestMode.ToString())
         Domains = $($ADHCSnapshot.ADDS.Forest.Domains)
      }

      Table -Name 'Forest Information' -List -Width 0 -Hashtable $ADForest

For this part I created an ordered hashtable to generate a list

My favorite part is the following: Selecting the properties I want to report!

      Section -Style Heading2 'FSMO Roles' {
         $ADHCSnapshot.ADDS.Forest |
         Select-Object DomainNamingMaster,SchemaMaster |
         Table -Name 'FSMO Roles Forest' -List -Width 0

         Blankline

         $ADHCSnapshot.ADDS.Domain |
         Select-Object PDCEmulator,InfrastructureMaster,RIDMaster |
         Table -Name 'FSMO Roles Domain' -List -Width 0
      }

I demonstrated at the end of the ADHC snapshot how you can extract the information you want.

"`nDisabled users`n"
$snapshot.Users.Disabled | Select-Object Name

"`nExpired users`n"
$snapshot.Users.Expired  | Select-Object Name

"`nExpiring users`n"
$snapshot.Users.Expiring | Select-Object Name

To document, it’s as simple as selecting the properties and sending them down the pipeline.

Here’s where you do your formatting and filtering as well:

         Section -Style Heading3 'Privileged groups count'{

            #Create Style for Privileged Groups count greater than 5
            Style -Name PrivilegedGroupsGT5 -Color White -BackgroundColor Firebrick

            $PrivilegedGroupsGT5 = $ADHCSnapshot.Groups.Privileged.Groups |
            Foreach-object {
               [PSCustomObject]@{
                  Name = $_.Name
                  MemberCount = @($_.Members).Count
               }
            }

            #Set Style for Privileged Groups count greater than 5
            $PrivilegedGroupsGT5 | Where-object{ $_.MemberCount -gt 5} | Set-Style -Style 'PrivilegedGroupsGT5'

            Table -InputObject $PrivilegedGroupsGT5 -Name 'Privileged groups count' -Width 0
         }

For the privileged group member count I created a special style that would higlight any row where the count is greater than five.

Privileged Groups.PNG
How cool is that?!

Want a table with all the sites without a description?

         Section -Style Heading3 'Sites without a description' {
            $ADHCSnapshot.ADDS.Sites.Where{$_.Description -eq $null} |
            Select-Object Name |
            Table -Name 'Sites without a description' -Width 0
         }

Here the reporting part:

Some cool tip & tricks courtesy of Iain

Well-defined XML File

Here’s something else you can do with PScribo: Generate a well-defined XML File!

Iain stated that there are bits of functionality missing. With a well-defined XML file you could do your own XML mapping as part of your Word document generation solution.

Export at a later time

You can export the “document” object with Export-CliXml if you wanted to generate a report later. That way you can recreate the “document” in any format, at any time! Gotta love Export-, Import-CliXml! 😉

Manipulate the object directly

It’s just a [PSCustomObject], but why mess with a good thing eh? Hehe…

Bonus: Excel reports for user, groups and computers

As a added bonus I also threw in some excel files for reporting Users, Groups and Computers using ImportExcel by  Doug Finke. Instead of exporting to csv just to cut/paste in Excel, why not just export directly to a xlsx file!

I hope this gives you an idea what the possibilities are when it comes to reporting. PScribo is awesome! Add ImportExcel to the mix and you’ve got all you need when it comes to documentation!

Hope it’s worth something to you

Ttyl,

Urv

 

Operational Readiness validation gotchas

Sup’ PSHomies,

Back from the PSConfEu 2016 in Hannover! It was awesome!!! It was great meeting so many in person! I highly recommend attending a conference if ever given the chance! Tobias did a great job organizing PSConfEU 2016!

The presentations were top notch! Two presentations I definitely wanted to follow were June Blenders’ Real world Pester TDD tests & Ravikanth Chaganti Operations Validation Framework. I enjoyed Ravikanth’s approach: a simplistic and a comprehensive test. June’s presentation was insightful! There were definitely a few aha moments for me! So I decided to re-evaluate what I had learned so far now that I’ve seen how it should be done! 😉 .

Simplistic tests

Think of simplistic tests as kicking the tires. Here’s where the obvious tests go:

  • Are the sets aligned?
  • Did the object count meet your expectation?

Things of that nature. Here are some tests to help you understand some gotcha moments.

Validating the count seems pretty straight forward right? Well, not always… I’ll explain…

When the sets to validate are identical validation is pretty straight forward. This is the best case scenario. I did one validation with and without Group-Object (I’ll explain later on).

Simplistic Identical sets - Count

Simplistic Indentical sets

By using Group-Object I can get the “real” count of a set. Group-Object will gauge the uniqueness of the set, but I also found a test where that might not always be useful… So my next test was to omit an entry from the Verify set

Simplistic Missing entry sets - Count

Simplistic missing an entry in Verify

The test failed as it should. Now for some fun, let’s add a double entry to the Verify set.

 

Simplistic Double entry sets - CountThis is an odd test, it could be a typo. Imagine having a list where double entries aren’t that obvious, this should catch it. Now ideally you’d use your source code that you used during deployment. I’m assuming you did automate your process eh? 😉 Without the Group-Object the count is identical. With Group-Object you only have one entry! This could explain an exception happened during deployment… Accidents will happen…

The last test is a fun one: different sets.

Simplistic Different sets - Count

Different sets

Surprise! Both validation count test passed, but the sets are totally different!

Bonus Test!

Simplistic Different sets double entry - Count

Different set with a double entry

This one almost got away. While doing the comprehensive test, it dawned on me that I should be testing both counts, with and without Group-Object. I updated the screenshot accordingly.

Take away Simplistic test:

Don’t only rely the count of a set. By using Group-Object you can gauge a set’s uniqueness. The bonus test showed that exceptions may happen. It’s totally valid as a starting point, that’s why it’s a simplistic tests. Here’s the code for the Simplistic test for count validation:

$savedADConfig= @{
   GlobalCatalogs = @(
      'DC-DSC-01.pshirwin.local'
      'DC-DSC-02.pshirwin.local'
   )
}

$verifyADConfig= @{
   GlobalCatalogs = @(
      'DC-DSC-01.pshirwin.local'
      'DC-DSC-02.pshirwin.local'
   )
}

#region Example Operational validation Simplistic test
Describe 'Active Directory configuration operational readiness' {
   Context 'Verifying GlobalCatalogs count without Group-Object'{
      it 'Total GlobalCatalogs match' {
         @($savedADConfig.GlobalCatalogs).Count |
         Should be @($verifyADConfig.GlobalCatalogs).Count
      }
   }

   Context 'Verifying GlobalCatalogs count with Group-Object'{
      it 'Total GlobalCatalogs match' {
         @($savedADConfig.GlobalCatalogs  | Group-Object).Count |
         Should be @($verifyADConfig.GlobalCatalogs | Group-Object).Count
      }
   }
}
#endregion

If you’d like to try out the simplistic tests just add/remove entries to the saved-/verifyADConfig sets. Now for the Comprehensive tests!

Comprehensive tests

Here’s where in-depth analysis goes. When I did the AD Operational Readiness test, I had a feeling I was missing something. I saw June using sort-object in one of her validations. That triggered me to re-valuate this test.

Comprehensive Identical sets

Comprehensive Identical sets

Depending on which set you used for your enumeration you could end up with different results. When the sets are identical, all goes well. Next test, omit an entry in Verify set.

Comprehensive Missing an entry

Comprehensive missing an entry

Enumerating from the saved test caught the missing entry, enumerating from verify didn’t. Both found ‘DC-DSC-01.pshirwin.local’. The simplistic test caught this, that is why you need both! Next up: Double entry in Verify.

Comprehensive Double entry

Comprehensive double entry in verify

Enumerating from the saved set caught the double entry. Enumerating from the verify set just enumerated the entry twice. If you’re visually inclined, you might miss this.

Hey all my tests results are green and purple! Yeah…

Last test: Different sets.

Comprehensive Different sets

Different sets

At this point you’re comparing apple with oranges. This should fail.

Take away comprehensive tests:

The set you’re enumerating from matters! To cover validation, best bet is to do both! Here’s the code for the Comprehensive Test:

#region Example Operational validation Comprehensive test
$savedADConfig= @{
   GlobalCatalogs = @(
      'DC-DSC-01.pshirwin.local'
      'DC-DSC-02.pshirwin.local'
   )
}

$verifyADConfig= @{
   GlobalCatalogs = @(
      'DC-DSC-01.pshirwin.local'
      'DC-DSC-02.pshirwin.local'
   )
}

Describe 'Active Directory configuration operational readiness' {
   Context 'Verifying GlobalCatalogs enumerating from saved configuration'{
      $savedADConfig.GlobalCatalogs |
      ForEach-Object{
         it "Server $($_) is a GlobalCatalog"{
            $verifyADConfig.GlobalCatalogs.Contains($_) |
            Should be $true
         }
      }
   }
   Context 'Verifying GlobalCatalogs enumerating from verify configuration'{
      $verifyADConfig.GlobalCatalogs |
      ForEach-Object{
         it "Server $($_) is a GlobalCatalog"{
            $savedADConfig.GlobalCatalogs.Contains($_) |
            Should be $true
         }
      }
   }
}
#endregion

Validation is great, but you need to make sure your validating with the right set in the right order!

Summary

  • Create Simplistic & Comprehensive tests.
  • Simplistic tests should take care of the obvious.
  • Comprehensive tests is where in-depth analysis takes place.
  • Validate by enumerating from both sets!
  • Never trust a test that doesn’t fail 😉

I’m glad I visited both presentations! Now it’s time to update my Operational readiness tests accordingly! 🙂

Hope it’s worth something to you

Ttyl,

Urv

Active Directory configuration report

‘Sup PSHomies,

Last blog I talked about how to create a AD configuration snapshot. I saved the AD Configuration using the Export-Clixml cmdlet. As promised here’s the follow up: How to create a report from the saved snapshot.

I’m a fan of HTML for reporting purposes. In the past I’ve dabbled in creating reports using XML in combination with CSS. The challenge was creating a well-defined XML file. If you’ve ever had the idea of using Export-Clixml to combine with CSS then you’re in for a disappointment! ConvertTo-HTML is a better fit for reporting. Having said that, creating a well-defined XML file can also be a challenge. As luck would have it there’s a mini-series on the subject, check it out if you want to go down that route.

My favorite way of creating HTML reports these days is using PScribo, brought to us  by Iain Brighton. I saw him demonstrate the module at the PowerShell Conference in Stockholm on youtube. PScribo sure makes creating reports easier! PScribo supports different output formats:

  • HTML
  • Word
  • Text
  • XML

You can also edit the style of your document. To get a better impression of all the possibilities have a look at the video. The module has enough examples to help you get started. Before you know it you’ll be hooked!

Here’s the script:

I’ve recently discovered markdown. If you’re comfortable creating HTML documents, then MD shouldn’t be much of a challenge ;-). BTW if you’re looking for a good MD reader, vscode has you covered. VSCode is gaining momentum in the PowerShell community. I’ll admit to being hooked on ISESteroids, still,  Tobias Weltner said there will be a major update pretty soon… So who knows what this might mean?

I decided to give it a try in MD Format as well!

Not bad…

MD Format ADConfiguration

MD format has a small footprint which could be interesting. MD files can be converted to other formats. Doug Finke has an excellent vscode extension to render md files in pdf, word or html, using PanDoc.

PScribo is definitely worth a try! MD is also an option. Generating reports in Powershell just got easier thanks to Iain & Doug! Great addition guys! Keep up the good work!

Hope it’s worth something to you

Ttyl,

Urv