A Voice Assistant for Microsoft Identity Manager

This is the third and final post in my series around using your voice to query/search Microsoft Identity Manager or as I’m now calling it, the Voice Assistant for Microsoft Identity Manager.

The two previous posts in this series detail some of my steps and processes in developing and fleshing out this concept. The first post detailed the majority of the base functionality whilst the second post detailed the auditing and reporting aspects into Table Storage and Power BI.

My final architecture is depicted below.

Identity Manager integration with Cognitive Services and IoT Hub 4x3

I’ve put together more of an overview in a presentation format using GitPitch you can checkout here.

The why and how of the Voice Assistant for Microsoft Identity Manager

If you’re interested in building the solution checkout the Github Repo here which includes the Respeaker Python Script, Azure Function etc.

Let me know how you go @darrenjrobinson

Using your Voice to Search Microsoft Identity Manager – Part 2


Last month I wrote this post that detailed using your voice to search/query Microsoft Identity Manager. That post demonstrated a working solution (GitHub repository coming next month) but was still incomplete if it was to be used in production within an Enterprise. I hinted then that there were additional enhancements I was looking to make. One is an Auditing/Reporting aspect and that is what I cover in this post.


The one element of the solution that has visibility of each search scenario is the IoT Device. As a potential future enhancement this could also be a Bot. For each request I wanted to log/audit;

  • Device the query was initiated from (it is possible to have many IoT devices; physical or bot leveraging this function)
  • The query
  • The response
  • Date and Time of the event
  • User the query targeted

To achieve this my solution is to;

  • On my IoT Device the query, target user and date/time is held during the query event
  • At the completion of the query the response along with the earlier information is sent to the IoT Hub using the IoT Hub REST API
  • The event is consumed from the IoT Hub by an Azure Event Hub
  • The message containing the information is processed by Stream Analytics and put into Azure Table Storage and Power BI.

Azure Table Storage provides the logging/auditing trail of what requests have been made and the responses.  Power BI provides the reporting aspect. These two services provide visibility into what requests have been made, against who, when etc. The graphic below shows this in the bottom portion of the image.

Auditing Reporting Searching MIM with Speech.png

Sending IoT Device Events to IoT Hub

I covered this piece in a previous post here in PowerShell. I converted it from PowerShell to Python to run on my device. In PowerShell though for initial end-to-end testing when developing the solution the body of the message being sent and sending it looks like this;

[string]$datetime = get-date
$datetime = $datetime.Replace("/","-")
$body = @{
 deviceId = $deviceID
 messageId = $datetime
 messageString = "$($deviceID)-to-Cloud-$($datetime)"
 MIMQuery = "Does the user Jerry Seinfeld have an Active Directory Account"
 MIMResponse = "Yes. Their LoginID is jerry.seinfeld"
 User = "Jerry Seinfeld"

$body = $body | ConvertTo-Json
Invoke-RestMethod -Uri $iotHubRestURI -Headers $Headers -Method Post -Body $body

Event Hub and IoT Hub Configuration

First I created an Event Hub. Then on my IoT Hub I added an Event Subscription and pointed it to my Event Hub.

IoTHub Event Hub.PNG

Streaming Analytics

I then created a Stream Analytics Job. I configured two Inputs. One each from my IoT Hub and from my Event Hub.

Stream Analytics Inputs.PNG

I then created two Outputs. One for Table Storage for which I used an existing Storage Group for my solution, and the other for Power BI using an existing Workspace but creating a new Dataset. For the Table storage I specified deviceId for Partition key and messageId for Row key.

Stream Analytics Outputs.PNG

Finally as I’m keeping all the data simple in what I’m sending, my query is basically copying from the Inputs to the Outputs. One is to get the events to Table Storage and the other to get it to Power BI. Therefore the query looks like this.

Stream Analytics Query.PNG

Events in Table Storage

After sending through some events I could see rows being added to Table Storage. When I added an additional column to the data the schema-less Table Storage obliged and dynamically added another column to the table.

Table Storage.PNG

A full record looks like this.

Full Record.PNG

Events in Power BI

Just like in Table Storage, in Power BI I could see the dataset and the table with the event data. I could create a report with some nice visuals just as you would with any other dataset. When I added an additional field to the event being sent from the IoT Device it magically showed up in the Power BI Dataset Table.



Using the Azure IoT Hub REST API I can easily send information from my IoT Device and then have it processed through Stream Analytics into Table Storage and Power BI. Instant auditing and reporting functionality.

Let me know what you think on twitter @darrenjrobinson

Using your Voice to Search Microsoft Identity Manager – Part 1


Yes, you’ve read the title correctly. Speaking to Microsoft Identity Manager. The concept behind this was born off the back of some other work I was doing with Microsoft Cognitive Services. I figured it shouldn’t be that difficult if I just break down the concept into individual elements of functionality and put together a proof of concept to validate the idea. That’s what I did and this is the first post of the solution as an overview.

Here’s a quick demo.


The diagram below details the basis of the solution. There are a few extra elements I’m still working on that I’ll cover in a future post if there is any interest in this.

Searching MIM with Speech Overview

The solution works like this;

  1. You speak to a microphone connected to a single board computer with the query for Microsoft Identity Manager
  2. The spoken phrase is converted to text using Cognitive Speech to Text (Bing Speech API)
  3. The text phrase is;
    1. sent to Cognitive Services Language Understanding Intelligent Service (LUIS) to identify the target of the query (firstname lastname) and the query entity (e.g. Mailbox)
    2. Microsoft Identity Manager is queried via API Management and the Lithnet REST API for the MIM Service
  4. The result is returned to the single board computer as a text result phase which it then uses Cognitive Services Text to Speech to convert the response to audio
  5. The result is spoken back

Key Functional Elements

  • The microphone array I’m using is a ReSpeaker Core v1 with a ReSpeaker Mic Array
  • All credentials are stored in an Azure Key Vault
  • An Azure Function App (PowerShell) interfaces with the majority of the Cognitive Services being used
  • Azure API Management is used to front end the Lithnet MIM Webservice
  • The Lithnet REST API for the MIM Service provides easy integration with the MIM Service


Leveraging a lot of Serverless (PaaS) Services, a bunch of scripting (Python on the ReSpeaker and PowerShell in the Azure Function) and the Lithnet REST API it was pretty simple to integrate the ReSpeaker with Microsoft Identity Manager. An alternative to MIM could be any other service you have an API interface into. MIM is obviously a great choice as it can aggregate from many other applications/services.

Why a female voice? From a small response it was the popular majority.

Let me know what you think on twitter @darrenjrobinson

Implementing Azure API Management with the Lithnet Microsoft Identity Manager Rest API


Earlier this week I wrote this post that detailed implementing the Lithnet REST API for FIM/MIM Service. I also detailed using PowerShell to interact with the API Endpoint.

Now lets imagine you are looking to have a number of Azure Serverless features leverage your Rest API enabled Microsoft Identity Manager environment. Or even offer it “as-a-Service”. You’ll want to have some visibility as to how it is performing, and you’ll probably want to implement features such as caching and rate limiting let alone putting more security controls around it. Enter Azure API Management, which provides all those functions and more.

In this post I detail getting started with Azure API Management by using it to front-end the Lithnet FIM/MIM Rest API.


In this post I will detail;

  • Enabling Azure API Management
  • Configuring the Lithnet FIM/MIM Rest API integration with Azure API Management
  • Accessing MIM via Azure API Management and the Lithnet FIM/MIM Rest API using PowerShell
  • Reporting


For this particular scenario I’m interfacing Azure API Management with a Rest API that uses Digest Authentication. So even though it is a Windows WCF Webservice you could do something similar with a similar API Endpoint. If the backend API endpoint is using SSL it will need to have a valid certificate. Even though Azure API Management allows you to add your own certificates I had issues with Self Signed Certificates. I have it working fine with Lets Encrypt issued certificates. Obviously you’ll need an Azure Subscription as well as an App/Servive with an API.

Enabling Azure API Management

From the Azure Portal select Create a resource and search for API management and select it.

Add API Mgmt.PNG

Select Create

Create API Mgmt.PNG

Give your API Management Service a name, select a subscription, resource group etc and select Create.

API Mgmt Config 1.PNG

Once you select Create it will take about 30 minutes to be deployed.

Configuring the Lithnet FIM/MIM Rest API integration with Azure API Management

Once your new API Management service has been deployed, from the Azure Portal select the API Management services blade and select the API Management service that you just created. Select APIs.

API Config 1.PNG

Select Add API and then select Add a new API

API Mgmt Config 2.PNG

Give the API a name, description, enter the URI for your API EndPoint, and select HTTPS. I’m going to call this MIMSearcher so have entered that under API URL Suffix. For initial testing under Products select starter. Finally select Create.

API Mgmt Config 4.PNG

We now have our base API setup. From the Backend tile select the Edit icon.

API Mgmt Config 5.PNG

As the backed is authenticated using Basic Authentication, select Basic in Gateway credentials and enter the details of an account with access that will be used by the API Gateway. Select Save.

API Mgmt Config 6.PNG

Now from our API Configuration select Add operation.

API Mgmt Config 7.PNG

First we will create a test operation for the Help page on the Lithnet FIM/MIM Rest API. Provide a Display name, and for the URL add /v2/help. Give it a description and select Create.

Note: I could have had v2 as part of the base URI for the API in the previous steps. I didn’t as I will be using API’s from both v1 and v2 and didn’t want to create multiple operations.

API Mgmt Config 8.PNG

Select the new Operation (Help)

API Mgmt Config 9.PNG

Select the Test menu. Select Send.

API Mgmt Config 10.PNG

If everything is set up correctly you will get a 200 Success OK response as below.

API Mgmt Config 11.PNG

Accessing MIM via Azure API Management and the Lithnet FIM/MIM Rest API using PowerShell

Head over to your API Portal. The URL is https://.portal.azure-api.net/ where is the name you gave your API Management Service shown in the third screenshot at the top of this post. If you are doing this from the browser you used to create the API Management Service you should be signed in already. From the Administrator menu on the right select Profile.

Test API Mgmt 1.PNG

Click on Show under one of the keys and record its value.

Test API Mgmt 2.PNG

Using PowerShell ISE or VSCode update the following Code Snippet and test.

$APIURL = 'https://.azure-api.net//v2/help'
$secret = 'yourSecret'
$Headers = @{'Ocp-Apim-Subscription-Key' = $secret} 
[Net.ServicePointManager]::SecurityProtocol = [Net.SecurityProtocolType]::Tls12

$response = Invoke-RestMethod -Uri $APIURL -Headers $Headers -ContentType "application/json" -UseBasicParsing -Method Get

The snippet will create a Web Request to the new API and display the results.

Test API Mgmt 3.PNG

Querying the Lithnet Rest API via Azure API Management

Now that we have a working solution end-to-end, let’s do something useful with it. Looking at the Lithnet Rest API, the Resources URI is the key one exposing Resources from the MIM Service.


Let’s create a new Operation for Resources similar to what we did for the Help. After selecting Create configure the Backend for Basic Authentication like we did for Help.

Get Resources.PNG

Testing out the newly exposed endpoint is very similar to before. Just a new APIURL with the addition of /?Person to return all Person Resources from the MIM Portal. It lets us know it’s returned 7256 Person Objects, and the Results are still paged (100 by default).

Get Persons.PNG

Let’s now Search for just a single user. Search for a Person object whose Display Name is ‘darrenjrobinson’.

$query = "Person[DisplayName='darrenjrobinson']"
$queryEncoded = [System.Web.HttpUtility]::UrlEncode($query)

$APIURL = "https://.azure-api.net//v2/resources/?filter=/$($queryEncoded)" 
$secret = 'yourSecret'
$Headers = @{'Ocp-Apim-Subscription-Key' = $secret} 
[Net.ServicePointManager]::SecurityProtocol = [Net.SecurityProtocolType]::Tls12

$user = Invoke-RestMethod -Uri $APIURL -Headers $Headers -ContentType "application/json" -UseBasicParsing -Method Get

Executing, we get a single user returned.

Search for User.PNG


Using the Publisher Portal we can get some Stats on what is happening with our API Management implementation.

Go to https://.portal.azure-api.net/admin and select Analytics.

We then have visibility to what has been using the API Management Service. At a Glance gives and overview and you can drill down into;

  • Top Users
  • Top Products
  • Top subscriptions
  • Top APIs
  • Top Operations

At a glance looks like this;

At a Glance Stats.PNG

And Top Operations looks like this;

Top Operations.PNG


That is a quick start guide to implementing Azure API Management in front of a Rest API and using PowerShell to integrate with it. Next steps would be to enable caching, and getting into more of the advanced features. Enjoy.


Getting started with the Lithnet REST API for the Microsoft Identity Manager Service


A common theme with my posts on Microsoft Identity is the extensibility of it particularly with the Lithnet tools that Ryan has released.

One such tool that I’ve used but never written about is the Lithnet REST API for the Microsoft Identity Manger Service. For a small proof of concept I’m working on I was again using this REST API and I needed to update it as Ryan has recently added some new functionality. I realised I hadn’t set it up in a while and while Ryan’s documentation is very good it was written some time ago when IIS Manager looked a little different. So here is a couple of screenshots and a little extra info to get you started if you haven’t used it before to supplement Ryan’s documentation located here.

Configuring the Lithnet REST API for the Microsoft Identity Manager Service

You can download the Lithnet REST API for the FIM/MIM Service from here

If you are using the latest version of the Lithnet Rest API you will need to make sure you have .NET 4.6.1 installed. If you are running Windows Server 2012 R2 you can get it from here.

When configuring your WebSite make sure you choose .NET v4.5 Classic for the Application Pool.

WebSite AppPool Settings.PNG

The web.config must match your MIM version. Currently the latest is 4.4.1749.0 as detailed here. That therefore looks like this.

WebConfig Resource Management Version.PNG

Finally you’ll need an SSL Certificate. For development environments a Self-Signed Certificate is fine. Personally I use this Cert Generator. Make sure you put the certificate in the cert store on the machine you will be testing access with. Here’s an example of my command line for generating a cert.

Cert Generation.PNG

You could also use Lets Encrypt.

In your bindings in IIS have the Host Name match your certificate.


If you’ve done everything right you will be able to hit the v2 endpoint help. By default with Basic Auth enabled you’ll be prompted for a username and password.

v2 EndPoint.PNG

Using PowerShell to query MIM via the Lithnet Rest API

Here is an example script to query MIM via the Lithnet MIM Rest API. Update for your credentials (Lines 2 and 3), the URL of the server running the API Endpoint (Line 11) and what you are querying for (Line 14). My script takes into account Self Signed Certs in a Development environment.

Example output from a query is shown below.

Example Output.PNG


Hopefully that helps you quickly get started with the Lithnet REST API for the FIM/MIM Service. I showed an example using PowerShell directly, but using an Azure Function is also a valid pattern. I’ve covered similar functionality in the past.


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;

Finally to retrieve devices for a person use;

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.