A New and an Updated PowerShell Script

Hey everyone, yes I’m still alive!

Connection Report for Remote Desktop 

I wrote a script that connects to one or multiple servers and captures Remote Desktop logons, disconnects, reconnects and logoffs along with the connecting IP:

Download RDPConnectionParser.ps1 here

Recipient Address Report (Formally ProxyAddressCount)

I also updated the “Exchange Proxy Address (alias) Report” script.  It now includes a few environment metrics, as well as the regular CSV-style output:

Download the updated script here

What are the Azure DirSync Cmdlets [Updated]?

ARTICLE UPDATED August 2014 to address the PowerShellConfig module.

NOTE: If you are using Azure AD Connect, see this new article.

As you may have seen, DirSync’s PowerShell functionality can now be called from the “Import-Module” cmdlet instead of running a custom DirSyncConfigShell.psc1 file. If we look at this new module, we can see 92 DirSync-related cmdlets:

DirSync PowerShell Module

Notice the screenshot is actually listing the commands of the “Microsoft.Online.Coexistence.PS.Config module” and “PowerShellConfig” (very descriptive!), not “DirSync”. That is because the DirSync module is a wrapper of sorts, calling “%programfiles% \Windows Azure Active Directory Sync\dirsync\DirSync.psd1” on your behalf. The DirSync module itself contains no cmdlets.

So, what do these cmdlets do anyway? Not all of them are well documented online, so you should start with the help file. Unfortunatley, even the help file omits a synopsis for the 67 “PowerShellConfig” cmdlets.  For the 25 within Microsoft.Online.Coexistence.PS.Config module, run the below command to generate an output similar to the following table:

ipmo DirSync
gcm -m Microsoft.Online.Coexistence.PS.Config | get-help | select name, synopsis | epcsv $env:userprofile\desktop\DirSyncCmdlets.csv -notype




This commandlet is used to disable logging for the Azure Active Directory Sync tool.

Disable-MSOnlineObjectManagement Disable-MSOnlineObjectManagement -Credential <pscredential> [-ObjectTypes <string[]>] [-WhatIf] [-Confirm] [<CommonParameters>]
Disable-MSOnlinePasswordSync Disable-MSOnlinePasswordSync -Credential <pscredential> [-WhatIf] [-Confirm] [<CommonParameters>]
Disable-MSOnlineRichCoexistence Disable-MSOnlineRichCoexistence -Credential <pscredential> [-WhatIf] [-Confirm] [<CommonParameters>]

This commandlet is used to disable writing back user password resets from cloud to onpremise Active Directory.


This commandlet is used to disable logging for the Password Sync feature of the Azure Active Directory Sync tool.


This commandlet is used to configure the logging level for the Azure Active Directory Sync tool.

Enable-MSOnlineObjectManagement Enable-MSOnlineObjectManagement -ObjectTypes <string[]> -TargetCredentials <pscredential> -Credential <pscredential> [-WhatIf] [-Confirm] [<CommonParameters>]
Enable-MSOnlinePasswordSync Enable-MSOnlinePasswordSync -Credential <pscredential> [-WhatIf] [-Confirm] [<CommonParameters>]
Enable-MSOnlineRichCoexistence Enable-MSOnlineRichCoexistence -Credential <pscredential> [-WhatIf] [-Confirm] [<CommonParameters>]

This commandlet is used to enable writing back user password resets from cloud to onpremise Active Directory.


This commandlet is used to configure the logging level for the Password Sync feature of the Azure Active Directory Sync tool.


Gets a configuration information from the Microsoft Online Coexistence Web Server

Get-DirSyncConfiguration Get-DirSyncConfiguration -TargetCredentials <pscredential> [<CommonParameters>]

This commandlet is used to retrieve the current logging level for the Azure Active Directory Sync tool.


This commandlet is used to obtain the current status of writing back user password resets from cloud to onpremise Active Directory.


This commandlet is used to retrieve the current logging level for the Password Sync feature of the Azure Active Directory Sync tool.


This commandlet is used to retrieve the current status of the object deletion threshold for DirSync.


Configures Microsoft Online Directory Synchronization Tool.

Set-CompanyDirSyncFeatures Set-CompanyDirSyncFeatures -TargetCredentials <pscredential> -FeaturesFlag <int> [<CommonParameters>]
Set-DirSyncConfiguration Set-DirSyncConfiguration -TargetCredentials <pscredential> -DirSyncConfiguration <CloudDirSyncConfiguration> [<CommonParameters>]

Resets the password sync state information forcing a full sync the next time the service is restarted.


This commandlet is used to enable or disable the object deletion threshold for DirSync.


Starts synchronization with Microsoft Online


Updates the directory sync service to use the current user’s http proxy settings.

The de-“magicification” of DirSync is definitely a good thing for all Azure customers.  Having said this, I’d still keep the Codeplex FIM modules around, since they do offer a lot more control of and visibility into the underlying FIM Sync Service.

Here are the cmdlets without help documentation:


As time allows, I will return with more detail on each of the above DirSync cmdlets; so long for now!

Backup and Restore Instructions for the DirSync Database

Today, Microsoft released a 9 page guide on backing up and restoring the Microsoft Azure Active Directory Sync tool. You can get it here.

Some things to keep in mind:

  • This guide applies to DirSync when used with the full version of SQL only.  This means it does not apply to most installations.
  • You don’t need to backup or restore DirSync.  If you simply install a new instance and configure it appropriately, the objects will re-sync.  Doing a backup/restore can save time however, if you have a very large number of users (I wouldn’t bother with less than 100k).
  • Ironically, this guide doesn’t actually tell you how to backup or restore the database.  You need some SQL-aware backup product to do that.  Instead, this guide helps you make use of a restored database in a DirSync environment (working with miisclient.exe, handling keys, etc).

DirSync 1.0.6593.0012

Late Monday, Microsoft released another update to the DirSync software, this time with a build number of 6593.0012. You can download it in from the usual link.

DirSync 1.0.6593.0012

As with previous DirSync updates, there has been no official announcement of the release, however the “use at your own risk” Wiki does mention one of the new features:

Version 6593.0012
Date Released 2/3/2014
Notable Changes

New features:

  • Additional Attributes are synchronized on User and Contact objects

Attributes documented here

The new attributes referenced in the link are userCertificate and userSMIMECertificate. Interestingly pwdLastSet was also added, however there is no mention of that one in the article. These additions serve an unknown purpose for now, however one might speculate that they are in support of new capabilities soon to be available in the service?!

Before you upgrade, you may wish to get a “before and after” review of the attribute inclusion list. The best way to review this is in the “Configure Attribute Flow” area of each management agent. At the end of this post, I have also shared an experimental PowerShell method of getting this information.

It is noteworthy that the author of this update, a Microsoft Program Manager for DirSync, is linking to yet another community wiki page instead of the seemingly defunct Knowledge Base article KB-2256198. Sadly, it would appear that the crumbling integrity of the TechNet/Support documentation may be latest casualty in a growing list of IT Pro-related cuts Microsoft has made along their quest to the cloud…

This script counts and dumps the attribute inclusion lists from each MA.
It does not evaluate attribute flow or applicable object types.

February 3 2014
Mike Crowley

#Import Modules
Import-Module SQLps -WarningAction SilentlyContinue

#Get SQL Info
$SQLServer = (gp 'HKLM:SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\services\FIMSynchronizationService\Parameters').Server
if ($SQLServer.Length -eq '0') {$SQLServer = $env:computername}
$SQLInstance = (gp 'HKLM:SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\services\FIMSynchronizationService\Parameters').SQLInstance
$MSOLInstance = ($SQLServer + "\" + $SQLInstance)

#Get Management Agent Attribute Info
[xml]$OnPremAttributes = (Invoke-Sqlcmd -MaxCharLength 10000 -ServerInstance $MSOLInstance -Query "SELECT attribute_inclusion_xml FROM [FIMSynchronizationService].[dbo].[mms_management_agent] WHERE [ma_name] = 'Active Directory Connector'").attribute_inclusion_xml
[xml]$CloudAttributes = (Invoke-Sqlcmd -MaxCharLength 10000 -ServerInstance $MSOLInstance -Query "SELECT attribute_inclusion_xml FROM [FIMSynchronizationService].[dbo].[mms_management_agent] WHERE [ma_name] = 'Windows Azure Active Directory Connector'").attribute_inclusion_xml
$ADAttributes = $OnPremAttributes.'attribute-inclusion'.attribute
$AzureAttributes = $CloudAttributes.'attribute-inclusion'.attribute

#Output to Screen
Write-Host $ADAttributes.count "Attributes synced from AD to the Metaverse" -F Cyan
Write-Host $AzureAttributes.count "Attributes synced from the Metaverse to Azure" -F Cyan
Write-Host "See" $env:TEMP\DirSyncAttributeList.txt "for detail" -F Cyan

#Output to File
"******AD Attributes******" | Out-File $env:TEMP\DirSyncAttributeList.txt
$ADAttributes | Out-File $env:TEMP\DirSyncAttributeList.txt -Append
" "| Out-File $env:TEMP\DirSyncAttributeList.txt -Append
"******Azure Attributes******" | Out-File $env:TEMP\DirSyncAttributeList.txt -Append
$AzureAttributes | Out-File $env:TEMP\DirSyncAttributeList.txt -Append


DirSync 1.0.6567.0018 Has Been Released

As some of us noticed, last week, Microsoft quietly removed the latest version of DirSync without so much as a tweet explaining why. Word on the street is that there were issues in the “Export” stage in the synchronization process (see KB 2906832). Today it would appear those issues have been resolved, as v1.0.6567.0018 just hit the web. You can download it here, though I’d advise caution, given Microsoft’s approach to communicating (lack-thereof) bugs.

As stated in the updated Wiki, the following improvements exist in this version:

New features:

  • DirSync can be installed on a Domain Controller (must log-off/log-on AFTER installation and BEFORE configuration wizard)
    • Documentation on how to deploy can be found here

Contains fixes for:

  • Sync Engine memory leak issue
  • Sync Engine export issue (FIM 2010 R2 hotfix 4.1.3493.0)
  • “Staging-Error” during large Confirming Imports from Windows Azure Active Directory
  • password sync behavior when sync’ing from Read-Only Domain Controllers (RODC)
  • DirSync setup behavior for domains with ‘@’ symbol in NetBois names
  • Fix for Hybrid Deployment Configuration-time error:
    • EventID=0
    • Description like “Enable-MsOnlineRichCoexistence failed. Error: Log entry string is too long.  A string written to the event log cannot exceed 32766 characters.”

Upgrading DirSync to the Latest Version

EDIT (Nov. 22 2013): DirSync 1.0.6567.0018 Has Been Released

EDIT (Nov. 11 2013): DirSync 1.0.6553.2 has been removed from Microsoft’s download site and version history comment removed from the Wiki.  Not sure why.

Early this morning, Microsoft released an updated version of Windows Azure Active Directory Sync tool (DirSync to you and me). Version 1.0.6553.2 (or later) can be downloaded from the usual link. It comes with 4 known improvements:

  1. Fix to address Sync Engine memory leak
  2. Fix to address “staging-error” during full import from Azure Active Directory
  3. Fix to handle Read-Only Domain Controllers in Password Sync
  4. DirSync can be installed on a Domain Controller. Documentation on how to deploy can be found here.

I am most excited about #4, as this enables me to build more interesting labs from my laptop, now that I don’t need a dedicated “DirSync Server”. You should note however, this is recommended only for “development” environments. After some further testing, I’d consider recommending this configuration for shops with multiple domain controllers and 50 or fewer users.

If you’re already running DirSync, and want to upgrade, you’re likely in one of two camps:

  1. You want to move DirSync from a dedicated server to a DC.
  2. You don’t want to move the DirSync server to a DC (or elsewhere), you just want the latest version.

If you’re in the first scenario, I’m going to assume you’re working in a lab or very small environment. This means you don’t need to worry about a lengthy synchronization process, and can easily take advantage of the built-in soft-match capability of the product. Your upgrade process is easy:

  1. Throw away your existing DirSync server.
  2. Install Dirsync on a DC.
  3. Run the Directory Sync Configuration Wizard

As soon as you finish the 3rd step, the initial synchronization will rebuild the database (and re-sync passwords), returning to where you left off!

NOTE: If you’re a big shop, you should consider that a full sync takes roughly 1 hour per 5,000 objects synced, according to a recent webcast by Lucas Costa. Soft-matches would likely go faster, but you’ve been warned…

Now, if you’re just looking to upgrade your version of DirSync to the latest version, you need to first ensure you are running versoin 6385.0012 or later. In-place upgrades aren’t supported on earlier versions. If this is you, refer to the soft-match advice I gave above. This is your upgrade path.

For those that are running 6385.0012 or later, upgrading is as simple as a few clicks of the mouse. For the nervous, here are some screenshots:

NOTE: The installer detects an existing installation.
This is the default path, but it should reflect your installation directory.
Hmm, that’s not good! Fortunately a reboot cleared this up for me, but if you’re not so lucky, you can examine the following logs:
  • coexistenceSetup
  • dirsyncSetup
  • miissetup

…which are located in the earlier discussed installation directory.

msiexec returned 1618
Much better!
For an upgrade, you’ll want to run this right away, since not doing so leaves you without a functioning DirSync server.
Global Office 365 Administrator credentials go here. This is stored on your DirSync server, so make sure PasswordNeverExpires attribute is set to $true on the Office 365 account (or your on-premises account, if you’re using a federated user)
On-Premises Enterprise Admin credentials go here:
Checking this box allows some attributes to be written back to your Active Directory, which is necessary for a Hybrid Exchange Server scenario.
Enable Password Sync… or Don’t.
NOTE: Upgrades and new installs require a Full Sync.
This post wouldn’t be complete without a plug for my free DirSync Report script! DirSync Report