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Get-Command: New PowerShell cmdlets

26 Jul 2016 by Emma Robinson

Despite the fact that it can be a little unwieldy and time-consuming (especially for larger tasks), if you’re an admin for Office 365, then it is likely that you regularly encounter PowerShell, and use it to help manage your user’s accounts and configure settings for your tenant.
Unless you take a keen interest in new releases or regularly read TechNet articles, you’ve probably missed the PowerShell Azure Active Directory cmdlets V2 release that is now in public preview. In the release statement it mentions that ‘one of the key features of this release is a close alignment of the PowerShell functionality with the Graph API capabilities’. As a result, the team responsible for the Azure Active Directory module have decided to completely replace the current cmdlet prefix. Where it used to be ‘MSOL’ (Microsoft Online Services), it is now ‘AzureAD’ (Azure Active Directory).
Seems relatively minor? The only issue with this change of name is that it means that all the numerous cmdlets which form part of your existing scripts will essentially be broken. To avoid running into issues when you need to run a monthly report, or make a change to a set of user accounts, you will need to go into your scripts and update the cmdlets.
AzureADPowerShell
Unfortunately this may be a bigger task than it already sounds. Some cmdlets have been removed entirely, and some have changed beyond simply the prefix, so that the new cmdlets are better aligned with what is used in the Graph API. It is also worth mentioning that these alterations are currently in preview, and could be subject to further change before they are finalised.
It’s not all bad news though. According to the Development team, the new PowerShell cmdlets ‘provide more functionality in several areas, most notably for Modern Authentication and MFA, and includes management of Applications and Certificate Authority through PowerShell’. The added functionality will provide you with the tools to create more effective scripts for these useful areas of Office 365.
Our advice would be to check out the documentation that Microsoft have provided on this, make your changes, and then run every script, test every call, and check the results it returns, in order to guarantee that everything remains as it should.
More details of the changes can be found here, and documentation on the new cmdlets can be found here.
Don’t want to spend more of your time on PowerShell? Take a look at the solutions available from Cogmotive Reports, the leading global provider of enterprise level reporting and analytics applications for Office 365. Find out more now.