What's new in Azure Automation?

Azure Automation receives improvements on an ongoing basis. To stay up to date with the most recent developments, this article provides you with information about:

  • The latest releases
  • New features
  • Improvements to existing features
  • Known issues
  • Bug fixes

This page is updated monthly, so revisit it regularly. If you're looking for items older than six months, you can find them in Archive for What's new in Azure Automation.

April 2024

Changes in Process Automation subscription and service limits and quotas

Find the changes in Azure Automation limits and quotas here. These changes are aimed towards improving the reliability and performance of the service by ensuring fair access to cloud resources for all users. We recommend to use other regions or other subscriptions within the same Azure geography to create more Automation accounts.

February 2024

New version of Start/Stop VMs

Start/Stop VM during off-hours, version 1 is deprecated and unavailable in the marketplace now and we recommend that you start using version 2, which is now generally available. The new version of Start/Stop VMs v2 provides a decentralized low-cost automation option for customers who want to optimize their VM costs. It offers all of the same functionality as the original version that was available with Azure Automation. Learn more.

January 2024

Public Preview: Azure Automation Runtime environment & support for Azure CLI commands in runbooks

Azure Automation introduces Runtime environment (preview) that provides a simple and hassle-free experience for updating scripts to the latest language versions. It also provides complete control to configure the script execution environment, without worrying about conflicting module versions in a single Automation account. All existing runbooks are automatically available in the new Runtime environment experience with zero manual effort. You can navigate seamlessly between the old and new experience with a single click. Learn more.

Additionally, this feature enables support for Azure CLI commands (preview) in PowerShell 7.2 runbooks. Now reap combined benefits of the rich command set of Azure CLI in Azure Automation runbooks to streamline management of Azure resources.

December 2023

Restore deleted Automation runbooks

Type: New change

You can now restore Runbooks deleted in the past 29 days. Learn more

Retirement of Azure Update Management and Change Tracking using Log Analytics

Type: Retirement

On 31 August 2024, Azure Automation will retire Automation Update management and Change Tracking using Log Analytics. You must migrate to Azure Update Manager and Change tracking and inventory using Azure Monitoring Agent respectively before the deprecation date.

November 2023

General Availability: Azure Automation supports PowerShell 7.2 runbooks

Azure Automation announces General Availability of PowerShell 7.2 runbooks. This enables you to author runbooks in the long-term supported version of PowerShell using Azure Automation extension for VS code and execute them on a secure and reliable platform. Learn more.

October 2023

General Availability: Automation extension for Visual Studio Code

Azure Automation now provides an advanced editing experience for PowerShell and Python scripts along with runbook management operations. For more information, see the Key features and limitations.

General Availability: Change Tracking using Azure Monitoring Agent

Azure Automation announces General Availability of Change Tracking using Azure Monitoring Agent. Learn more.

Retirement of Run As accounts

Type: Retirement

Azure Automation Run As Accounts, including Classic Run as accounts have retired on 30 September 2023 and replaced with Managed Identities. You would no longer be able to create or renew Run as accounts through the Azure portal. For more information, see migrating from an existing Run As accounts to managed identity.

May 2023

General Availability: Python 3.8 runbooks

Azure Automation announces General Availability of Python 3.8 runbooks. Learn more about Azure Automation Runbooks and Python packages.

April 2023

Public preview update: Azure Automation supports PowerShell 7.2 and Python 3.10 runbooks

Azure Automation has expanded Public preview support for PowerShell 7.2 and Python 3.10 runbooks in almost all Public regions except Australia Central2, Korea South, Sweden South, Jio India Central, Brazil Southeast, Central India, West India, UAE Central and Gov clouds. These new runtimes are now supported for both Cloud and Hybrid jobs. Learn more about PowerShell 7.2 and Python 3.10 runbooks and execution of Hybrid jobs on new runtime versions.

March 2023

Retirement of Azure Automation Agent-based User Hybrid Runbook Worker

Type: Plan for change

On 31 August 2024, Azure Automation will retire Agent-based User Hybrid Runbook Worker (Windows and Linux). You must migrate all Agent-based User Hybrid Workers to Extension-based User Hybrid Runbook Worker (Windows and Linux) before the deprecation date. Moreover, starting 1 November 2023, creating new Agent-based User Hybrid Runbook Worker will not be possible. Learn more.

January 2023

Public Preview of Automation extension for Visual Studio Code

Azure Automation now provides an extension from VS Code that allows you to create and manage runbooks. For more information, see the Key features and limitations and runbook management operations.

November 2022

General Availability: Azure Automation User Hybrid Runbook Worker Extension

User Hybrid Worker enables execution of the scripts directly on the machines for managing guest workloads or as a gateway to environments that are not accessible from Azure. Azure Automation announces General Availability of User Hybrid Worker extension, that is based on Virtual Machine extensions framework and provides a seamless and integrated installation experience. It is supported for Windows & Linux Azure VMs and Azure Arc-enabled Servers. It is also available for Azure Arc-enabled VMware vSphere VMs in preview.

October 2022

Public preview of PowerShell 7.2 and Python 3.10

Azure Automation now supports runbooks in latest Runtime versions - PowerShell 7.2 and Python 3.10 in public preview. This enables creation and execution of runbooks for orchestration of management tasks. These new runtimes are currently supported only for Cloud jobs in five regions - West Central US, East US, South Africa North, North Europe, Australia, and Southeast. Learn more.

Guidance for Disaster Recovery of Azure Automation account

Set up disaster recovery for your Automation accounts to handle a region-wide or zone-wide failure. Learn more.

September 2022

Availability zones support for Azure Automation

Azure Automation now supports Azure availability zones to provide improved resiliency and reliability by providing high availability to the service, runbooks, and other Automation assets. Learn more.

July 2022

Support for Run As accounts

Type: Plan for change

Azure Automation Run As Account will retire on September 30, 2023 and will be replaced with Managed Identities.Before that date, you'll need to start migrating your runbooks to use managed identities. For more information, see migrating from an existing Run As accounts to managed identity to start migrating the runbooks from Run As account to managed identities before 30 September 2023.

August 2022

Azure Automation Hybrid Worker Extension (preview) now supports Arc-enabled VMware VMs

Type: Enhancement to an existing feature

In addition to the support for Azure VMs and Arc-enabled Servers, Azure Automation Hybrid Worker Extension (preview) now supports Arc-enabled VMware VMs as a target. You can now orchestrate management tasks using PowerShell and Python runbooks on Azure VMs, Arc-enabled Servers, and Arc-enabled VMware VMs with an identical experience. Read here for more information.

March 2022

Forward diagnostic audit data to Azure Monitor logs

Type: New feature

Azure Automation can send diagnostic audit logs in addition to runbook job status and job streams to your Log Analytics workspace. Read here for more information.

February 2022

Permissions change in the built-in Reader role for the Automation Account.

Type: New change

To strengthen the overall Azure Automation security posture, the built-in RBAC Reader role would not have access to Automation account keys through the API call - GET /automationAccounts/agentRegistrationInformation. Read here for more information.

Restore deleted Automation Accounts

Type: New change

Users can now restore an Automation account deleted within 30 days. Read here for more information.

December 2021

New scripts added for Azure VM management based on Azure Monitor Alert

Type: New feature

New scripts are added to the Azure Automation GitHub organization to address one of Azure Automation's key scenarios of VM management based on Azure Monitor alert. For more information, see Trigger runbook from Azure alert.

November 2021

General Availability of Managed Identity for Azure Automation

Type: New feature

Azure Automation now supports Managed Identities in Azure public, Azure Gov, and Microsoft Azure operated by 21Vianet. System Assigned Managed Identities is supported for cloud as well as hybrid jobs, while User Assigned Managed Identities is supported only for cloud jobs. Read the announcement for more information.

Preview support for PowerShell 7.1

Type: New feature

Azure Automation support for PowerShell 7.1 runbooks is available as public preview in Azure public, Azure Gov, and Azure operated by 21Vianet clouds. Read the announcement for more information.

October 2021

Preview support for Hybrid Runbook Worker extension for Azure VMs and Arc-enabled servers

Type: New feature

Azure Automation released native integration of User Hybrid Runbook Worker for Azure VMs, and for non-Azure machines through Arc-enabled servers. Read the announcement for more information.

Preview support for Azure Active Directory authentication

Type: New feature

Azure Automation added a critical security feature with Azure AD authentication support for all Automation service public endpoints. The feature has been implemented through Hybrid Runbook Worker extension support for Azure VMs and Arc-enabled servers.

This removes the dependency on certificates and enables you to meet your stringent audit and compliance requirements by not using local authentication methods. Read the announcement for more information.

Source control enabled to use managed identities

Type: New feature

Source control integration in Azure Automation can now use managed identities instead of a Run As account. For more information, see source control integration prerequisites.

September

Support for Az modules by default

Type: New Feature

Azure Automation now supports Az modules by default. New Automation accounts created include the latest version of Az modules - 6.4.0 by default. Automation also includes an option in the Azure portal - Update Az Modules enabling you to update Az modules in your existing Automation accounts. Read the announcement for more information.

August 2021

Azure Policy Guest Configuration

Type: Plan for change

Customers should evaluate and plan for migration from Azure Automation State Configuration to Azure Policy guest configuration. For more information, see Azure Policy guest configuration.

July 2021

Preview support for user-assigned managed identity

Type: New feature

Azure Automation now supports user-assigned Managed Identities for cloud jobs in Azure global, Azure Government, and Azure operated by 21Vianet regions. Read the announcement for more information.

General Availability of customer-managed keys for Azure Automation

Type: New feature

Customers can manage and secure encryption of Azure Automation assets using their own managed keys. With the introduction of customer-managed keys, you can supplement default encryption with an extra encryption layer using keys that you create and manage in Azure Key Vault. This additional level of encryption should help you meet your organization’s regulatory or compliance needs.

For more information, see Use of customer-managed keys.

June 2021

Security update for Log Analytics Contributor role

Type: Plan for change

Microsoft intends to remove the Automation account rights from the Log Analytics Contributor role. Currently, the built-in Log Analytics Contributor role can escalate privileges to the subscription Contributor role. Since Automation account Run As accounts are initially configured with Contributor rights on the subscription, it can be used by an attacker to create new runbooks and execute code as a Contributor on the subscription.

As a result of this security risk, we recommend you don't use the Log Analytics Contributor role to execute Automation jobs. Instead, create the Azure Automation Contributor custom role and use it for actions related to the Automation account.

Support for Automation and State Configuration available in West US 3

Type: New feature

For more information, see Data residency in Azure and select your geography from the drop-down list.

May 2021

Start/Stop VMs during off-hours (v1)

Type: Plan for change

Start/Stop VMs during off-hours (v1) will deprecate on May 21, 2022. Customers should evaluate and plan for migration to the Start/Stop VMs v2 (preview). For more information, see Start/Stop v2 overview (preview).

April 2021

Support for Update Management and Change Tracking

Type: New feature

Region mapping has been updated to support Update Management and Change Tracking in Norway East, UAE North, North Central US, Brazil South, and Korea Central. For more information, see Supported mappings.

Support for system-assigned Managed Identities

Type: New feature

Azure Automation now supports system-assigned managed identities for cloud and hybrid jobs in Azure global and Azure Government regions. Read the announcement for more information.

Next steps

If you'd like to contribute to Azure Automation documentation, see our contributor guide.