Wednesday, September 24, 2008

ILM 2 Workflow Activity Walkthrough "Awesome"

Paul Divan, a sharp coworker and fellow Solutions Architect at Ensynch has authored an "awesome" whitepaper on custom activities in ILM 2 Workflow using Windows Workflow Foundations. (Brad Turner contributed a bunch, and I made a few contributions as well)

Check out Mark Gabarra's (part of the MSFT ILM Product Group) "awesome" comments on the whitepaper.

I especially want to thank some of the folks from Microsoft who were so helpful in figuring out some of these pieces and for their general support. Steve Klem, Mark Gabarra, Andreas Kjellman, Markus Vilcinskas, Jeff Staiman, Larry Buerk and Ahmad Abdel-wahed.

The files can be found on the Ensynch IDA Practice page here:

Ensynch Identity & Access Management (IDA) home page

Direct links to the files can be found here:

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

a sprinkling of understanding Workflow in ILM 2

So by now all of you know that understanding Windows Workflow Foundation is going to be quite helpful in implementing ILM 2.

Having lived 9 of the last 12 months in Redmond, WA, I now understand a lot more about sprinkling

So I thought I would provide a sprinkling of understanding about Windows Workflow Foundation: a categorization of the built in workflows.

Category Activity Composite Notes
  Invoke Web Service    
Conditional Conditional Activity Group    
Conditional IfElse    
Conditional Policy   Akin to a switch statement or Select Case
Conditional While    
Custom Code    
Error Compensate    
Error Fault Handler    
Error Throw    
Flow Delay    
Flow EventDriven    
Flow Listen X 2+ event driven
Flow Parallel X 2+ sequence
Flow Replicator   for each
Flow state    
Flow Sequence X  
Flow setstate    
Flow StateInitialization X  
Flow Suspend    
Flow Terminate    
Flow Transaction Scope    

Friday, September 12, 2008

ILM 2 Beta 3 Bug: Action Process Function Evaluator Activity doesn't work when using only one field

ID: 367381


Action Process Function Evaluator Activity doesn't work when using only one field, but when I concatenate with 2 it works.

Repro Steps

Create an action Process
Add one activity -- Function Evaluator
Set a destination to an attribute (like DisplayName) and select only one field in the value -- LastName
Then build an MPR to apply to All People (don't check Grants Permission), Operations: Create and Modify
Requestors: All People
All Attributes
Condition Before All People
Condition After All People
Policy Workflows: Add your Action Process
Then create or modify a user
open the user again and note that it did not work
Then look at search requests, view the request and note the following error: Data at the root level is invalid. Line 1, position 1.

This fails



and when used gives this error:



But this works (as does concatenating with a "" string)


Please repro and validate as a bug

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Expanding a Windows Server 2008 System partition on a HyperV Guest

While building out some virtual machines for our ILM 2 Beta 3 environment...

We setup a few virtual machines 64 bit Windows Server 2008 SP 1 (since SP 1 is built in to the RTM) running on HyperV. Everything is very slick! Except we only set aside 16 GB for the virtual disk for the system partition. Despite installing SQL, SharePoint, and ILM 2 to another drive the system partition quickly filled up, and didn't have enough room for Visual Studio (even though I wanted to install it on another partition). All of these programs install a lot of stuff on the system partition no matter what I select. While moving the paging file freed up some space it wasn't enough.

Then of course someone went and reread the Windows Server 2008 requirements and they said minimum 10 GB recommended 40 GB. So we decided to go for 64 GB. But expanding your system partition is not all that straightforward.

Here is how:

4:21 PM

If the virtual disk needs to be expanded you need to ensure that there are no snapshots and that it is shutdown. If there are snapshots you will need to delete them. This deletion will require a disk merge to take place and will take a while


Highlight the VM and click settings

Navigate to the Hard drive you wish to expand


Then click Edit. On the choose action screen select expand. (if this is a fixed disk then you will need to do a convert)


Enter the new size and click finish Then wait a while


Next configure the VM to boot from CD/DVD

Configure the DVD to use a windows server 2008 WinPE iso image

Which can be obtained from here by downloading



Before starting the VM realize that you only have a short window to tell it to boot from CD/DVD

So Connect to the VM before you turn it on


Within a few seconds it will prompt you to click any key to boot from cd or dvd

Then windows files will load if you are prompted to press ctrl alt delete then it didn't work shut down and try again

If you see this then you are successful. Wait another few seconds for the prompt to appear


Enter DiskPart by typing DiskPart at the command prompt


Select the disk you want (select disk 0) and confirm by typing detail disk

If you need help type list disk

Next select the right volume (select volume 1)



Then expand the volume by entering in how much larger to make it -- not the new size, but the difference between the current size and the new size


Then reboot by typing exit then hitting enter, twice (once to leave bootpart and then once to leave the WPE)

(If you want you can also change your boot order as this will eliminate a small delay in the boot process)

Then log on and confirm it is done



While I had fun uncovering the secrets of HyperV (thanks to Ian Henry for teaching me about WPE), the most valuable thing I did today was to play tee-ball and soccer with my eight year old daughter and my three sons.

The Experts Conference (TEC) -- the conference formerly known as DEC (Directory Experts Conference)

Well the results are in! A good number of Ensynchians have been selected to speak at The Experts Conference March 22-25, 2009 just outside of Las Vegas, NV. This will be my third time speaking at this event. They renamed it TEC because Gil Kirkpatrick and Company at Netpro have expanded the event to include a conference on Exchange Server. All three of these sessions were highlighted in the press release

Topic Speakers
Rescue Your Identity Metasystem from Chaos: Using ILM 2 and SQL 2008 Analysis and Reporting Services David Lundell and Brad Turner
Ride the Chaos through Proper Care & Feeding of Identity Metasystem Databases (ILM, CLM and RMS) David Lundell and Paul Divan

Taking the next step in Clustering Exchange - Geoclustering with Exchange 2007

Scott Robinson