PowerShell examples for group-based licensing in Azure AD

Full functionality for group-based licensing is available through the Azure portal, and currently PowerShell support is limited. However, there are some useful tasks that can be performed using the existing MSOnline PowerShell cmdlets. This document provides examples of what is possible.

Note

Before you begin running cmdlets, make sure you connect to your tenant first, by running the Connect-MsolService cmdlet.

Warning

This code is provided as an example for demonstration purposes. If you intend to use it in your environment, consider testing it first on a small scale, or in a separate test tenant. You may have to adjust the code to meet the specific needs of your environment.

View product licenses assigned to a group

The Get-MsolGroup cmdlet can be used to retrieve the group object and check the Licenses property: it lists all product licenses currently assigned to the group.

(Get-MsolGroup -ObjectId 99c4216a-56de-42c4-a4ac-e411cd8c7c41).Licenses
| Select SkuPartNumber

Output:

SkuPartNumber
-------------
ENTERPRISEPREMIUM
EMSPREMIUM

Note

The data is limited to product (SKU) information. It is not possible to list the service plans disabled in the license.

Get all groups with licenses

You can find all groups with any license assigned by running the following command:

Get-MsolGroup | Where {$_.Licenses}

More details can be displayed about what products are assigned:

Get-MsolGroup | Where {$_.Licenses} | Select `
    ObjectId, `
    DisplayName, `
    @{Name="Licenses";Expression={$_.Licenses | Select -ExpandProperty SkuPartNumber}}

Output:

ObjectId                             DisplayName              Licenses
--------                             -----------              --------
7023a314-6148-4d7b-b33f-6c775572879a EMS E5 – Licensed users  EMSPREMIUM
cf41f428-3b45-490b-b69f-a349c8a4c38e PowerBi - Licensed users POWER\_BI\_STANDARD
962f7189-59d9-4a29-983f-556ae56f19a5 O365 E3 - Licensed users ENTERPRISEPACK
c2652d63-9161-439b-b74e-fcd8228a7074 EMSandOffice             {ENTERPRISEPREMIUM,EMSPREMIUM}

Get statistics for groups with licenses

You can report basic statistics for groups with licenses. In the example below, the script lists the total user count, the count of users with licenses already assigned by the group, and the count of users for whom licenses could not be assigned by the group.

#get all groups with licenses
Get-MsolGroup -All | Where {$_.Licenses}  | Foreach {
    $groupId = $_.ObjectId;
    $groupName = $_.DisplayName;
    $groupLicenses = $_.Licenses | Select -ExpandProperty SkuPartNumber
    $totalCount = 0;
    $licenseAssignedCount = 0;
    $licenseErrorCount = 0;

    Get-MsolGroupMember -All -GroupObjectId $groupId |
    #get full info about each user in the group
    Get-MsolUser -ObjectId {$_.ObjectId} |
    Foreach {
        $user = $_;
        $totalCount++

        #check if any licenses are assigned via this group
        if($user.Licenses | ? {$_.GroupsAssigningLicense -ieq $groupId })
        {
            $licenseAssignedCount++
        }
        #check if user has any licenses that failed to be assigned from this group
        if ($user.IndirectLicenseErrors | ? {$_.ReferencedObjectId -ieq $groupId })
        {
            $licenseErrorCount++
        }     
    }

    #aggregate results for this group
    New-Object Object |
                    Add-Member -NotePropertyName GroupName -NotePropertyValue $groupName -PassThru |
                    Add-Member -NotePropertyName GroupId -NotePropertyValue $groupId -PassThru |
                    Add-Member -NotePropertyName GroupLicenses -NotePropertyValue $groupLicenses -PassThru |
                    Add-Member -NotePropertyName TotalUserCount -NotePropertyValue $totalCount -PassThru |
                    Add-Member -NotePropertyName LicensedUserCount -NotePropertyValue $licenseAssignedCount -PassThru |
                    Add-Member -NotePropertyName LicenseErrorCount -NotePropertyValue $licenseErrorCount -PassThru

    } | Format-Table

Output:

GroupName         GroupId                              GroupLicenses       TotalUserCount LicensedUserCount LicenseErrorCount
---------         -------                              -------------       -------------- ----------------- -----------------
Dynamics Licen... 9160c903-9f91-4597-8f79-22b6c47eafbf AAD_PREMIUM_P2                   0                 0                 0
O365 E5 - base... 055dcca3-fb75-4398-a1b8-f8c6f4c24e65 ENTERPRISEPREMIUM                2                 2                 0
O365 E5 - extr... 6b14a1fe-c3a9-4786-9ee4-3a2bb54dcb8e ENTERPRISEPREMIUM                3                 3                 0
EMS E5 - all s... 7023a314-6148-4d7b-b33f-6c775572879a EMSPREMIUM                       2                 2                 0
PowerBi - Lice... cf41f428-3b45-490b-b69f-a349c8a4c38e POWER_BI_STANDARD                2                 2                 0
O365 E3 - all ... 962f7189-59d9-4a29-983f-556ae56f19a5 ENTERPRISEPACK                   2                 2                 0
O365 E5 - EXO     102fb8f4-bbe7-462b-83ff-2145e7cdd6ed ENTERPRISEPREMIUM                1                 1                 0
Access to Offi... 11151866-5419-4d93-9141-0603bbf78b42 STANDARDPACK                     4                 3                 1

Get all groups with license errors

To find groups that contain some users for whom licenses could not be assigned:

Get-MsolGroup -HasLicenseErrorsOnly $true

Output:

ObjectId                             DisplayName             GroupType Description
--------                             -----------             --------- -----------
11151866-5419-4d93-9141-0603bbf78b42 Access to Office 365 E1 Security  Users who should have E1 licenses

Get all users with license errors in a group

Given a group that contains some license-related errors, you can now list all users affected by those errors. A user can have errors from other groups, too. However, in this example we limit results only to errors relevant to the group in question by checking the ReferencedObjectId property of each IndirectLicenseError entry on the user.

#a sample group with errors
$groupId = '11151866-5419-4d93-9141-0603bbf78b42'

#get all user members of the group
Get-MsolGroupMember -All -GroupObjectId $groupId |
    #get full information about user objects
    Get-MsolUser -ObjectId {$_.ObjectId} |
    #filter out users without license errors and users with licenense errors from other groups
    Where {$_.IndirectLicenseErrors -and $_.IndirectLicenseErrors.ReferencedObjectId -eq $groupId} |
    #display id, name and error detail. Note: we are filtering out license errors from other groups
    Select ObjectId, `
           DisplayName, `
           @{Name="LicenseError";Expression={$_.IndirectLicenseErrors | Where {$_.ReferencedObjectId -eq $groupId} | Select -ExpandProperty Error}}

Output:

ObjectId                             DisplayName      License Error
--------                             -----------      ------------
6d325baf-22b7-46fa-a2fc-a2500613ca15 Catherine Gibson MutuallyExclusiveViolation

Get all users with license errors in the entire tenant

The following script can be used to get all users who have license errors from one or more groups. The script prints one row per user, per license error, which allows you to clearly identify the source of each error.

Note

This script enumerates all users in the tenant, which might not be optimal for large tenants.

Get-MsolUser -All | Where {$_.IndirectLicenseErrors } | % {   
    $user = $_;
    $user.IndirectLicenseErrors | % {
            New-Object Object |
                Add-Member -NotePropertyName UserName -NotePropertyValue $user.DisplayName -PassThru |
                Add-Member -NotePropertyName UserId -NotePropertyValue $user.ObjectId -PassThru |
                Add-Member -NotePropertyName GroupId -NotePropertyValue $_.ReferencedObjectId -PassThru |
                Add-Member -NotePropertyName LicenseError -NotePropertyValue $_.Error -PassThru
        }
    }  

Output:

UserName         UserId                               GroupId                              LicenseError
--------         ------                               -------                              ------------
Anna Bergman     0d0fd16d-872d-4e87-b0fb-83c610db12bc 7946137d-b00d-4336-975e-b1b81b0666d0 MutuallyExclusiveViolation
Catherine Gibson 6d325baf-22b7-46fa-a2fc-a2500613ca15 f2503e79-0edc-4253-8bed-3e158366466b CountViolation
Catherine Gibson 6d325baf-22b7-46fa-a2fc-a2500613ca15 11151866-5419-4d93-9141-0603bbf78b42 MutuallyExclusiveViolation
Drew Fogarty     f2af28fc-db0b-4909-873d-ddd2ab1fd58c 1ebd5028-6092-41d0-9668-129a3c471332 MutuallyExclusiveViolation

Here is another version of the script that searches only through groups that contain license errors. It may be more optimized for scenarios where you expect to have few groups with problems.

$groupIds = Get-MsolGroup -HasLicenseErrorsOnly $true
    foreach ($groupId in $groupIds) {
    Get-MsolGroupMember -All -GroupObjectId $groupId.ObjectID |
        Get-MsolUser -ObjectId {$_.ObjectId} |
        Where {$_.IndirectLicenseErrors -and $_.IndirectLicenseErrors.ReferencedObjectId -eq $groupId.ObjectID} |
        Select DisplayName, `
               ObjectId, `
               @{Name="LicenseError";Expression={$_.IndirectLicenseErrors | Where {$_.ReferencedObjectId -eq $groupId.ObjectID} | Select -ExpandProperty Error}}

    } 

Check if user license is assigned directly or inherited from a group

For a user object, it is possible to check if a particular product license is assigned from a group or if it is assigned directly.

The two sample functions below can be used to analyze the type of assignment on an individual user:

#Returns TRUE if the user has the license assigned directly
function UserHasLicenseAssignedDirectly
{
    Param([Microsoft.Online.Administration.User]$user, [string]$skuId)

    foreach($license in $user.Licenses)
    {
        #we look for the specific license SKU in all licenses assigned to the user
        if ($license.AccountSkuId -ieq $skuId)
        {
            #GroupsAssigningLicense contains a collection of IDs of objects assigning the license
            #This could be a group object or a user object (contrary to what the name suggests)
            #If the collection is empty, this means the license is assigned directly - this is the case for users who have never been licensed via groups in the past
            if ($license.GroupsAssigningLicense.Count -eq 0)
            {
                return $true
            }

            #If the collection contains the ID of the user object, this means the license is assigned directly
            #Note: the license may also be assigned through one or more groups in addition to being assigned directly
            foreach ($assignmentSource in $license.GroupsAssigningLicense)
            {
                if ($assignmentSource -ieq $user.ObjectId)
                {
                    return $true
                }
            }
            return $false
        }
    }
    return $false
}
#Returns TRUE if the user is inheriting the license from a group
function UserHasLicenseAssignedFromGroup
{
    Param([Microsoft.Online.Administration.User]$user, [string]$skuId)

    foreach($license in $user.Licenses)
    {
        #we look for the specific license SKU in all licenses assigned to the user
        if ($license.AccountSkuId -ieq $skuId)
        {
            #GroupsAssigningLicense contains a collection of IDs of objects assigning the license
            #This could be a group object or a user object (contrary to what the name suggests)
            foreach ($assignmentSource in $license.GroupsAssigningLicense)
            {
                #If the collection contains at least one ID not matching the user ID this means that the license is inherited from a group.
                #Note: the license may also be assigned directly in addition to being inherited
                if ($assignmentSource -ine $user.ObjectId)
                {
                    return $true
                }
            }
            return $false
        }
    }
    return $false
}

This script executes those functions on each user in the tenant, using the SKU ID as input - in this example we are interested in the license for Enterprise Mobility + Security, which in our tenant is represented with ID contoso:EMS:

#the license SKU we are interested in. use Msol-GetAccountSku to see a list of all identifiers in your tenant
$skuId = "contoso:EMS"

#find all users that have the SKU license assigned
Get-MsolUser -All | where {$_.isLicensed -eq $true -and $_.Licenses.AccountSKUID -eq $skuId} | select `
    ObjectId, `
    @{Name="SkuId";Expression={$skuId}}, `
    @{Name="AssignedDirectly";Expression={(UserHasLicenseAssignedDirectly $_ $skuId)}}, `
    @{Name="AssignedFromGroup";Expression={(UserHasLicenseAssignedFromGroup $_ $skuId)}}

Output:

ObjectId                             SkuId       AssignedDirectly AssignedFromGroup
--------                             -----       ---------------- -----------------
157870f6-e050-4b3c-ad5e-0f0a377c8f4d contoso:EMS             True             False
1f3174e2-ee9d-49e9-b917-e8d84650f895 contoso:EMS            False              True
240622ac-b9b8-4d50-94e2-dad19a3bf4b5 contoso:EMS             True              True

Remove direct licenses for users with group licenses

The purpose of this script is to remove unnecessary direct licenses from users who already inherit the same license from a group; for example, as part of a transitioning to group-based licensing.

Note

It is important to first validate that the direct licenses to be removed do not enable more service functionality than the inherited licenses. Otherwise, removing the direct license may disable access to services and data for users. Currently it is not possible to check via PowerShell which services are enabled via inherited licenses vs direct. In the script, we specify the minimum level of services we know are being inherited from groups and check against that to make sure users do not unexpectedly lose access to services.

#BEGIN: Helper functions used by the script

#Returns TRUE if the user has the license assigned directly
function UserHasLicenseAssignedDirectly
{
    Param([Microsoft.Online.Administration.User]$user, [string]$skuId)

    $license = GetUserLicense $user $skuId

    if ($license -ne $null)
    {
        #GroupsAssigningLicense contains a collection of IDs of objects assigning the license
        #This could be a group object or a user object (contrary to what the name suggests)
        #If the collection is empty, this means the license is assigned directly - this is the case for users who have never been licensed via groups in the past
        if ($license.GroupsAssigningLicense.Count -eq 0)
        {
            return $true
        }

        #If the collection contains the ID of the user object, this means the license is assigned directly
        #Note: the license may also be assigned through one or more groups in addition to being assigned directly
        foreach ($assignmentSource in $license.GroupsAssigningLicense)
        {
            if ($assignmentSource -ieq $user.ObjectId)
            {
                return $true
            }
        }
        return $false
    }
    return $false
}
#Returns TRUE if the user is inheriting the license from a specific group
function UserHasLicenseAssignedFromThisGroup
{
    Param([Microsoft.Online.Administration.User]$user, [string]$skuId, [Guid]$groupId)

    $license = GetUserLicense $user $skuId

    if ($license -ne $null)
    {
        #GroupsAssigningLicense contains a collection of IDs of objects assigning the license
        #This could be a group object or a user object (contrary to what the name suggests)
        foreach ($assignmentSource in $license.GroupsAssigningLicense)
        {
            #If the collection contains at least one ID not matching the user ID this means that the license is inherited from a group.
            #Note: the license may also be assigned directly in addition to being inherited
            if ($assignmentSource -ieq $groupId)
            {
                return $true
            }
        }
        return $false
    }
    return $false
}

#Returns the license object corresponding to the skuId. Returns NULL if not found
function GetUserLicense
{
    Param([Microsoft.Online.Administration.User]$user, [string]$skuId, [Guid]$groupId)
    #we look for the specific license SKU in all licenses assigned to the user
    foreach($license in $user.Licenses)
    {
        if ($license.AccountSkuId -ieq $skuId)
        {
            return $license
        }
    }
    return $null
}

#produces a list of disabled service plan names for a set of plans we want to leave enabled
function GetDisabledPlansForSKU
{
    Param([string]$skuId, [string[]]$enabledPlans)

    $allPlans = Get-MsolAccountSku | where {$_.AccountSkuId -ieq $skuId} | Select -ExpandProperty ServiceStatus | Where {$_.ProvisioningStatus -ine "PendingActivation" -and $_.ServicePlan.TargetClass -ieq "User"} | Select -ExpandProperty ServicePlan | Select -ExpandProperty ServiceName
    $disabledPlans = $allPlans | Where {$enabledPlans -inotcontains $_}

    return $disabledPlans
}

function GetUnexpectedEnabledPlansForUser
{
    Param([Microsoft.Online.Administration.User]$user, [string]$skuId, [string[]]$expectedDisabledPlans)

    $license = GetUserLicense $user $skuId

    $extraPlans = @();

    if($license -ne $null)
    {
        $userDisabledPlans = $license.ServiceStatus | where {$_.ProvisioningStatus -ieq "Disabled"} | Select -ExpandProperty ServicePlan | Select -ExpandProperty ServiceName

        $extraPlans = $expectedDisabledPlans | where {$userDisabledPlans -notcontains $_}
    }
    return $extraPlans
}
#END: helper functions

#BEGIN: executing the script
#the group to be processed
$groupId = "48ca647b-7e4d-41e5-aa66-40cab1e19101"

#license to be removed - Office 365 E3
$skuId = "contoso:ENTERPRISEPACK"

#minimum set of service plans we know are inherited from groups - we want to make sure that there aren't any users who have more services enabled
#which could mean that they may lose access after we remove direct licenses
$servicePlansFromGroups = ("EXCHANGE_S_ENTERPRISE", "SHAREPOINTENTERPRISE", "OFFICESUBSCRIPTION")

$expectedDisabledPlans = GetDisabledPlansForSKU $skuId $servicePlansFromGroups

#process all members in the group
Get-MsolGroupMember -All -GroupObjectId $groupId |
    #get full info about each user in the group
    Get-MsolUser -ObjectId {$_.ObjectId} |
    Foreach {
        $user = $_;
        $operationResult = "";

        #check if Direct license exists on the user
        if (UserHasLicenseAssignedDirectly $user $skuId)
        {
            #check if the license is assigned from this group, as expected
            if (UserHasLicenseAssignedFromThisGroup $user $skuId $groupId)
            {
                #check if there are any extra plans we didn't expect - we are being extra careful not to remove unexpected services
                $extraPlans = GetUnexpectedEnabledPlansForUser $user $skuId $expectedDisabledPlans
                if ($extraPlans.Count -gt 0)
                {
                    $operationResult = "User has extra plans that may be lost - license removal was skipped. Extra plans: $extraPlans"
                }
                else
                {
                    #remove the direct license from user
                    Set-MsolUserLicense -ObjectId $user.ObjectId -RemoveLicenses $skuId
                    $operationResult = "Removed direct license from user."   
                }

            }
            else
            {
                $operationResult = "User does not inherit this license from this group. License removal was skipped."
            }
        }
        else
        {
            $operationResult = "User has no direct license to remove. Skipping."
        }

        #format output
        New-Object Object |
                    Add-Member -NotePropertyName UserId -NotePropertyValue $user.ObjectId -PassThru |
                    Add-Member -NotePropertyName OperationResult -NotePropertyValue $operationResult -PassThru
    } | Format-Table
#END: executing the script

Output:

UserId                               OperationResult                                                                                
------                               ---------------                                                                                
7c7f860f-700a-462a-826c-f50633931362 Removed direct license from user.                                                              
0ddacdd5-0364-477d-9e4b-07eb6cdbc8ea User has extra plans that may be lost - license removal was skipped. Extra plans: SHAREPOINTWAC
aadbe4da-c4b5-4d84-800a-9400f31d7371 User has no direct license to remove. Skipping.                                                

Next steps

To learn more about the feature set for license management through groups, see the following articles: