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Using the Invoke-PolicyEvaluation cmdlet

Invoke-PolicyEvaluation is a SQL Server Command Shell for Windows PowerShell cmdlet that reports whether a target set of SQL Server objects complies with the conditions specified in one or more Policy-Based Management policies.

Invoke-PolicyEvaluation evaluates one or more policies against a set of SQL Server objects called the target set. The set of target objects comes from a target server. Each policy defines conditions, which are the allowed states for the target objects. For example, the Trustworthy Database policy states that the TRUSTWORTHY database property must be set to OFF.

The -AdHocPolicyEvaluationMode parameter specifies the actions taken:

Check

Report the compliance status of the target objects using the credentials of your current login. Do no reconfigure any objects. This is the default setting.

CheckSqlScriptAsProxy

Report the compliance status of the target objects using the credentials of the ##MS_PolicyTSQLExecutionLogin## proxy login. Do no reconfigure any objects.

Configure

Report the compliance status of the target objects using the credentials of your current login. Reconfigure any settable and deterministic options that are not in compliance with the policies.

How you specify a policy depends on where the policy is stored. Policies can be stored in two formats:

  • They can be objects stored in a policy store, such as an instance of the Database Engine. You can use the SQLSERVER:\SQLPolicy folder to specify the location of policies in a policy store. You can use Windows PowerShell cmdlets to filter the input polices based on their properties, such as using Where-Object to filter on the policy category or Get-Item to filter on policy name.

  • They can be exported as XML files. You can use a file system drive, such as D:, to specify the location of the XML files. You can use Windows PowerShell cmdlets such as Where-Object to filter the policies on their file properties, such as file name.

If the policies are stored in a policy store, you must pass in a set of PSObjects pointing to the policies to be evaluated. This is typically done by piping the output of a cmdlet such as Get-Item to Invoke-PolicyEvaluation, and does not require that you specify the -Policy parameter. For example, if you have imported the Microsoft Best Practices policies into your instance of the database engine, this command evaluates the Database Status policy:

sl "SQLSERVER:\SQLPolicy\MyComputer\DEFAULT\Policies"
Get-Item "Database Status" | Invoke-PolicyEvaluation -TargetServerName "MYCOMPUTER"
sl "SQLSERVER:\SQLPolicy\MyComputer\DEFAULT\Policies"
Get-Item "Database Status" | Invoke-PolicyEvaluation -TargetServerName "MYCOMPUTER"

This example shows using Where-Object to filter multiple policies from a policy store based on their PolicyCategory property. The objects from the piped output of Where-Object is consumed by Invoke-PolicyEvaluation.

sl "SQLSERVER:\SQLPolicy\MyComputer\DEFAULT\Policies"
cgi | Where-Object {$_.PolicyCategory -eq "Microsoft Best Practices: Maintenance"} | Invoke-PolicyEvaluation -TargetServer "MYCOMPUTER"
sl "SQLSERVER:\SQLPolicy\MyComputer\DEFAULT\Policies"
cgi | Where-Object {$_.PolicyCategory -eq "Microsoft Best Practices: Maintenance"} | Invoke-PolicyEvaluation -TargetServer "MYCOMPUTER"

If the policies are stored as XML files, you must use the -Policy parameter to supply both the path and name for each policy. If you do not specify a path in the -Policy parameter, Invoke-PolicyEvaulation uses the current setting of the sqlps path. For example, this command evaluates one of the Microsoft Best Practice policies installed with SQL Server against the default database for your login:

Invoke-PolicyEvaluation -Policy "C:\Program Files\Microsoft SQL Server\100\Tools\Policies\DatabaseEngine\1033\Database Status.xml" -TargetServerName "MYCOMPUTER"
Invoke-PolicyEvaluation -Policy "C:\Program Files\Microsoft SQL Server\100\Tools\Policies\DatabaseEngine\1033\Database Status.xml" -TargetServerName "MYCOMPUTER"

This command does the same thing, only it uses the current sqlps path to establish the location of the policy XML file:

sl "C:\Program Files\Microsoft SQL Server\100\Tools\Policies\DatabaseEngine\1033"
Invoke-PolicyEvaluation -Policy "Database Status.xml" -TargetServerName "MYCOMPUTER"
sl "C:\Program Files\Microsoft SQL Server\100\Tools\Policies\DatabaseEngine\1033"
Invoke-PolicyEvaluation -Policy "Database Status.xml" -TargetServerName "MYCOMPUTER"

This example shows using the Get-ChildItem cmdlet to retrieve multiple policy XML files and pipe the objects into Invoke-PolicyEvaluation:

sl "C:\Program Files\Microsoft SQL Server\100\Tools\Policies\DatabaseEngine\1033"
cgi "Database Status.xml", "Trustworthy Database.xml" | Invoke-PolicyEvaluation -TargetServer "MYCOMPUTER"
sl "C:\Program Files\Microsoft SQL Server\100\Tools\Policies\DatabaseEngine\1033"
cgi "Database Status.xml", "Trustworthy Database.xml" | Invoke-PolicyEvaluation -TargetServer "MYCOMPUTER"

Use three parameters to specify the set of target objects:

  • -TargetServerName specifies the instance of SQL Server containing the target objects. You can specify the information in a string that uses the format defined for the ConnectionString property of the SQLConnection class. You can use the SqlConnectionStringBuilder class to build a correctly formatted connection string. You can also create a SqlStoreConnection object and pass it to -TargetServer. If you supply a string that has only the name of the server, Invoke-PolicyEvaluation uses Windows Authentication to connect to the server.

  • -TargetObjects takes an object or array of objects that represent the SQL Server objects in the target set. For example, you could create an array of Database class objects to pass in to -TargetObjects.

  • -TargetExpressions takes a string containing a query expression that specifies the objects in the target set. The query expression is in the form of nodes separated by the '/' character. Each node is in the form ObjectType[Filter]. Object type is one of the objects in a SQL Server Management Object (SMO) object hierarchy. Filter is an expression that filters for objects at that node. For more information, see Query Expressions and Unique Resource Names.

Specify either -TargetObjects or -TargetExpression, not both.

This example uses an Sfc.SqlStoreConnection object to specify the target server:

sl "C:\Program Files\Microsoft SQL Server\100\Tools\Policies\DatabaseEngine\1033"
$conn = New-Object Microsoft.SqlServer.Management.Sdk.Sfc.SqlStoreConnection("server='MYCOMPUTER';Trusted_Connection=True")
Invoke-PolicyEvaluation -Policy "Database Status.xml" -TargetServerName $conn
sl "C:\Program Files\Microsoft SQL Server\100\Tools\Policies\DatabaseEngine\1033"
$conn = New-Object Microsoft.SqlServer.Management.Sdk.Sfc.SqlStoreConnection("server='MYCOMPUTER';Trusted_Connection=True")
Invoke-PolicyEvaluation -Policy "Database Status.xml" -TargetServerName $conn

This example uses -TargetExpression to identify the specific database to evaluate:

sl "C:\Program Files\Microsoft SQL Server\100\Tools\Policies\DatabaseEngine\1033"
Invoke-PolicyEvaluation -Policy "Database Status.xml" -TargetServerName "MyComputer" -TargetExpression "Server[@Name='MYCOMPUTER']/Database[@Name='AdventureWorks']"
sl "C:\Program Files\Microsoft SQL Server\100\Tools\Policies\DatabaseEngine\1033"
Invoke-PolicyEvaluation -Policy "Database Status.xml" -TargetServerName "MyComputer" -TargetExpression "Server[@Name='MYCOMPUTER']/Database[@Name='AdventureWorks']"

To evaluate policies against an instance of Analysis Services, you must load and register an assembly into sqlps., create a variable with an Analysis Services connection object, and pass the variable to the -TargetObject parameter. This example shows evaluating the Best Practices surface area configuration policy for Analysis Services:

sl "C:\Program Files\Microsoft SQL Server\100\Tools\Policies\AnalysisServices\1033"
[System.Reflection.Assembly]::LoadWithPartialName("Microsoft.AnalysisServices")
$SSASsvr = new-object Microsoft.AnalysisServices.Server
$SSASsvr.Connect("Data Source=Localhost")
Invoke-PolicyEvaluation -Policy "Surface Area Configuration for Analysis Services Features.xml" -TargetObject $SSASsvr
sl "C:\Program Files\Microsoft SQL Server\100\Tools\Policies\AnalysisServices\1033"
[System.Reflection.Assembly]::LoadWithPartialName("Microsoft.AnalysisServices")
$SSASsvr = new-object Microsoft.AnalysisServices.Server
$SSASsvr.Connect("Data Source=Localhost")
Invoke-PolicyEvaluation -Policy "Surface Area Configuration for Analysis Services Features.xml" -TargetObject $SSASsvr

To evaluate Reporting Services policies, you must load and register an assembly into sqlps., create a variable with a Reporting Services connection object, and pass the variable to the -TargetObject parameter. This example shows evaluating the Best Practices surface area configuration policy for Reporting Services:

sl "C:\Program Files\Microsoft SQL Server\100\Tools\Policies\ReportingServices\1033"
[System.Reflection.Assembly]::LoadWithPartialName("Microsoft.SqlServer.Dmf.Adapters")
$SSRSsvr = new-object Microsoft.SqlServer.Management.Adapters.RSContainer('MyComputer')
Invoke-PolicyEvaluation -Policy "Surface Area Configuration for Reporting Services 2008 Features.xml" -TargetObject $SSRSsvr
sl "C:\Program Files\Microsoft SQL Server\100\Tools\Policies\ReportingServices\1033"
[System.Reflection.Assembly]::LoadWithPartialName("Microsoft.SqlServer.Dmf.Adapters")
$SSRSsvr = new-object Microsoft.SqlServer.Management.Adapters.RSContainer('MyComputer')
Invoke-PolicyEvaluation -Policy "Surface Area Configuration for Reporting Services 2008 Features.xml" -TargetObject $SSRSsvr

By default, the output of Invoke-PolicyEvaluation is displayed in the command prompt window as a concise report in human-readable format. You can use the -OutputXML parameter to specify that the cmdlet instead produce a detailed report as an XML file. Invoke-PolicyEvaluation uses the Systems Modeling Language Interchange Format (SML-IF) schema so the file can be read by SML-IF readers.

sl "SQLSERVER:\SQLPolicy\MyComputer\DEFAULT\Policies"
Invoke-PolicyEvaluation -Policy "Datbase Status" -TargetServer "MYCOMPUTER" -OutputXML > C:\MyReports\DatabaseStatusReport.xml
sl "SQLSERVER:\SQLPolicy\MyComputer\DEFAULT\Policies"
Invoke-PolicyEvaluation -Policy "Datbase Status" -TargetServer "MYCOMPUTER" -OutputXML > C:\MyReports\DatabaseStatusReport.xml
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