Connect to SharePoint Online CSOM through ADFS with PowerShell

To manage a SharePoint Online environment I find the CSOM (Client Side Object Model) for SharePoint very usefull. Untill now we used a separate account for this. The UPN of this account was in this form: [account name]@[tenant name].onmicrosoft.com. This was very practical as it even allows access when ADFS is down.

Being one of the admins of the Office 365 enviroment I was able to create such an account. However there may be plenty of situations when one would like to query a site or site collection, but cannot use CSOM because of ADFS authentication. For the latter I found a solution which I will share here.

First of all lets look the answer given to this question by “Brite Shiny” (who also asked the question). This lists the prerequisites needed to authenticate through ADFS.

Summarized these are needed:

  1. Uninstalled the SharePoint Online Management Shell – I found this was not necessary in my case. However, it may be necessary in other cases.
  2. Installed the latest SharePoint Online Client Components SDK (http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/details.aspx?id=42038). As “Brite Shiny” explains note the “Online” part, as it is different from the SharePoint 2013 Client Components SDK
  3. Ensured that the Microsoft.SharePoint.Client and Microsoft.SharePoint.Client.Runtime dlls in the program loaded from the 16 version in the Web Server Extensions folder

Besides this you also need at least PowerShell 3.0 (otherwise you can’t use the needed dlls).

PowerShell 3.0 can be downloaded as part of Windows Management Framework 3.0.

For the script I give credit to Michael Blumenthal. On his (old) blog he posted this post to which I made some minor adjustments.

Short and sweet, here is the script:

As you may notice, I specify the full path to each of the dll’s so I am sure that the correct version is loaded.

As you may imagine, in stead of just getting the Title property of all lists there is so much more that can be done. However I leave this to each to decide for their own how far they want to go to script against SharePoint Online.