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PowerShell | Modules

A PowerShell module is a package that contains PowerShell commands, such as cmdlets, functions, workflows, variables, and aliases. Modules are used to organize and distribute PowerShell code, making it easier to share and reuse across different scripts and environments. They help in managing and deploying complex scripts and functions by encapsulating them into a single, manageable unit.

Key Components of a PowerShell Module

  1. Cmdlets and Functions:

    • Cmdlets are specialized .NET classes that implement specific operations.

    • Functions are written in PowerShell script and can perform a wide range of tasks.

  2. Workflows:

    • These are sequences of automated steps or tasks, written in PowerShell, that can run in parallel or sequentially.

  3. Variables:

    • Modules can define variables that are used internally within the module.

  4. Aliases:

    • Shortened or alternative names for cmdlets and functions that make them easier to use or remember.

Types of PowerShell Modules

  1. Script Modules:

    • These are written in PowerShell script (.psm1) and can contain any PowerShell code, including functions, workflows, and variables.

  2. Binary Modules:

    • These are compiled .NET assemblies (.dll) that contain cmdlets written in a .NET language like C#.

  3. Manifest Modules:

    • These include a module manifest file (.psd1) that describes the contents and attributes of the module. The manifest can specify required modules, versioning, and other metadata.

Creating a PowerShell Module

Creating a PowerShell module typically involves the following steps:

  1. Write the PowerShell Code:

    • Create a PowerShell script (.psm1) containing the functions or cmdlets you want to include in your module.

  2. Create a Module Manifest:

    • Optionally, create a module manifest (.psd1) file using the New-ModuleManifest cmdlet to provide metadata about your module.

  3. Organize the Files:

    • Place the .psm1 file and the .psd1 file (if you created one) into a directory named after your module. For example, if your module is named "MyModule," the directory should be MyModule with the files MyModule.psm1 and MyModule.psd1 inside.

  4. Import the Module:

    • Use the Import-Module cmdlet to load your module into the PowerShell session.

Benefits of Using Modules

  1. Code Reusability:

    • Modules allow you to encapsulate and reuse PowerShell code across different projects and environments.

  2. Organization:

    • Modules help organize related functions and cmdlets into a single package, making it easier to manage large codebases.

  3. Distribution:

    • You can share modules with others or distribute them through repositories like the PowerShell Gallery.

  4. Versioning:

    • Modules support versioning, which allows you to manage different versions of your code and ensure compatibility.

By leveraging PowerShell modules, you can create modular, maintainable, and reusable code, enhancing your scripting capabilities and improving efficiency.

PowerShell Modules & Links:

  • VMware PowerCLI

    • Description: VMware PowerCLI is a powerful command-line tool that allows administrators to manage VMware vSphere and VMware infrastructure from the command line. It provides a set of cmdlets for automating tasks related to virtual machines, hosts, storage, networking, and more.

    • Helpful Links:

  • Active Directory Module

    • Description: The Active Directory module for Windows PowerShell enables administrators to manage Active Directory domains, users, groups, computers, and other objects. It provides cmdlets that simplify common administrative tasks within Active Directory environments.

    • Helpful Links:

  • NetApp Toolkit

    • Description: The NetApp PowerShell Toolkit allows administrators to manage NetApp storage systems using PowerShell. It provides cmdlets for tasks such as managing volumes, aggregates, snapshots, and configurations on NetApp storage appliances.

    • Helpful Links:

  • Exchange PowerShell

    • Description: Exchange PowerShell provides cmdlets for managing Microsoft Exchange Server environments. Administrators can use Exchange PowerShell to perform tasks such as mailbox management, recipient management, transport rules configuration, and more.

    • Helpful Links:

Active Directroy Module Cmdlets

PowerShell modules are like adding a plugin to your current PowerShell CMDLet library. Modules can be created in PowerShell and even shared among different people. Just be careful what you download or use from someone else to assure you know what the results will be. A perfect example would be a download of Vmware PowerCLI which is a module for VMware. With the PowerShell module installed on my machines and the module imported into PowerShell I can get information on the entire virtual environment and also manage the virtual environment.

Another module that I frequently use is the Active Directory Module to allow querying Active Directory for user and computer objects and obtaining information. I also can set attributes on these objects as well. I have even created a user creation tool to make sure that all users created have specific group membership and proper fields filled in.

  • Get-ADUser: Retrieves one or more Active Directory users.

  • Get-ADGroup: Retrieves one or more Active Directory groups.

  • Get-ADComputer: Retrieves one or more Active Directory computers.

  • New-ADUser: Creates a new Active Directory user account.

  • New-ADGroup: Creates a new Active Directory group.

  • New-ADOrganizationalUnit: Creates a new Active Directory organizational unit.

  • New-ADComputer: Creates a new Active Directory computer account.

  • Set-ADUser: Modifies an existing Active Directory user account.

  • Set-ADGroup: Modifies an existing Active Directory group.

  • Set-ADComputer: Modifies an existing Active Directory computer account.

  • Remove-ADUser: Removes an Active Directory user account.

  • Remove-ADGroup: Removes an Active Directory group.

  • Remove-ADOrganizationalUnit: Removes an Active Directory organizational unit.

  • Remove-ADComputer: Removes an Active Directory computer account.

  • Enable-ADAccount: Enables an Active Directory user, computer, or service account.

  • Disable-ADAccount: Disables an Active Directory user, computer, or service account.

  • Unlock-ADAccount: Unlocks an Active Directory user account.

  • Move-ADObject: Moves an Active Directory object to a new location.

  • Get-ADDomain: Retrieves properties of an Active Directory domain.

  • Get-ADForest: Retrieves properties of an Active Directory forest.

  • Get-ADOrganizationalUnit: Retrieves one or more Active Directory organizational units.

  • Get-ADDomainController: Retrieves one or more Active Directory domain controllers.

These cmdlets are used extensively for tasks such as user management, group management, organizational unit management, and general administration of Active Directory environments using PowerShell 3.5

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