Advanced Windows PowerShell Scripting Video Training

Advanced Windows PowerShell Scripting Video Training
Advanced Windows PowerShell Scripting Video Training

Monday, May 6, 2013

Getting Rid of the Back Ticks

For those of you who have been utilizing my blog posts over these past several years, you may have noticed that I generally rely on the back tick to prevent my code from horizontally extending outside of the screen and to provide order to cmdlets with a lot of parameters.  The back tick consists of only 3 pixels.  Here it is: `  Did you miss it?  So, if the back tick is bad, how to do you prevent horizontal scrolling? 

The back tick does allow for some very orderly presentation of code.  Take a look at this simple example:

$Obj = New-Object -TypeName PSObject

$Obj | Add-Member -MemberType NoteProperty `

        -Name "Prop1" `

        -Value "PowerShell Rocks"



This code simply makes an object with one property.  Notice that in using the Add-Member cmdlet, I separated three different parameters using the back tick.  The problem, it may not be easy to see.  Here is an alternative using splatting.

$Prop1 = @{

    MemberType = "NoteProperty"


    Value = "PowerShell Rocks"}


$Obj = New-Object -TypeName PSObject

$Obj | Add-Member @Prop1



In this example, we created a hash table utilizing the name of the parameter as the key, and what we want to set it to as the value.  This method still allows for an orderly presentation of the cmdlets parameters.  It also has another advantage.  If you need to create another object with the same property, you can just reuse the splat. Here is some code to create a new Fine Grain Password Policy written without using back ticks.

New-ADFineGrainedPasswordPolicy -Name "Group1PSO" -Precedence 10 -ComplexityEnabled $True -Description "PSO for Group 1" -DisplayName "Group1PSO" -LockoutDuration "0.12:00:00" -LockoutObservationWindow "0.00:15:00" -LockoutThreshold 3 -MaxPasswordAge "10.00:00:00" -MinPasswordAge "1.00:00:00" -MinPasswordLength 8 -PasswordHistoryCount 10 -ReversibleEncryptionEnabled $False


This is not very easy to read.  It is essentially noise.  And now with the back ticks:


New-ADFineGrainedPasswordPolicy -Name "Group1PSO" `

 -Precedence 10 `

 -ComplexityEnabled $True `

 -Description "PSO for Group 1" `

 -DisplayName "Group1PSO" `

 -LockoutDuration "0.12:00:00" `

 -LockoutObservationWindow "0.00:15:00" `

 -LockoutThreshold 3 `

 -MaxPasswordAge "10.00:00:00" `

 -MinPasswordAge "1.00:00:00" `

 -MinPasswordLength 8 `

 -PasswordHistoryCount 10 `

 -ReversibleEncryptionEnabled $False


Much better and very organized.  It is easy to both see which parameters are being used and their values. And now utilizing splatting:

  $Params = @{

    Name = "Group1PSO"

    Precedence = 10

    ComplexityEnabled = $True

    Description = "PSO for Group 1"

    DisplayName = "Group1PSO"

    LockoutDuration = "0.12:00:00"

    LockoutObservationWindow = "0.00:15:00"

    LockoutThreshold = 3

    MaxPasswordAge = "10.00:00:00"

    MinPasswordAge = "1.00:00:00"

    MinPasswordLength = 8

    PasswordHistoryCount = 10

    ReversibleEncryptionEnabled = $False}


 New-ADFineGrainedPasswordPolicy @Params


Yes, there is a little bit more code.  The advantage is that you do not have to worry about if the recipient of this code will notice a back tick or not.  In my past PowerShell V2 classes, I had to spend some time with the ISE magnification on high to demonstrate the back tick being used as the escape character.  This included line continuation.  Moving forward with the V3 classes, I will be focusing on splatting as my means of line continuation when parameters are involved.

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