Advanced Windows PowerShell Scripting Video Training

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

Thursday, December 22, 2016

Using Here-Strings to help search United Airlines for Flight Dates

As many of you know, I am fortunate to teach Windows PowerShell, Server, and Client all over the world.  One thing that I do not do very often is use my air miles.  This is has been a very deliberate action because I wanted to make sure that when my wife decides to fly to Europe with me, she will do so in style. 

Well, the time has come.  I’m heading over to Europe to speak at the PowerShell Conference in a few months and my wife and I are going to spend some time together hunting down what we hope will be distant relatives and doing a little sightseeing.  So, I’m burning the air miles to fly family to my home to house sit and for us to fly over the pond in United Polaris Class.  My wife does not like long flights so I am determine to spend the air miles wisely to make sure she is as comfortable as possible.  I’ve made the flight many times in coach, but I would be a bad husband if I did not splurge a bit on my wife. Below is the difference.


What I usually fly…. Economy.

Our schedule is extremely flexible so I’m searching all of the airports in central Europe for days when United puts a premium cabin “on sale”, so to speak, for award mile use.  To help make this daily ritual less time consuming, and to give me a good lesson to share on Here-Strings with my class, I came up with the code below.

A few things first.  If you have a United Mileage Plus account, open your default web browser and log in.  Leave the browser open when you execute the code. Otherwise the queries will not be executed with your account.

You will also need to manually search for award travel to each destination.  You will need to replace my URL strings with yours for each search that you make.

Finally, you will need to replace the date component of the URL with $FlightDate.  Look for a date with a format of YYYY-MM-DD in the URL from United.  It is easy to find.

Once done, just save the code and press F5 to put it in memory. (You will need to change the default values of the parameters to meet your desired travel date. I marked the 3 places in the param block of the code.)

Type Search-United and press Enter.  All of your queries will run at the same time.  Remember to start this process 6 months in advance if possible.  This will help you find more award mile saving dates.

Function Search-United
Param (
    $Month = <#Replace with your default Month#>,
    $Day = <#Replace with your default Day#>,
    $Year = <#Replace with your default Year#>

#Create a DateTime object based on the flight date.
[DateTime]$Date = "$Month-$Day-$Year"

# Convert that DateTime object into the format the United website requires.
$FlightDate = $Date.GetDateTimeFormats().split("`n")[5]

# Here-String to list all destinations to check.
$SearchList = @"$FlightDate&tt=1&at=1&sc=7&px=2&taxng=1&idx=1$FlightDate&tt=1&at=1&sc=7&px=2&taxng=1&idx=1$FlightDate&tt=1&at=1&sc=7&px=2&taxng=1&idx=1$FlightDate&tt=1&at=1&sc=7&px=2&taxng=1&idx=1$FlightDate&tt=1&at=1&sc=7&px=2&taxng=1&idx=1$FlightDate&tt=1&at=1&sc=7&px=2&taxng=1&idx=1$FlightDate&tt=1&at=1&sc=7&px=2&taxng=1$FlightDate&tt=1&at=1&sc=7&px=2&taxng=1&idx=1$FlightDate&tt=1&at=1&sc=7&px=2&taxng=1&idx=1$FlightDate&tt=1&at=1&sc=7&px=2&taxng=1&idx=1$FlightDate&tt=1&at=1&sc=7&px=2&taxng=1&idx=1

# Open a web page for each destination.
$SearchList.Split("`n") | ForEach-Object {Start-Process -FilePath $_}

Allows you to search multiple destinations at United Airlines.

Allows you to search multiple destinations at United Airlines.

First you must open your default web browser and log into your United Mileage
Plus account.  Mileage Plus members receive better access to award miles
savings so you should see more options.

You must manually search each destination and make sure to select
"Award Travel" on the website.

Copy the web address into the Here-String above. Replace the date in
the string with $FlightDate.  The string to replace will bi in the
format YYYY-MM-DD.

Run this code when you want to check for award travel.

The numeric value of the month to travel.

The numeric value of the day to travel.

The numeric value of the year to travel.


Opens the United website and looks for award travel on the default dates.

Search-United -Month 6 -Day 15 -Year 2017

Opens the United website and looks for award travel June 15, 2017.

== Cmdlet: Search-United                                                     ==
== Author: Jason A. Yoder                                                    ==
== Company: MCTExpert of Arizona                                             ==
== Date: December 21, 2017                                                   ==
== Copyright: All rights reserved.                                           ==
== Version:                                                          ==
== Legal: The user assumes all responsibility and liability for the usage of ==
== this PowerShell code.  MCTExpert of Arizona, Its officers, shareholders,  ==
== owners, and their relatives are not liable for any damages.  As with all  ==
== code, review it and understand it prior to usage.  It is recommended that ==
== this code be fully tested and validated in a test environment prior to    ==
== usage in a production environment.                                        ==
==                                                                           ==
== Does this code make changes: NO                                           ==


Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Exchange Online Error: You must provide a required property: Parameter name: UsageLocation

I’m continuing my efforts to update MOC 20697-2 this morning.  I’ve decided to add additional information on Office365.  Microsoft removed over 2000 SaaS products from Azure in October of 2016.  This resulted in 2 lessons of this class now being void.  While adding in content for Exchange Online, I discovered an error.

Set-MsolUserLicense : You must provide a required property: Parameter name: UsageLocation
At line:1 char:1
+ Set-MsolUserLicense -UserPrincipalName "KFrog@Adatum2008JY.onmicrosof ...
+ ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    + CategoryInfo          : OperationStopped: (:) [Set-MsolUserLicense], MicrosoftOnlineException
    + FullyQualifiedErrorId : Microsoft.Online.Administration.Automation.RequiredPropertyNotSetException,Microsoft.Online.Administration.Automation.SetUserLicense

This error played with me for a while.  It is telling me that I am missing a property and its’ parameter name is UsageLocation.  I went to the help file for Set-MsolUserLocation, but that parameter is not part of the cmdlet.  What I discovered is that the user’s Azure AD object has a property called UsageLocation and that it was NULL.  I utilized the Set-MsolUser cmdlet with its –UsageLocation parameter and set the value to “US”.

Now this works:

$License = (Get-MsolAccountSku | Where AccountSkuId -like "*ENTERPR*").AccountSkuId

Set-MsolUserLicense -UserPrincipalName "" -AddLicenses $License

Monday, December 12, 2016

Removing and Unwanted PowerShell Module

This evening I’m enjoying my warm hotel room. I’m in Saskatoon, Canada in winter teaching PowerShell so no sight seeing this trip. On the plus side, I’m prepping to teach MOC 20697-2B next week from the comfort of my office in Phoneix.  Naturally, I’m looking over my PowerShell code for the class and making sure there have not been any surprise changes with Azure or my cmdlets from the PSGallery.

I’ve noticed that the module for OneDrive has a version change.  The problem  is, I already installed the new one.

PS C:\> Get-Module -Name OneDrive -ListAvailable

    Directory: C:\Program Files\WindowsPowerShell\Modules

ModuleType Version    Name          ExportedCommands                                                   ---------- -------    ----          ----------------                                                               
Script     1.0.3      OneDrive      {Get-ODAuthentication, Get-ODWebContent, Get-ODDrives... 

Script     0.9.2      OneDrive      {Get-ODAuthentication, Get-ODWebContent, Get-ODDrives...

Fortunately, Uninstall-Module has a parameter called –RequiredVersion.  Just provide it with the version number of the module that you want to remove to prevent you from accidentally removing the newer version.

PS C:\> Uninstall-Module -Name OneDrive -RequiredVersion 0.9.2 -Verbose
VERBOSE: Performing the operation "Uninstall-Module" on target "Version '0.9.2' of module 'OneDrive'".
VERBOSE: Successfully uninstalled the module 'OneDrive' from module base 'C:\Program Files\WindowsPowerShell\Modules\OneDrive\0.9.2'.

Now only one version remains.

PS C:\> Get-Module -Name OneDrive -ListAvailable

    Directory: C:\Program Files\WindowsPowerShell\Modules

ModuleType Version    Name                                ExportedCommands                                                               
---------- -------    ----                                ----------------                                                               
Script     1.0.3      OneDrive                            {Get-ODAuthentication, Get-ODWebContent, Get-ODDrives, Format-ODPathorIDStrin...

Friday, December 9, 2016

Auto Populating a Parameters’ Value from a Dynamic List

First off, I want to give a shout out to Author: Martin Schvartzman and his blog posting

A question that I often get when teaching parameter validation is "can you load the values of a parameter dynamically?" Up until now, my answer was no.  Time to change that.  After getting that question again, I did some more research and found Martin’s article.  Simply adjusting 1 line of the code from his blog posting allowed me to load the SamAccountNames of all users in the domain as the valid, and TAB complete capable, values of a parameter.  Below is that code:

# Author: Martin Schvartzman
# Minor modifications: Jason Yoder

function Test-DynamicValidateSet {
        # Any other parameters can go here

    DynamicParam {
            # Set the dynamic parameters' name
            $ParameterName = 'User'
            # Create the dictionary
            $RuntimeParameterDictionary = New-Object System.Management.Automation.RuntimeDefinedParameterDictionary

            # Create the collection of attributes
            $AttributeCollection = New-Object System.Collections.ObjectModel.Collection[System.Attribute]
            # Create and set the parameters' attributes
            $ParameterAttribute = New-Object System.Management.Automation.ParameterAttribute
            $ParameterAttribute.Mandatory = $true
            $ParameterAttribute.Position = 1

            # Add the attributes to the attributes collection

            # Generate and set the ValidateSet.
            # Change the next line to produce what you want to auto populate for the parameter.
            # Make sure it is DataType String.
            $arrSet = Get-ADUser -Filter * | Select-Object -ExpandProperty SamAccountName
            $ValidateSetAttribute = New-Object System.Management.Automation.ValidateSetAttribute($arrSet)

            # Add the ValidateSet to the attributes collection

            # Create and return the dynamic parameter
            $RuntimeParameter = New-Object System.Management.Automation.RuntimeDefinedParameter($ParameterName, [string], $AttributeCollection)
            $RuntimeParameterDictionary.Add($ParameterName, $RuntimeParameter)
            return $RuntimeParameterDictionary

    begin {
        # Bind the parameter to a friendly variable
        $User = $PsBoundParameters[$ParameterName]

    process {
        # Your code goes here
        Get-ADUser -Identity $USer


Thursday, December 8, 2016

Dealing with Property Names that Start with #

Tonight I’m doing my class maintenance on Microsoft Official Course 20697-2B Deploying and Managing Windows 10 Using Enterprise Services. For those of you who have taken my classes, you know I provide a OneDrive full of goodies to each class.  Right now I’m playing around with Chapter 3 and the migration of user data.  While working with size estimates for the migration store, I decided to import the XML file the ScanState.exe /p produces.

PS USMT:> $StorageInfo.Premigration.storeSize.Size | Get-Member –MemberType Properties

   TypeName: System.Xml.XmlElement

Name        MemberType Definition
----        ---------- ----------
#text       Property   string #text {get;set;}
clusterSize Property   string clusterSize {get;set;}

So, do you see the problem?  Take a look at the property called #text.  In PowerShell, the # symbol is the start of an inline comment.  That means that anything typed after it will not be processed.  That kind of makes calling this property a bit of a problem.  We can fix it.

If you do not code this correctly, PowerShell will interpret the # and everything after it as a comment.  The green font in the code demonstrates this.

$StorageInfo.PreMigration.StoreSize.Size |
    Select-Object -Property CluserSize,
           N = "SizeMB"
           E = {($_.#Text / 1MB).ToString('#.##') -as [Single]}

To fix this problem, encapsulate our problematic property name inside of double quotes.

$StorageInfo.PreMigration.StoreSize.Size |
    Select-Object -Property CluserSize,
           N = "SizeMB"
           E = {($_."#Text" / 1MB).ToString('#.##') -as [Single]}

Now you will be able to call the property and use it.

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Using Events with SAPIEN PowerShell Studio

This is the last posting that I am doing on these series focusing on objects.  So far we have describe how properties describe an object.  We looked at how methods take actions against an object.  We also looked at how to subscribe to an objects events.  An event is triggered when something happens to an object.

Today we are going to create a very basic graphic interface using SAPIEN PowerShell Studio and demonstrate how to register and event and execute code when the event is triggered.

You can get a trial version from here ( .  Just click on the Try It link on the right.  This trial version is limit to just 5 graphical objects.  We will only be using one for simplicity.  Install and then launch the software.

Once you open SAPIEN PowerShell Studio, click File à New à New Form.

In the popup window, select Empty Form and then click Select.

From the Toolbox, drag and drop the Button object onto your form.

Now right click the button.  You can select the default event, which is a click, or Add Events to add any valid event for this object.  Select Edit Default Event (Click). This registers the event and takes us to the scripting window where we can add our code to execute when the click event is triggered.

Let’s just add the code to change the form’s background color to keep this simple.

Above is all the code that should be present.  Line 9 is the only code that we added.  There is a lot more code, but that you are not seeing.  PowerShell Studio write the code to build the form that you are using in the background so you did not have to do it yourself.  Go ahead and run your code.  You will be required to save it before running. Click the button and watch the button click event execute.