CHunky Universe of Vigourous Astonishing SHarepoint :)

Category Archives: PowerShell

My PowerShell Profile

Screen Shot 2016-06-13 at 20.52.26

It has been a while I last worked with PowerShell. I had my custom profile where I had my own prompt and some other customizations. Now I cannot find it anymore. I’ll start with the new one and I am saving it on my blog, so it will be easier to find in future:

Function Prompt {
    $PromptData="PS $($executionContext.SessionState.Path.CurrentLocation)$('>' * ($nestedPromptLevel + 1)) "
    # .Link#
    # .ExternalHelp System.Management.Automation.dll-help.xml

The prompt function comes from the scripting guy blog.

To customize your profile, just open it in a text editor (in my case: code)

code $profile


Export SharePoint List Data To Xml through PowerShell

Today my colleague Johannes Milling wrote an awesome post:

Export SharePoint List Data To XML Directly from the GUI

He uses the old and forgotten RPC-based web service owssvr.dll (that has existed since SharePoint 2003). This url pattern is used to get the xml-formatted list data for a specific ListView:

http://<site_url>/_vti_bin/owssvr.dll?Cmd=Display&List=<list guid>&View=<view guid>&Query=*&XMLDATA=TRUE

To automate this I have written a PowerShell function. All the details are in the comments:

function Export-OIPSPListDataAsXml {
   Exports list items as xml
   This function uses a built-in hidden service owssvr.dll in SharePoint
   SPWeb or a url for the SPWeb object where the list resides
   List Name (List Title)
   Name of the List View to export the data
   Export-OIPSPListView -Web http://myawesomesite -ListName "Teddy Bears" -ViewName "All Items"
   Export-OIPSPListView -Web $webInstance -ListName "Top Links" -ViewName "All Items"
    Name: Export-OIPSPListDataAsXml
    Author: Anatoly Mironov
    Last Edit: 2014-09-11
    Keywords: SPList, SPWeb, SPListView, Xml

    $spWeb = $Web.Read()
    $list = $spWeb.Lists[$ListName]
    if (!$list) { throw "List $ListName on web $($spWeb.Url) could not be found" }
    $view = $list.Views[$ViewName]
    if (!$view) { throw "View $ViewName on web $ListName could not be found" }
    $url = "{0}/_vti_bin/owssvr.dll?Cmd=Display&List={1}&View={2}&Query=*&XMLDATA=TRUE" `
            -f $spWeb.Url, $list.ID, $view.ID
    $wc = New-Object Net.WebClient
    $wc.UseDefaultCredentials = $true

Showing Birthdays and Job Anniversaries in the Newsfeed


In our project we have a requirement to show birthdays and job anniversaries in the Newsfeed. The solution is simple (when you know it) but there has not been any information about it online, until today. I want to share a few lines of PowerShell code to enable Anniversary notifications in the Newsfeed. This desired piece of code was written by my colleague Emma Degerman. Enjoy:

$job = Get-SPTimerJob | ? { $_.TypeName -like "*.UserProfileChangeJob" }
$job.GenerateAnniversaries = $true
$job.Schedule = [Microsoft.SharePoint.SPSchedule]::FromString("hourly between 55 and 55")

The code retrieves the Timer Job that changes User Profiles, sets “GenerateAnniversaries” to true, then it updates the schedule to run it before the Activity Feed Timer Job and updates it. By the way, it is only applicable for SharePoint On Premises.

This is it, a quick tip for a great Intranet.

Load git into PowerShell

Just a little productivity tip. If you use git on Windows, you probably already have the Github for Windows application. This application adds the Git Shell:


The Git Shell will open a PowerShell window and execute shell.ps1 from the Github directory:


What it won’t do is to load your personal PowerShell profile. I want to use my PowerShell profile that creates some links and adjust the look-and-feel and the promt of the shell. By the way I have published my profile.ps1 as a gist:

I also want to have git in PowerShell available directly. The answer is in the shell.ps1 in the Github folder:


So add this line to your profile.ps1 as I did:

. (Resolve-Path "$env:LOCALAPPDATA\GitHub\shell.ps1")

That’s it. If you haven’t seen the “DOT” in PowerShell scripts, it is called dot sourcing, it will execute the script and keep all the variables and references within the script.

An alternative

If you do not have Github for Windows, there is another way to load git functionality into PowerShell:

A presentation about PowerShell and SharePoint

Yesterday I had a little presentation about PowerShell basics in the SharePoint context. Here you can see the presentation I’ve published on slideshare. The text is in Swedish.

A PowerShell one liner

PowerShell is powerful. You can write concise, well formulated, functional-style code. Recently I got the following quiz:

You’ve got $100. You have to buy exactly 100 animal, at least 1 dog, 1 cat and 1 mouse. 1 dog costs $15, 1 cat costs $1, 1 mouse costs $0.25.

There can be  many ways to solve it. But look at this one line solution. It is quite impressive what you can do with PowerShell

1..98 | % {
    $dog = $_
    1..98 | % {
      $cat = $_
        "Dog" = $dog
        "Cat" = $cat
        "Mouse" = 100 - $dog -$cat
  } | ? {
      $_.Mouse -gt 0
  } | ? { $_.Dog * 15 + $_.Cat * 1 + $_.Mouse * 0.25 -eq 100 }

This solution uses ranges, dynamic objects (PSObject), nested for loops, implicit returns and advanced filtering. All that is is out-of-the-box PowerShell.

Debugging “What’s happening” in Communities

Recently an issue was reported about count mismatches in SharePoint 2013 Communities. The number of replies in category tiles sometimes is different compared to the community stats in the web part called “What’s happening”. The actual number of replies is 1 in the figure below. The user who has reported has tried to add, update and delete discussions and replies.


category-replies-count.png   comm-002

I have invested some time debugging this issue. It would be pity to not share my findings. Well the first thing to do was to determine the type name for the “What’s happening” web part. To do so just edit the  page and export the web part. In the exported .webpart file I saw that the type was Microsoft.SharePoint.Portal.WebControls.DashboardWebPart.

With that knowledge it is time to open ILSpy, an awesome and free(!) assembly browser and decompiler. Load the “Microsoft.SharePoint.Portal” assembly from GAC into ILSpy. Then use F3 to search for DashboardWebPart:


The number of replies is retrieved from SPWeb.AllProperties:


If the Property Bag does not contain it, it gets the number of replies from the list. The formula is as follows:

list.ItemCount - list.RootFolder.ItemCount

It means that it gets the number of both discussions and replies: ItemCount of Discusssions List. The number of Discussions is determined by the ItemCount in the RootFolder of the Discussions List. Discussions are List Items in the RootFolder (num2 in the figure below). Replies are saved in the subfolders, every discussion gets an own folder. The number of all replies are num3 in the figure below.


After checking the web properties I could see that the number of replies there were wrong: 2.

The next step was to determine where and when the Web Properties are updated. The first guess every SharePoint Developer has in such cases is an EventReceiver. Here are all EventReceivers connected to the Discussions List:

$list.EventReceivers | select class, Type, Synchronization | Out-GridView


Allright, CommunityEventReceiver then:


Found where the actual update happens: CommunityUtils.UpdateWebIndexedPropertyBag


The method is used in DiscussionListCommunityEventHandler.HandleEvent


There is a flag, flag5 that is used to determine if the Web Properties should be updated:


But the flag5 is not true on Delete operations in some code flows:



That’s it. So deleting a reply will not have any effect on “What’s happening”. But adding a new discussion will also update the stats:


To summarize the debug session, there is an issue in the OOB code that misses to update community stats when deleting a discussion or a reply. Adding a new discussion, or a reply will synchronize the stats.

PowerShell: Get version and ProductId from an .app package

In my project I deploy some apps directly through the ObjectModel directly with PowerShell. The apps are built with TFS

I have a script that installs or updates apps if there is a new version of the app. Previously I used Import-SPAppPackage to compare the version and productid with an existing app instance, but often I get this error:

The provided App differs from another App with the same version and product ID.

Here you have the issue. Now the solution is to read the AppManifest.xml. But first the .app package has to be extracted like a usual zip file. This is the powershell function for that:

function Get-SPAppPackageMetadata {
    Gets the version and productid of an app package
    This function extracts the AppManifest.xml from the app and gets the Version and the ProductId
    Get-SPAppPackageMetadata- AppPackagePath "C:\folder\app.publish\\"
  .PARAMETER AppPackagePath
    The path to the new version of the app
        Name: Get-SPAppPackageVersion
        Author: Anatoly Mironov
        Last Edit: 2013-12-05
        Keywords: SPApp, SPAppInstance

    $shell = new-object -com shell.application
    $item = get-item $AppPackagePath
    $zipFilePath = $item.FullName + ".zip"
    $directory = $item.Directory.FullName
    Copy-Item $item $zipFilePath
    $manifest = @{ "Name" = "AppManifest.xml" }
    $manifest.Path = Join-Path $directory $manifest.Name
    $manifest.File = $shell.NameSpace($zipFilePath).Items() | ? { $_.Name -eq $manifest.Name }
    $manifest.Xml = [xml](get-content $manifest.Path)
    $metadata = @{
        "VersionString" = $manifest.Xml.App.Version
        "ProductId" = $manifest.Xml.App.ProductID

    Remove-Item $zipFilePath
    Remove-Item $manifest.Path

    return $metadata

Count lines of code with PowerShell

Today I got a question:

How many lines of code are there in our SharePoint solution?

After a little search, I found that PowerShell is really a nice tool to count lines of code:

I wanted to count lines for different types of code:

  1. Code Behind written in C#, the files have .cs file extension
  2. JavaScript code (except jQuery, angular or knockout frameworks)
  3. PowerShell files (.ps1 and psm1)
  4. Xml files (all the SharePoint .xml files)

Here is the powershell code that counts lines of code:

# go to the solution folder
cd <solution directory>

#count lines in .cs files
ls -include *.cs -recurse | select-string . | measure | select count

#count lines in our .js files
ls -include *.js -recurse `
    -exclude *min.js, jquery*, _*, jsrender*, CamlBuilder*, knockout* `
  | select-string . `
  | measure `
  | select Count

#count lines in our powershell scripts
ls -include *.xml -recurse | select-string . | measure | select count

#count lines in our powershell scripts
ls -include *.ps1, *.psm1 -recurse | select-string . | measure | select count

Just a curious fact, I can’t tell you how many lines of code we have in our solution, but I can reveal the proportions. If I used the flexible box model in css3, it would look like this:

lines of code

There are as many lines of code written in javascript as it is in C#. The main reason that for the big js code base are the SharePoint hosted apps. The PowerShell scripts are as big the javascript code base. Xml files are 4 times bigger than C# code, and it is even bigger than the sum of all lines of code written in C#, JavaScript and PowerShell. It isn’t strange that xml is dominating, almost everything in SharePoint is defined in xml.

Fortunately, there are less cases where you have to write raw xml in Visual Studio 2012/2013 and SharePoint 2013.

How does it look in your project? What language is dominating in your SharePoint project?

Discovering SharePoint

And having fun doing it

Bram de Jager talking Office 365, SharePoint and Azure

My view and thoughts on Productivity and more.

My programming life

and everything in between

SharePoint Development Lab by @avishnyakov

It is a good place to share some SharePoint stories and development practices.

SharePoint Dragons

Nikander & Margriet on SharePoint

RealActivity - Real-time and trustworthy

Blog site of founder, RealActivty - Paul J. Swider

Mai Omar Desouki - Avid SharePointer

Egyptian & Vodafoner - Senior SharePoint Consultant

Cameron Dwyer | Office 365, SharePoint, Outlook, OnePlace Solutions

Office 365, SharePoint, OnePlace Solutions & Life's Other Little Wonders


Me and My doings!

Share SharePoint Points!!

By Mohit Vashishtha

Jimmy Janlén "Den Scrummande Konsulten"

Erfarenheter, synpunkter och raljerande om Scrum från Jimmy Janlén


SharePoint for everyone


Ryan Dennis is a SharePoint Solution Architect with a passion for SharePoint and PowerShell

SharePoint 2020

The Vision for a Future of Clarity

Aharoni in Unicode, ya mama

Treacle tarts for great justice

... And All That JS

JavaScript, Web Apps and SharePoint


Mostly what I know about SharePoint - CommunicoCuspis