Sitecore PowerShell Console cheat sheet – Part 2

Most of this post is also based on the Microsoft’s Windows PowerShell Quick Reference however despite the sharing scripting runtimes the nature of the both shells differ considerably as described in the previous post: Sitecore PowerShell Console cheat sheet – Part 1. In all cases where it made sense I’ve converted the samples to establish them in Sitecore scenarios.

How to Write Conditional Statements

To write an If statement use code similar to this:

$page = Get-item .;
$changedBy = $page."__Updated by";

if ($changedBy -eq "")
  { "Unspecified author - a system page?" }
elseif ($changedBy -eq $me)
  { "The page has been last edited by me!" }
else
  { "The page has been last edited by "+ $changedBy }

Instead of writing a series of If statements you can use a Switch statement, which is equivalent to VBScript’s Select Case statement:

$page = Get-Item .;
switch ($page.Language) {
    "en" {"This version is in English"}
    "pl" {"This version is in Polish"}
    "tlh-KX" {"This version is in Klingon?!"}
    default {"No idea what this language is!"}
  }

How to Write For and For Each Loops

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Sitecore PowerShell Console cheat sheet – Part 1

I’m realizing time and time again that the learning curve for PowerShell can be steep without a proper guidance. While most people I talk to are very excited about the concept they become discouraged after a having some tries and not realizing its full potential. Therefore I decided it’s worth spending some time introducing some basic principles to help scripting alleviate some of the initial pains.

I have gathered some literature available for free about the topic of PowerShell in general you might want to read, but I also think that a distillation of the basic concepts is really important so you can have some quick wins while you begin your PowerShell journey.

A great deal of this post is a port of my older post for similar console for EPiServer, but since the differences are significant enough to confuse Sitecore developers if I sent them to the original version, I’ve decided to create a proper Sitecore cheat sheet.   Most of this is based on the Microsoft’s Windows PowerShell Quick Reference however despite the sharing scripting runtimes the nature of the both shells are pretty different (although the differences are not as vast as one might think).

Windows PowerShell PowerShell Console for Sitecore
Interactive – command can ask for confirmations and can be aborted. User can be solicited to provide input. Batch – all commands are being executed in one go, the script has no chance to ask questions, go or no-go decisions have to be solved within the script.
Supports command line arguments for running scripts. All arguments are defined directly within the script or derived from context automatically.
Can access any file depending on the rights of the user. Can only access files the web application identity can write to. Cannot access files on user’s machine but rather operates on the server’s file system. Cannot operate with elevated privileges.

That said, I considered that enough of the Reference document is irrelevant in the Sitecore scenario that it’s beneficial for the users of the console to have a bespoke cheat sheet created especially for the purpose of this plugin.

The content & samples of the original cheat sheet has been adjusted to more closely reflect scenarios usable for an Sitecore admin or developer.

How to get help

Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime.

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Posted in Code Samples, Downloadable, PowerShell, Sitecore, Software Development, Solution, Web applications
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Extending Sitecore ribbon with PowerShell scripts

Sitecore is built from the grounds up with extendibility in mind. Be that plugging into any place in its internal pipelines or any aspect of its User eXperience, therefore when I’ve managed to extend it’s context menu, I expected to have no problems whatsoever doing the same to its ribbon. Mind you I was right…

Using the PowerShell Console Module it took me less than 10 minutes total to add a nice piece of functionality that I thought was missing – Publish items I have modified.

ContextScriptsRibbon

Similarly to extending context menu – first I’ve created the script I wanted to execute that will take the current item and it’s sub-items and publish them by adding a new script item using the /sitecore/templates/Cognifide/PowerShell Script template in the core database. I’ve put it in the same place I store all my my scripts – in the /sitecore/content/Applications/PowerShell Console/Scripts branch but feel free to store them anywhere in the tree.

  • Filled in the Script body part with my script.
  • I decided I want to see the publishing results as I want to verify if the items I expected got published.

ContextScriptRibbonBody

Now the UI integration bits…

Since I wanted it nicely integrated with the publish button – I’ve created a Publish My Items item of template /sitecore/templates/System/Menus/Menu item within the /sitecore/content/Applications/Content Editor/Menues/Publish/ branch in the core database, set it’s icon and reference the script item in the Message field using the following pattern:

item:executescript(id=$Target,script={0937769B-998D-4580-B9FE-730C4CDABECD},scriptDb=core)

where the script guid is the ID of your script and the scriptDb is the database the script is located in.

ContextScriptsRibbonBinding

That’s it really. You can download the solution but I would strongly recommend you try the manual approach – it’s really exciting to see the puzzles click in.

The solution requires the Sitecore PowerShell Console from Cognifide, available for free from Sitecore Shared Source site.

Sample scripts for Sitecore PowerShell Console

Find out about your configuration:

List your available site providers. You will use the name provided in the "Name" column in place of where I use "cms" in the later samples.

get-psdrive `
  | where-object { $_.Provider.ToString() -eq "CmsItemProvider"} `
  | format-table Name, Root

Sample scripts for working with pages:

For the same of brevity I’m assuming your location is already somewhere within a Sitecore tree (e.g. you did something akin to cd master:\content prior to executing the following scripts.

List all properties & fields available for a particular page (including Sitecore properties defined in the item template).

get-childitem | get-member -memberType property*

List all items in the CMS of which template name contains "Article"

get-childitem -recurse `
  | where-object { $_.TemplateName -match "Article" } `
  | format-table DisplayName, Name, TemplateName

List all subitems and how many days ago were they modified

get-childitem -recurse `
  | format-table -auto Name, `
  @{Label="Days since modified"; Expression={ `
  [datetime]::Now.Subtract($_.__Updated).Days} }

Delete all pages that have not been modified for the last 365 days.

get-childitem -recurse `
  | where-object {[datetime]::Now.Subtract($_.__Updated).Days -gt 365 } `
  | remove-item

List all items Updated over the last 24 hours and who changed them.

get-childitem -recurse `
  | where-object { $_.__Updated -gt [datetime]::Now.AddDays(-1) } `
  | format-table -property DisplayName, "__Updated By", {$_.Paths.Path}

List all pages that have their "Text" field filled in.

get-childitem -recurse `
  | where-object { $_.Text -ne $null } `
  | format-table -property DisplayName, {$_.Paths.Path}

Make a nice reviewer’s comment on all pages with their "Text" property filled in.

get-childitem -recurse `
  | where-object { $_.Text -ne $null } `
  | foreach-object { $_.ReviewersComment = "Great job providing content!" }

Add a warning to the beginning of "Text" property for all pages that have not been saved for the last 180 days.

get-childitem -recurse `
  | where-object {`
  [datetime]::Now.Subtract($_.__Updated).Days -ge 180 `
  -and $_.Text -ne $null }
  | foreach-object {$_.Text = "<p style='color:red'>Old content. Review pending!</p>" + $_.Text }

Replace a string in a property on all pages with another string (in this sample – removing the warning the last sample added).

$old_content = "<p style='color:red'>Old content. Review pending!</p>"
$new_content = "";
get-childitem -recurse `
  | where-object {$_.Text -match $old_content} `
  | foreach-object {$_.Text = $_.Text.Replace($old_content, $new_content) }

Display the 10 most recently changed pages ordered in the reverse chronological order or changes. Display the page name, who changed it and when as well as the page status.

get-childitem -recurse `
  | sort-object -property __Updated -descending `
  | select-object -First 10 `
  | format-table -property DisplayName, "__Updated By", __Updated

Sample scripts for working with Media Library / files:

Removes all .xml files from the “Old Xml Files” in Media library.

cd "master:\media library\Old Xml Files"
get-childitem -recurse `
  | where-object { $_.Extension -match "xml" } `
  | remove-item

Copy all files from the "staging" folder to the "production" folder in Media Library.

Copying files within media library is done as follows. This can also be done for items in the content branch.

copy-item "master:\media library\staging\*" "master:\media library\production\"

The aim of the PowerShell console for Sitecore is to create a command line interface to your data so you can automate and aggregate mundane tasks as well as create statistics and a discoverability layer on top of your content.

Have you ever found yourself:

  • having to make a mundane change to a large number of pages?
  • in need of getting statistics field or template usages?
  • being curious of e.g. what’s the oldest page on your site?
  • in need to find out how many authors really create your content and how active they are?
  • having to copy or move a large number of files from one folder to another?
  • renaming or deleting files in your file store en-masse?
  • publish pages that match some specific feature rather than a whole branch?

sharp_toolIf the answer to any of those (and more) is something akin to “yes I did!”, I believe you might find my little plugin useful.

The idea is to create a scripting environment to work within Sitecore process, being able to make native calls to Sitecore API and modify content on a per-property level. The goal was to make it familiar to your IT and developers so they can reuse their skillset with it or if they rather learn it here, this knowledge will benefit them in the long run as clearly PowerShell is becoming an industry standard. The plugin’s aim is to manipulate not just sites, but files and pages on a large scale or perform statistical analysis of your content using  a familiar and well documented query language. The console allows you to execute and test scripts interactively, but also gives the admin means of exposing scripts to end users within context menus and in the ribbon. I’m sure in the long run I’ll come up with more applications. Scripted pipeline processors? Scripted renderings? Scripting campaigns statistics and engagement workflow steps? You name it…

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Enable Sitecore DMS Analytics behind a proxy or a CDN

Should you put your Sitecore site behind a load balancing proxy you will run into a bit of a problem with analytics where all the Engagement Analytics app would ever report would be your own load balancing proxy’s IP address. Needless to say that is fairly big loss as you are unable to reap a host of benefits of the Sitecore CEP like page personalization, automation and reporting.

While our website was running on Sitecore 6.4 this problem was already solved and we have implemented something akin to the solution from Jeroen’s blog. Meanwhile Sitecore has reimplemented its analytics engine from the grounds up in version 6.5, and I should say they did a great job on that. However in the process the API for the analytics has changed to a degree that made our current solution obsolete, basically what we got logged looked as follows:

BrokenAnalytics

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Posted in .Net Framework, ASP.NET, C#, Code Samples, Sitecore, Software Development, Solution
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Most of this post is also based on the Microsoft’s Windows PowerShell Quick Reference however despite the sharing scripting runtimes the nature of the both shells differ considerably as described in the previous post: PowerShell for EPiServer – cheat sheet – Part 1. In all cases where it made sense I’ve converted the samples to establish them in EPiServer scenarios.

How to Write Conditional Statements

To write an If statement use code similar to this:

$page = Get-CurrentPage;
$changedBy = $page.ChangedBy;
$me = [EPiServer.Security.PrincipalInfo]::Current;
$myName = $me.Name;

if ($changedBy -eq "")
  { "Unspecified author - a system page?" }
elseif ($changedBy -eq $myName)
  { "The page has been last edited by me!" }
else
  { "The page has been last edited by "+ $changedBy }

Instead of writing a series of If statements you can use a Switch statement, which is equivalent to VBScript’s Select Case statement:

$page = Get-CurrentPage;
switch ($page.PageChildOrderRule) {
    0 {"Undefined sort order. "}
    1 {"Most recently created page will be first in list"}
    2 {"Oldest created page will be first in list"}
    3 {"Sorted alphabetical on name"}
    4 {"Sorted on page index"}
    5 {"Most recently changed page will be first in list"}
    6 {"Sort on ranking, only supported by special controls"}
    7 {"Oldest published page will be first in list"}
    8 {"Most recently published page will be first in list"}
    default {"No idea what that means!"}
  }

How to Write For and For Each Loops

Read the rest of this article »

Most of this is based on the Microsoft’s Windows PowerShell Quick Reference however despite the sharing scripting runtimes the nature of the both shells are pretty different (although the differences are not as vast as one might think).

 

Windows PowerShell PowerShell Console for EPiServer
Interactive – command can ask for confirmations and can be aborted. User can be solicited to provide input. Batch – all commands are being executed in one go, the script has no chance to ask questions, go or no-go decisions have to be solved within the script.
Supports colouring. Supports plain text output only.
Supports command line arguments for running scripts. All arguments are defined directly within the script or derived from context automatically.
Can access any file depending on the rights of the user. Can only access files the web application identity can write to. Cannot access files on user’s machine but rather operates on the server’s file system. Cannot operate with elevated privileges.

That said, I considered that enough of the Reference document is irrelevant in the EPiServer scenario that it’s beneficial for the users of the console to have a bespoke cheat sheet created especially for the purpose of this plugin.

The content & samples of the original cheat sheet has been adjusted to more closely reflect scenarios usable for an EPiServer admin or developer.

So here go the EPiServer specific tips

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EPiServer Admin Mode PowerShell scripts

The PowerShell plugin gets an update once again to support Admin mode script collections in addition to the context scripts.

How to write an Admin mode script collections?

<ContextScriptCollection>
  <Title>Statistics Scripts</Title>
  <Description>This script collection ... </Description>
  <Area>Administration</Area>
  <Scripts>
    <ContextScript>
      <Title>Restart Application</Title>
      <Description>The script restarts this instance of EPiServer...</Warning>
      <Script>Restart-Application</Script>
      <Icon>/App_Themes/Default/Images/Tools/Refresh.gif</Icon>
      <Groups>
      </Groups>
    </ContextScript>
  </Scripts>
</ContextScriptCollection>

Where can I access that?

image

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Context PowerShell Scripts in EPiServer

Ok, so I’ve got my shot of endorphins writing about PowerShell last week (damn, it’s nice to be able to code again!), and I got pretty determined on making it usable and achieving all the goals I’ve initially envisioned. and in the process build a usable tool and a library of scripts that people can use either directly or to modify to meet their needs.

The goal for this week: Context Scripts

Context scripts are the first step to break the scripting out of the admin realm and into the editor’s space. Those scripts will still be written by admins and developers but the goal is for them to be usable by the authors. The goal for those scripts can be as trivial as e.g. syndicating all the great functionality little plugins like this Unpublish button by Ted in one place and then mix and match them to your liking.

Some of the important bits:

  • Context scripts are something that is visible to users on “Scripts” page.
  • Scripts can be exposed to everyone or just the groups of your liking… you define it in the script.
  • Scripts are grouped in collections that are defined in *.psepi files that you drop into your application folder

How do I define a script collection?

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