Dynamic powershell gui

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Dynamic powershell gui

In my previous article in this series, I showed you how to output a list of virtual machine names in response to a button click. I still plan to show you how to build a GUI based application that provides useful information, but before I do, I want to show you a few techniques for adding a bit of visual flair to the interface. You can see what that looks like in Figure A. Technically there is nothing wrong with doing that, but we can display the output in other ways.

Displaying the list of virtual machines in a text box is surprisingly easy to do. In fact, you can do it by changing a single word. Take a look at the DisplayVMs function that causes the list of virtual machines to be displayed in response to a button click:.

By changing the word Label to Textbox, I was able to change the way that the output was displayed. You can see what this looks like in Figure B. As you look at the figure above, you will notice that although the output has been displayed in a text box, there are some formatting problems.

Specifically, the text box is way too small, and all of the output has been jammed together on a single line. Fortunately, this is easy enough to fix.

To display the text on multiple lines, there are two lines of code that need to be added. These lines are:. The first of these lines defines the size of the text box, while the second line of code allows the textbox to display multiple lines of output.

You can see the result in Figure C. The problem that we are running into now is that some of the virtual machine names are still jammed together.

Thankfully, this too is an easy fix. This code is used to tell PowerShell that we want a carriage return and a new line.

Here is the actual modification to the script:. Now, I want to show you how to add a bit of visual flair to the form that you have created. One way of doing so is to add a splash of color. So what can we do about changing the color of the button? Well, we can use exactly the same technique, except that this time the background color needs to be applied to the button instead of to the form as a whole.

If for example, you wanted to make the button light gray, you could add this line of code:. In order to do so, you have to set the foreground color of the label object. If for example, you wanted to color the label text to be dark blue, you could use this line of code:.

I realize that I have made a lot of changes to the script, so here is the complete code as it currently exists a few lines were rearranged :.

As you can see, PowerShell gives you the ability to display form output in a more visually appealing manner. In the next article, I want to continue the discussion by showing you how list boxes work. Brien Posey is a freelance technology author and speaker with over two decades of IT experience. Prior to going freelance, Brien was a CIO for a national chain of hospitals and healthcare facilities.

In addition, Brien has worked as a network administrator for some of the largest insurance companies in America. This can be done, but I don't know of an easy way of doing it. You have to insert a new line code into the text string in order to get the text to be displayed on a new line. If the text is coming from a text file, then this means writing code to count characters, look for spaces, and insert new line codes in appropriate places.

Maybe I can write the code for that in a future article.PowerShell is a command-line tool but did you know it can also be used as a base for graphical interfaces? Sometimes command-line isn't the best kind of interface for a particular instance. This is one of those times when it is more appropriate to build graphical tools instead. PowerShell can use and expose.

NET functionality and features. It's possible to write GUI front ends for the scripts you create. You'll need a script to wrap a GUI around first.

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I've chosen to use a script that allows you to provide a computer name and query disk information. This is, by no means, necessary to build a GUI though. Use the techniques you learn in this post to adapt your GUIs to your own scripts. Below is the function you'll use for this project, aptly named Get-FixedDisk. This project's purpose is to get the information about the non-removable or fixed disks on the target machine. While this piece of code can be used as is, creating a GUI would be beneficial if you just want to perform a quick query without having to dot source the function and manually typing in the commands each time.

You can see that I've added a param block in the code. This is to instruct the function to accept inputs based on the type of data indicated. In the example, I've added a Computer parameter which accepts a string value. Also, by adding the Mandatory parameter attribute, it ensures that the function does not run if the Computer parameter is not specified at runtime. This filter ensures that only the information about local fixed disks is displayed.

At this point, you now have a working script and are ready to test it. But before you can test the script, you need to import the code into a PowerShell session. One way of loading code into a PowerShell session is by dot sourcing. To dot source a script, type a dot. In the below example, it shows that the Get-FixedDisk function is used to query the computer poshLabExc.

You were also able to test and confirm that the function is working. First plan how you'd like the GUI to look and the elements you'd like to use. For this simple example, our GUI will have:. Once the project is created, a blank form will be presented with the name of MainWindow.

You now need to format this form to fit our requirements. Below are the controls and format that you'll need to add. The final appearance of the form should be similar to what is shown in the image below.However, I found the whole process cumbersome for some reason.

Perhaps it was due to my brain just not being ready to absorb it. Perhaps it was due to the fact that I can develop a winform really quickly in something like Primal Forms. Recently, the two major players in the scripted UI space joined forces with Doug Finke and developed a new set of cmdlets that took the great elements of each implementation of interfacing with WPF and combined them into one extremely sleek and impressive module.

Perhaps there were chains involved? Perhaps shock treatment? The promise is simple. Dynamically generated user interfaces that adapt to your needs. He was developing a library of these to help him very rapidly develop based off of these prototypes. It appears that now that this is within all of our reach. This is the power of the toolkit.

dynamic powershell gui

The syntax looks nearly identical. More importantly is that scriptblocks can easily be dynamic because they are just code. A while back I posted this article that talks about the world of dynamic scriptblocks in Windows PowerShell.

The magic was that not only was this being generated, but after hitting submit it returned a hash table that had the values that were entered in the text boxes. I want to pass a random number of fields and have it generate this simple form. The result is the function below New-SimpleForm. Not bad for only 60 minutes of tinkering. Now I have a utility webform that I can use to retrieve user input extremely quickly.

Feels good to be playing with interesting things! ShowUI version 1. This takes my idea and blows it out of the water! Check out the video of it here. You are commenting using your WordPress. You are commenting using your Google account.Click the banner to return to the series jump page!

So I stuck with the pulling teeth method for years. Released with. Instead of WinForm and the incredibly verbose style of configuring each element line by line, Microsoft brought a more civilized, CSS inspired design pattern to the world of Windows UX Design. Since PowerShell is also based on. And the cool part is that anywhere that PowerShell runs and a GUI is available, our code will work there too! Next, follow the numbers in the image below as you will 1. There is a lot of cruft we can disable though, so lets hide some elements.

The center area now holds our form. You can resize the window, or drag and drop items into our form. The elements we want to grab from the tool box are Image, and a TextBlock object.

If you really want to, you change the Font as well, by clicking in the Properties box on the right, and look towards the bottom for the Text area. One thing every good tool should have is a button!

Go back to the toolbox, find the Button Control and drag and drop it. I pumped the font up to 12 or For both of these, go back to the toolbox and then grab one of each and draw them on your form. All well and good, but how do we get this working in PowerShell??

Good introduction Stephen. For instance, a task that would execute for some time in the back ground would make the application hang until that task in the background is finished. Have you found an easy way to make the GUI not hang in these type of cases? Like Like. I agree with you that creating a new object every single time you want a label or text box is tedious at best not to mention the new objects for location and size.

I devised a way so that every object I use text boxes, labels, list views, Group boxes etc.

GUI Creation with PowerShell: The Basics

After all the initial debugging, this works beautifully andlll I am able to call a new item, pass in a few coordinates and such, and spend more time worrying about logic rather than where the stupid button should go.

Ive learned so much about powershell in such a short time im able to even use runspacepools to multithread a few items. Do you have a code sample or post somewhere I might see it? You can name them too! Before we do that we need to know the bare minimum requirements for a form to be loaded.

Things that are required: We need to create a new object to a variable Title of the form. Specify location of the object Specify size of the object Other objects like buttons and text boxes, you will need to know what object to add the new object to.

Next we create generic objects that create the form, apply its required properties, and then return the object from the function.

How to Create an Interactive Menu in PowerShell

Like so…. I will say that list views work a little bit differently, the function is the same, but it returns as an array vs an object!!! You can take these functions a step further and add a few if statements for certain situations and format some coloring to standardize your form throughout, just be careful and test everything!!!

You are going to love this! I would love to hear what GUIs anyone creates using this, and tell me how simple it was after getting it all set up!

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Welp, this is my example, and I really hope you find this information useful.By using our site, you acknowledge that you have read and understand our Cookie PolicyPrivacy Policyand our Terms of Service. The dark mode beta is finally here.

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Change your preferences any time. Stack Overflow for Teams is a private, secure spot for you and your coworkers to find and share information. I have written a C Tool where i can enter script parameters with an GUI which is generated based on the parmeter definitions of the script. Now i want to have a dropdown list which offers me a dynamically generated set of values.

The informations for this dropdown list should come from the parameter definition of the script. One way to get a list of valid parameters is to use "ValidateSet" for Parameter definition.

There is abway to get te ValidateSet from the Script an build the dropdown list. But ValidateSet is a static deffinition and i have to update the script each time the list should be changed.

A good way for dynamic validation is "ValidateScript". The script command would be something like Test-Path. This would work for validation, but for my GUI i would not be able to generate a list of valid values. Maby i can dynamically generate a custom enum type and use it as parameter type. A dropdown list for enum types is already implemented for GUI. But i think i's not a good idea and may not work to generate a enum type dynamically. I tried doing that with an enum once, and it got problematic due to differences in the valid character sets between enum values and AD names.

If you've wanting to keep the GUI separate from the script, you might investigate using AST to extract the parameter validation code from the script, and then run it outside the script to build your list.

dynamic powershell gui

You can use a dynamic parameter in you Powershell script. A good example a of a ValidateSet parameter attribute dynamically generated from a scriptblock and added to a dynamic parameter can be found here :. An unhandled exception of type 'System. GetValueInvocationException' occurred in System.

Additional information: Exception getting "Parameters": "Cannot retrieve the dynamic parameters for the cmdlet.

Getting started building GUIs for your PowerShell scripts

The pipeline has been stopped. Learn more. Dynamic list of valid values for a PowerShell script Ask Question. Asked 5 years, 2 months ago. Active 5 years, 2 months ago. Viewed times. So, any other ideas for a list of valid values which is dynamically built? Active Oldest Votes. Mathieu Buisson Mathieu Buisson 1, 8 8 silver badges 8 8 bronze badges. DynamicParam works well for PowerShell.

dynamic powershell gui

CreateDefault ; initial. CreateRunspace initial ; runspace. Create ; ps. AddCommand "Get-Command".By using our site, you acknowledge that you have read and understand our Cookie PolicyPrivacy Policyand our Terms of Service. The dark mode beta is finally here. Change your preferences any time. Stack Overflow for Teams is a private, secure spot for you and your coworkers to find and share information. I am building a dynamic GUI in powershell but having some problems The objects are created based on folders in the current directory.

But when i addition at the end i get an exception saying that property text cannot be found. What over all I am trying to achieve is this just a small problem along the way to build a dynamic GUI with buttons textboxes and a stopwatch for each row, but I am not sure on how to dynamically create stopwatches and make the script understand which stopwatch to stop and start when pressed the individual buttons.

You get it so when pressing start textbox will say something like "tick tock" and when pressing stop the elapsed time will display in the correct textbox. I have a Windows form app in PS, and I have to use the item method to access buttons in a toolbar.

If array indexing is needed in your situation then replace. Learn more. Asked 6 years, 10 months ago. Active 6 years, 9 months ago.

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Viewed times. Textbox,Start,Stop,Reset Textbox,Start,Stop,Reset You get it so when pressing start textbox will say something like "tick tock" and when pressing stop the elapsed time will display in the correct textbox. TelefoneN TelefoneN 35 2 2 silver badges 7 7 bronze badges. Active Oldest Votes. Here's what I'd suggest: Sign up or log in Sign up using Google. Sign up using Facebook. Sign up using Email and Password. Post as a guest Name. Email Required, but never shown. The Overflow Blog.

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How to Build a PowerShell GUI for your Scripts

How to create a GUI, apply a theme, manage event and more subjects You can create a GUI in powershell in two different ways.

In this tutorial, I will use the latter one. I advise you not to dive in for your GUI in powershell. What do you need? Step 1. Open visual studio and create a new project. You should see this window appear:. Select WPF Application in the middle window. Leave the rest with default value and click OK.

Add all elements you need to the Window in the middle and design every element to your taste. I placed basic elements on mine: an Image, a TextBox and a Label. When you are satisfied with the result, we can go to the next step. So that we only have these lines left:. We should have two files in our directory now. The xaml we just edited I called MainWindow. Right click on MainForm. After that, paste these few lines:. Save the file and then launch your code:.

dynamic powershell gui

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