Using PowerShell for SharePoint 2010 in C#

A buddy of mine at Microsoft was good enough to point me to this video on channel 9 that talks about using PowerShell from your C# code without doing the dreaded process and spawn routine we’ve probably all used before.  To begin with, watch the 4 minute video at  Once you get the basic steps there for adding the appropriate references to your code and using statements to your class, there are a few other useful things to know as it relates to SharePoint 2010 and PowerShell:

  • Start with the standard process to create your PowerShell process:  PowerShell ps = PowerShell.Create();
  • Add the SharePoint snap-in like this:  ps.AddScript(“Add-PsSnapin Microsoft.SharePoint.PowerShell”);
  • Now you can create your SharePoint PowerShell commands as strings and run them.  Here’s an example of adding a new data connection library to the list of trusted data connection libraries in Excel Services.  This is a good example of something that can only be done in PowerShell because there aren’t any adminstrative APIs for it, so it made a good test case for this methodology.  So here’s what it looks like to create the command: 



    string pCmd = “New-SPExcelDataConnectionLibrary “ + “-address ‘http://farm2/sites/sporeports/dcl’ “ + “-ExcelServiceApplication ‘Excel Services Application’ “;

  • And now add it to the list of cmdlets to run: ps.AddScript(pCmd);

  • Finally, to execute your PowerShell script:  ps.Invoke<string>();

Overall this is a pretty nice way to tackle scenarios when you have managed code but need to fallback to PowerShell for getting a task done.  When you get into it there are some other interesting ways you can tackle using cmdlets, using the CmdletInfo, CommandMetadata and ProxyCommand classes.  Unfortunately they still break down when you are working with non-public APIs but the basic approach I described above continues to work well in those cases too.

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