Advanced Pipelining in .NET framework

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Advanced Pipelining
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The commandlets help is not always helpful here In Get-Service, you can read the following:
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RETURN TYPE SystemServiceProcessServiceController
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But in Get-Process, it is not much help; it says only this:
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RETURN TYPE Object
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The WPS documentation ([MS01] and [MS02]) will not help you at all with the properties and methods of the resulting objects You will nd these only in the MSDN documentation about NET Framework The following two helpful commandlets are introduced, which will help you in everyday work with WPS to learn what you really have in the pipeline:
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Get-PipelineInfo Get-Member
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Get-PipelineInfo
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The commandlet Get-PipelineInfo from the PowerShell Extensions of wwwIT-Visionsde, delivers three important pieces of information about the pipeline contents (see Figure 41):
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Number of objects in the pipeline (the objects are numbered) Type of objects in the pipeline (name of NET class) String representations of objects in the pipeline
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The phrase string representation needs to be explained: Each NET object has a method ToString(), which changes the object into a string, as ToString() is implemented in the mother of all NET classes, SystemObject, and is passed on to all NET classes and thus to all their instances Whether ToString() delivers a sensible output depends on the relative class In the case of SystemDiagnosticsProcess, the class name and process name are delivered You can easily get this with gps | foreach { $_ToString() } (see Figure 42) On the other hand, the conversion of class SystemServiceProcessServiceController, whose instances are delivered by Get-Service, is not so good, because
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Analyzing Pipeline Content
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the string contains only the class name, so the single instances cannot be diversi ed (see Figure 43)
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4 ADVANCED PIPELINING
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Figure 41 Get_PipelineInfo tells us that there are 11 objects in the data
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directory, 7 of which are subregistries (class DirectoryInfo) and 4 which are les (class FileInfo)
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NOTE The conversion into the class name is the standard behavior, inherited from SystemObject, and this standard behavior unfortunately is customary, because the developers of most of the NET classes at Microsoft did not take the initiative to de ne a sensible string representation ToString() generally is not a serialization of the complete object content, but only mirrors the prime key of the object
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Figure 42 Use of ToString() on instances of class
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SystemDiagnosticsProcess
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Advanced Pipelining
Figure 43 Use of ToString() on instances of class System
ServiceProcessServiceController
Get-Member
The commandlet Get-Member (alias gm) is another helpful commandlet: It shows the NET class name of the objects in the pipeline and the properties and methods of this class The output of Get-Process | GetMember is so long that you need two screenshots for the presentation (see Figures 44 and 45) Get-Member is included in the basic WPS 10 commandlet set
NOTE If there are different kinds of object types in the pipeline, members of all types are displayed, grouped according to the head section, starting with TypeName
The output shows that from a WPS point of view, a NET class has seven kinds of members:
Methods Properties Property sets Note properties
Script properties Code properties Alias properties
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NOTE Concerning the previously mentioned member forms, only Method and Property are actual members of the NET class All other kinds of members are extensions, which WPS has added to the NET object via the previously mentioned Extended Type System (ETS)
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Figure 44 Part 1 of the output of Get-Process | Get-Member
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Advanced Pipelining
Figure 45 Part 2 of the output of Get-Process | Get-Member Methods are operations that you can call on an object and that will start an action, such as Kill(), which ends the process Methods, however, may also display data or change data within an object
WARNING To call a method, you must use parentheses at all times, even if there are no parameters Without parentheses, you will get only information about the method; you will not call the method itself
Analyzing Pipeline Content
Properties are data elements that contain information about an object or with which information can be transferred to an object (for example, MaxWorkingSet) In the screenshots with the output of Get-Process | Get-Member, it is remarkable that there are two methods for each property (for example, get_MaxWorkingSet() and set_MaxWorkingSet()) The cause for this lies within the internals of the NET Framework: Here properties (not elds) are mapped by a pair of methods one method to fetch the data (called get method or Getter), and another method to set the data (called set method or Setter) This means that for you, as the WPS user, you have two possibilities to call data: