When things don t line up: custom properties in VB.NET

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When things don t line up: custom properties
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When things don t line up: custom properties
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Speaking of the Human Resources department, what are the odds that they ll give you a properly formatted CSV file every time Remember that ByPropertyName only works if the CSV column names exactly match those parameter names will HR get it right every time Possibly not. Possibly, you ll get a CSV that looks like this instead:
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LoginName,Department,City,Title,FirstName,LastName DonJ,IT,Las Vegas,CIO,Don,Jones GregS,Janitorial,Denver,Custodian,Greg,Shields JeffH,IT,Syracuse,Technician,Jeffery,Hicks ChrisG,Finance,Las Vegas,Accountant,Christopher,Gannon
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Obviously, you could rename columns yourself. You d have to add a column to each line, though, because AD needs both a samAccountName property and a Name property, and those usually match. This file only has one column. But there s no need to do any of that manually: let s make PowerShell do the hard work for us. We re going to use a cmdlet that you ve seen before, Select-Object. But rather than just selecting existing properties to use, we re going to have it create brand-new properties for us as well. I want to acknowledge in advance that the syntax for doing this is really, really ugly, but if you can memorize it (or jot it down into a notepad for future reference), you ll find a number of places where it can be used. For each new property that we create, we need to provide a property name, or label, and a value for the property, which is specified in an expression. Label is generally abbreviated as a lowercase L, and the expression as a lowercase e. We re happy with the Department, City, and Title columns in the CSV file, but we need to create Surname, GivenName, samAccountName, and Name. The latter two need to both pull from the LoginName column we ve been given in the CSV file. Here we go:
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TRY IT NOW If you create a CSV file like the one I ve listed above, and name it
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C:\users2.csv, you ll be able to follow along with this command. Also note that I m going to break this command onto several lines, both to make it fit in the book and for easier reading, but this should all be typed as a single, long command on a single line. Notice that the user names are the same as the previous example, so if you ve already created these users, delete them from the domain before proceeding.
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Import-CSV c:\users2.csv | Select-Object *,@{l='samAccountName';e={$_.LoginName}}, @{l='Name';e={$_.LoginName}}, @{l='GivenName';e={$_.FirstName}}, @{l='Surname';e={$_.LastName}}
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TRY IT NOW Be cautious when typing those are lowercase L letters, not the
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number 1. Notice with Select-Object that I started by specifying * in the property list. That will select all properties that the objects already have, meaning all of the CSV file s columns will show up in the output. I then specified four new columns by creating four
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The pipeline, deeper
specially formatted constructs called hashtables. The Select-Object cmdlet is specifically designed to accept this kind of construct. Each hashtable consists of two elements, and each element has both a key and a value. For the L, or Label key, the value is the name of the new property I want to add. For the E, or Expression key, the value is what s called a script block. Enclosed in curly braces, like { }, this script block tells PowerShell how to create the value for that property. PowerShell would also permit the use of N or Name instead of L or Label. Inside that expression, PowerShell lets us use a special placeholder: $_ (often pronounced as dollar underscore or dollar underbar). When the command runs, PowerShell will fill in this placeholder with the objects that were piped into Select-Object. Therefore, $_ will represent the rows from the CSV file. After the underscore, I ve typed a period, which tells the shell that I don t want to refer to the entire row from the CSV file, but rather to access a single property (or column). This is how I created a new property called samAccountName and had it pull over the value from the CSV file s LoginName column. Again, I realize that there s a lot of punctuation flying around in that example, but this is honestly one of the trickiest, most punctuation-intensive things you ll see in this book. If you can spend enough time looking at this example to become familiar with it, and be very careful when you re typing, this is a pattern that you ll be able to adapt and re-use in your own projects without too much pain. The output of the previous command should be a revised list of objects, listing both the properties from the CSV file as well as the four additional properties I specified. If you re satisfied with that output, the only remaining step is to send it to New-ADUser:
Import-CSV c:\users2.csv | Select-Object *,{l='samAccountName';e={$_.LoginName}}, {l='Name';e={$_.LoginName}}, {l='GivenName';e={$_.FirstName}}, {l='Surname';e={$_.LastName}} | New-ADUser
Notice that I didn t include New-ADUser the first time, which let me preview the output of Select-Object and make sure that it was what I wanted. I could then go back and tweak it a bit, if I wanted, and not pipe everything to New-ADUser until I was completely satisfied with the results.
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