Samstag, 19. Januar 2013

Extend disks on Windows 2003 remotly

there is often the need of extending disks on any server platforms. Unfortunatly it is not possible to do this in an easy way on windows 2003 using the the server/computer manager, when the disk is active and formated.
So, what to do instead?
Use a Windows 2008 or Windows 2008 R2 server. The computer manager there lets you connect to a Windows 2003 server remotly. Go to disk management  and simply extend your disk.
You won't be asked for any issues, it just works :-)

Hope this will help you.

See you on the next post

Donnerstag, 17. Januar 2013

Call Powershell Scripts with Parameters

often you need to pass parameters when you call your powershell scripts. This is very easy and quickly done.

By passing arguments to your script you create a kind of array of arguments, correct me if I am wrong.

But to use them, you treat them like an array.

To assign a passed argument to a new variable use this:

$var1 = $args[0]
$var2 = $args[1]

very easy, isn't it??

I prefer to call my scripts not directly, because I dont like to write the whole calling command.
The way i prefer is to use command files.

The only thing you need to write into your file is:

powershell.exe -file "<path>" arg1 arg2 arg3 ...

If you want to log all errors type 2> behind your command:

powershell.exe -file "<path>" arg1 arg2 arg3  2> <path>

There could be one hard failure which could make you desperate.
Your script works fine, your call is also fine, but your paramters are not passed to your script. WHY?

It costs me a lot of time, but at the end the failure is hardly hidden :)

The way I name my command files is call_myscript.cmd. This would work.

If you name your command file call_mysscript.ps1.cmd this would also call your script. But it would not pass your parameters. Don't ask me why.

Hope this helps you.

Using Powershell to call a webservice with a complex data type

in the last time I often had to implement webservice calls into my powershell scripts. I havent done this very often in the past, so I needed to look for the correct doing on google.

What I found was lots of tutorials how to call a webservice, using the New-WebServiceProxy commandlet. To be honest, this is not satisfying.
What I was looking for is how to pass arguments of a costum types. And this is what I will show you in this blog post. If you see the solution, it is very simple.

Ok lets start with a additional parameter, the credentials.

First we need to build a credentials object:

$username = "admin"
$password = "adminpassword"
$cred = New-Object System.Management.Automation.PSCredential -ArgumentList @($username,(ConvertTo-SecureString -String $password -AsPlainText -Force))

Next step is to build a variable, which holds the webservice call:

$webservice = New-WebServiceProxy -Uri "http://vco-appliance:8280/vmware-vmo-webcontrol/webservice?WSDL" -Credential $cred
The webservice I use in this example is the webservice of the vCenter Orchestrator, a very nice tool to automate your vCenter workflows.

You can browse through your webservice very easy. you just have to pipe your $webservice object to the get-member commandlet -> $webservice | gm

What we need to know at this point is, what kind of namespace is the webservice using. This is important, because we need this to specify the type of our arguments later.
So, how to get the namespace:

$t = $webservice.getType().namespace
what you get is something like that:
Now our basement is build, lets create the arguments we want to pass to the webservice later:
$attributes = New-Object ($t + ".WorkflowTokenAttribute")
$ = "input"
$attributes.value = " "
$attributes.type = "String"

Maybe you ask now, how does he know that he has to use "WorkflowTokenAttribute" as type. I forget to say WorkflowTokenAttribute is the type of our object.

You can verify your object type by typing:

$attributes | gm  (gm is the short form of get-member)

This is easy, the right way would be to have look into the WSDL file. The easier way is to use the error message of powershell. So run your script, passing all arguments you want to pass just as a string.
You will get an error message like that:

Cannot convert argument "3", with value: "123456", for "executeWorkflow" to type "Microsoft.PowerShell.Commands.NewWebserviceProxy.AutogeneratedTypes.WebServiceProxy1vmo_
webcontrol_webservice_WSDL.WorkflowTokenAttribute[]": "Cannot convert the "123456" value of type "System.String" to type Microsoft.PowerShell.Commands.NewWebserviceProxy
As you can see powershell tells us, what kind of type it expects.

Now you need to know what parameters should be included in our new object, maybe you know it, have a look to the wsdl, or the way I prefer: Import the webservice into a tool which shows you the content of the wsdl. I use wavemaker to do this.

Wavemaker is cool tool to build your own website using webservices. It is very easy. Everybody will be surprised when you create a selfservice portal within 30min ;). If you are intrested in the piece of software, just download it, it's free.

 Back to our topic:

The last step is to call your webservice with all objects we build until now:
$resp = $webservice.executeWorkflow($parameter1,"vCOuser","userPW",$attributes)
$resp means respons, I use the variable to check if my webservice call was successfull

in some webservices you will get a returncode, status, name, id and many others.

For now we are done. A complete script could look like this:

$username = "admin"
$password = "adminPW"
$cred = New-Object System.Management.Automation.PSCredential -ArgumentList @($username,(ConvertTo-SecureString -String $password -AsPlainText -Force))
$webservice = New-WebServiceProxy -uri "http://vCO-appliance:8280/vmware-vmo-webcontrol/webservice?WSDL"  -Credential $cred
$t = $webservice.getType().namespace
$attributes = New-Object ($t + ".WorkflowTokenAttribute")
$ = "input"
$attributes.value = " "
$attributes.type = "String"
$resp = $webservice.getWorkflowsWithName("MyWorkflow*","vCOUser","userPW")
foreach( $element in $resp)
        $ + "`t" + $
$resp = $webservice.executeWorkflow($element,"vCOuser","userPW",$attributes)
$Workflowid = $
$status = $webservice.getWorkflowTokenStatus($Workflowid,"vCOuser","userPW")
while ( $status -eq "running")
        $status = $webservice.getWorkflowTokenStatus($Workflowid ,"vCOuser","userPW")

This script gets all workflows, which are starting in its name with "MyWorkflow" and starts it in a loop.

You also can build objects of a complex type:
you need this for example to call a HP service manager webservice.
$t = $webservice.GetType().Namespace
$myComplextype = new-object ($t + ".Request")
$instance = new-object ($t + ".InstanceType")
$model = new-object ($t + ".ModelType")
$keys = new-object ($t + ".KeysType")
$changeID = new-object ($t + ".StringType")

$changeID.Value = "1234"
$keys.ChangeID = $changeID
$model.instance = $instance
$model.keys = $keys

$myComplextype.model = $m