PowerShell Profiles and why I don’t use them

The idea behind a PowerShell profile is that you can customise your PowerShell environment and have your system remember the setup the next time you open a PowerShell prompt / ISE.

What happens when you send your script to someone else?

It’s actually quite a cool idea and you can make sure all your PowerShell modules are loaded in the profile too.  The problem I see with this is that now your script has some hidden dependencies.  These are the modules etc. that you loaded into your PowerShell profile.

Unless the person you send the script to has the same modules loaded in their PowerShell profile the script won’t work

I find it better to just add the couple of lines to import the module into every script I write.  This makes sure that the script is portable assuming of course that the modules are available on the the users system where they are running the script.  You could of course write more code to download and install the module but lets not get carried away just write a message to the screen explaining why the script won’t run and let them source the required modules.

I use this function in my scripts and then handle the return value in my main script


function Get-ModuleStatus { # Version 2.00  
 param (
  [parameter(Mandatory=$true , HelpMessage="Enter the Module Name, e.g. ActiveRolesManagementShell")]
  [parameter(Mandatory=$false, HelpMessage="Optionally Enter the Version Number, e.g. 7.2")]
 if ( $version ) { 
  if ( $forceVersion ) {
   if ( $module = Get-Module -Name $name | where { $_.version.ToString() -eq $Version } ) { Return $true }
  else {
   if ( $module = Get-Module -Name $name | where { $_.version.ToString() -ge $Version } ) { Return $true }
  if ( $module = Get-Module -name $name ) {
   # wrong version loaded so unload 
   Remove-Module -Name $name 
   $module = $null 
 elseif ( $module = Get-Module -name "$name" ) { Return $true }
 if ( $version ) { 
  try { Import-Module -Name $name  -MinimumVersion $version | Out-Null  }
  catch { return $false	}
 else {
  try { Import-Module -Name "$name" } 
  catch { return $false	}
 Return $true 
}           # Get-ModuleStatus           Version 2.00

here is an example of how to call and handle the error

if ( ( Get-ModuleStatus "ActiveRolesManagementShell" ) -eq $false ) { # load the quest cmdlets
 $message = "ActiveRolesManagementShell could not be loaded SCRIPT HALTING on $($Env:COMPUTERNAME) - Please investigate"
 $emailParameters.Add("Subject","$scriptName Script FATAL ERROR - Unable to Load ARS COMMANDLETS on $($Env:COMPUTERNAME)")
 Stop-ScriptRun -emailParameters $emailParameters -sendMail -stop -throwMessage "FATAL ERROR - Unable to Load ARS COMMANDLETS"
} # throw if we are unable to load the Quest cmdlets

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