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Part 3 – Getting Started With CSOM | SharePoint Online | PowerShell


In our last blog series we have seen few concepts of PowerShell CSOM like creating functions and including comments based help for our PowerShell functions in the module. Reference Links is below

In this article we will demo about adding format files to get desired output.

What is Format File?

Why we need to add format file? The very simple reason is to define display the object in command line. For example check the output of Get-Service cmdlet. By default it shows the properties like Status, Name and DisplayName which is defined in the file DotNetTypes.Format.ps1xml. Please use this for reference and do not modify it to avoid tampering of your existing view in PowerShell. So, when we run Get-Service we get three properties in output by default and to see more we either do one of the below as required
111. Okay, with this reference we will create our own Format File and name it as SPOnlineModule.Format.PS1XML and the location is under our module folder. To make this article easy I am opting to make List View Basic

Get Started

Let’s make our job easy! I copied the code from the List View Basic and modified my PowerShell function to meet the requirement.

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="utf-8" ?>

All we need to do is simple steps

  • Create a Format File and name it as SPOnlineModule.Format.ps1xml
  • Save the file inside your module directory
  • Include this file name in PSD1 file at FormatsToProcess = @(‘SPOnlineModule.Format.ps1xml’)
  • Import the Module
  • Connect to SharePoint Online and execute Get-xSPOList cmdlet which yields only two properties Title and ItemCount.

Just as an example I am selecting first 5 list and the output is illustrated below
Note: We haven’t fixed the Connect-xSPOTenant cmdlet yet! We need to add Conditional Scope to make it more friendly.

In our Get-xSPOList cmdlet I included the below code which appends the view name to the PSCustomObject

foreach($List in $ListCollection) {
            #$List | Select Title , ItemCount , Created , LastItemModifiedDate
            $Obj = [Pscustomobject] @{
                "Title" = $List.Title
                "ItemCount" = $List.ItemCount
                "Created" = $List.Created
                "LastItemModifiedDate" = $List.LastItemModifiedDate


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