Working with PowerShell Jobs

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PowerShell Jobs is very effective way to achieve faster, recently I used to work with it and provides big improvements, but it shouldn’t be used in all cases, but only when you need your Script to run in parallel threading

for example, if you you have 1000 files, and you want to run powershell script to process it, you can split your script to run for 100 file per job, and this will optimize running time by over 80%

but still PowerShell jobs is a bit tricky in executing and debugging, in this post will summarize what you really want to use PowerShell Jobs efficiently

for($i =0; $i -lt 5; $i++)
$job=Start-Job -Name "Job-$i" -ScriptBlock {
    Start-Sleep -s 5
    $x = 10
    $z = $x + 5
    (Get-Random -Minimum 1 -Maximum 1000).ToString()   >> "C:\temp\file.txt"

Debug-Job -Job $job;

Debugging process is also tricky, you should be aware of few things

  • The .ps1 file must be saved before debugging
  • Write-host will not work in the job, instead use Out-file to write in a log file
  • Put break point on the Debug-Job line
  • If the job ends quickly then debug will not work, make the function run for longer, by adding “start-sleep -s 5” in the job it self, like in the above example

If you want to bypass a parameter to the Job, you can do this in many ways

  1. Pass parameter directly to the job, using $input method, like the below (Please make sure to use $input word (case sensitive), otherwise it will not work
for($i =0; $i -lt 5; $i++)
$job=Start-Job -Name "Job-$i" -InputObject $i -ScriptBlock {
    Start-Sleep -s 10
    $z = $input
    $input   >> "C:\temp\file.txt"

Debug-Job -Job $job;

2. The job only takes one single input, you can send array of string as object in this input, and process it in the job

3. you can write your input in a file, and then the job read it

In general I prefer to use file with jobs, it is easier in handling like the below

for($i =0; $i -lt 5; $i++)
$job=Start-Job -Name "Job-$i" -InputObject $i -ScriptBlock {
    Start-Sleep -s 5
    C:\Temp\otherscript.ps1 -param1 $input


Please leave me a comment if you face any issues with the Jobs


How to read Excel files without having Excel installed on your machine using .NET ?

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Luckily, there is a way to read from Excel files that has (*.xlsx) or (*.xls) extensions, without having Office Excel installed on your machine.

This way can be used with .NET Windows, or Webs, also can be used with PowerShell, however, I will address below how to use it with .NET only in details, and will give some guidance how to use it with PowerShell

1. Open your visual studio, and Create a new .NET Project (web app, or windows app, or other) with .NET v4.0 or more
2. Create a new Class, and lets name it “ExcelAdapter.cs”
3. Paste the blow block in “ExcelAdapter.cs”

using System;
using System.Collections.Generic;
using System.Linq;
using System.Text;
using System.Threading.Tasks;
using DocumentFormat.OpenXml;
using DocumentFormat.OpenXml.Packaging;
using DocumentFormat.OpenXml.Spreadsheet;
using System.Data;
using System.Globalization;

namespace ExcelReader
    public class ExcelAdapter
        public static DataTable ReadExcel(string path, string sheetName)
            var data = new DataTable();
            using (SpreadsheetDocument spreadsheetDocument = SpreadsheetDocument.Open(path, false))
                // Get the worksheet we are working with
                var sheets = spreadsheetDocument.WorkbookPart.Workbook.Descendants<Sheet>().Where(s => s.Name == sheetName);
                var worksheetPart = (WorksheetPart)spreadsheetDocument.WorkbookPart.GetPartById(sheets.First().Id);
                var worksheet = worksheetPart.Worksheet;
                var sstPart = spreadsheetDocument.WorkbookPart.GetPartsOfType<SharedStringTablePart>().First();
                var ssTable = sstPart.SharedStringTable;
                // Get the CellFormats for cells without defined data types
                var workbookStylesPart = spreadsheetDocument.WorkbookPart.GetPartsOfType<WorkbookStylesPart>().First();
                var cellFormats = workbookStylesPart.Stylesheet.CellFormats;

                ExtractRowsData(data, worksheet, ssTable, cellFormats);
            return data;
        private static void ExtractRowsData(DataTable data, Worksheet worksheet, SharedStringTable ssTable, CellFormats cellFormats)
            var columnHeaders = worksheet.Descendants<Row>().First().Descendants<Cell>().Select(c => Convert.ToString(ProcessCellValue(c, ssTable, cellFormats))).ToArray();
            var columnHeadersCellReference = worksheet.Descendants<Row>().First().Descendants<Cell>().Select(c => c.CellReference.InnerText.Replace("1", string.Empty)).ToArray();
            var spreadsheetData = from row in worksheet.Descendants<Row>()
                                  where row.RowIndex > 1
                                  select row;
            foreach (string columnHeader in columnHeaders)
            foreach (var dataRow in spreadsheetData)
                var newRow = data.NewRow();
                for (int i = 0; i < columnHeaders.Length; i++)
                    // Find and add the correct cell to the row object
                    var cell = dataRow.Descendants<Cell>().Where(c => c.CellReference == columnHeadersCellReference[i] + dataRow.RowIndex).FirstOrDefault();
                    if (cell != null)
                        newRow[columnHeaders[i]] = ProcessCellValue(cell, ssTable, cellFormats);
                if (!newRow.ItemArray.All(field =>
                    string s = null;
                    if (field != null)
                        s = field.ToString();
                    return string.IsNullOrEmpty(s);
        // Process the valus of a cell and return a .NET value
        private static Func<Cell, SharedStringTable, CellFormats, Object> ProcessCellValue =
            (c, ssTable, cellFormats) =>
                if (c.CellValue == null) return null;
                // If there is no data type, this must be a string that has been formatted as a number
                if (c.DataType == null)
                    if (c.StyleIndex == null) return c.CellValue.Text.Trim();
                    var cf =
                    if (cf.NumberFormatId >= 0 && cf.NumberFormatId <= 13) // This is a number
                        return double.Parse(c.CellValue.Text, NumberStyles.Any);
                    if (cf.NumberFormatId >= 14 && cf.NumberFormatId <= 22) // This is a date
                        return DateTime.FromOADate(Convert.ToDouble(c.CellValue.Text));
                    return c.CellValue.Text.Trim();
                switch (c.DataType.Value)
                    case CellValues.SharedString:
                        return ssTable.ChildElements[Convert.ToInt32(c.CellValue.Text)].InnerText.Trim();
                    case CellValues.Boolean:
                        return c.CellValue.Text == "1";
                    case CellValues.Date:
                        return DateTime.FromOADate(Convert.ToDouble(c.CellValue.Text));
                    case CellValues.Number:
                        return double.Parse(c.CellValue.Text, NumberStyles.Any);
                        return c.CellValue != null ? c.CellValue.Text : string.Empty;
        public static List<string> GetSheet(string filename)
            DataTable dataTable = new DataTable();
            List<string> list = new List<string>();
            using (SpreadsheetDocument spreadsheetDocument = SpreadsheetDocument.Open(filename, false))
                IEnumerable<Sheet> enumerable = spreadsheetDocument.WorkbookPart.Workbook.Descendants<Sheet>();
                foreach (Sheet current in enumerable)
            return list;

4. This is an open source library, To install it you need to open “Package Manage Console” in visual studio and then run this command : Install-Package DocumentFormat.OpenXml -Version 2.9.1


5. If you cannot see the Package manage console, please show it from Tools > NuGet Package Manager > Package Manager Console


6. If you prefer to do it manually, you can search google on DocumentFormat.OpenXml, download the .dll, and use add to reference

7. Now the Document Format should be installed in your project, check the references to confirm

8. Rebuild the project, should be no errors

9. To start using the functions create a new form, or class, and start using the functions, this function will return list of sheets in the excel file

List<string> sheets = ExcelAdapter.GetSheet(@"C:\temp\file.xlsx");

10. Now we will get the data in one of the sheets, and load it to a datatable, then to DataGrid, to do this write the below

DataTable dt = ExcelAdapter.ReadExcel(@"C:\temp\file.xlsx", "Sheet1");//please be aware that Sheet1 is case sensitive!
 this.dataGridView1.DataSource = dt;
 //Please don't forget to add databind if you are using with asp.net

12. and you will have your Dataload as below

If you want to use it with PowerShell, it will be a little bit more complicated, you will need first to, convert this module to *.dll then reference it to your PowerShell script like in this link

How to Remove Duplicates items in SharePoint Online List and keep one by PowerShell ?

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Hello folks,

We have faced recently a critical situation with a customer:
He was running a certain PowerShell script to update a SharePoint Online list with Data, it reaches 7000 items, a certain issue occurred in the script, and he found that he as 20,000 items in the same list, 70% was duplicates.

He wants to solve the situation in a safe way with no risk, by removing duplicate items and keep the Original one.
To solve the situation I did the following, This solution can be applied on all SharePoint versions 2010, 2013, 2016, & SharePoint Online, as the script is written to work as Client Object Model.

      1. I took back-up from the List, if you use SharePoint On-premise version, you can take back-up of the site. If you are using SharePoint Online, you can use Sharegate, however this step is not mandatory.
      2. Export AllItems to Excel using the Excel action in the ribbon, and make sure the ID Column is part of the export.
      3.  Download and setup a free tool named Kutools for Excel from here , the page contains also description how to use it to mark the duplicated column.
      4. Now take of the IDs from the Excel, and paste it in a text file on your harddrive
      5. Then run the below PowerShell Script
        Add-Type -Path "C:\Path\SPOnline\Microsoft.SharePoint.Client.dll"
        Add-Type -Path "C:\Path\SPOnline\Microsoft.SharePoint.Client.Runtime.dll"
        $siteurl = "https://tenant.sharepoint.com/sites/yourSite/"
        $UserName = "siteadmin@tenant.onmicrosoft.com"
        $SecurePassword = Read-Host -Prompt "Please enter your password" -AsSecureString
        $Credentials = New-Object -TypeName System.Management.Automation.PSCredential -argumentlist $userName, $SecurePassword
        $SPOCredentials = New-Object Microsoft.SharePoint.Client.SharePointOnlineCredentials($UserName, $SecurePassword)
        $context = New-Object Microsoft.SharePoint.Client.ClientContext($siteurl)
        $context.Credentials = $SPOCredentials
        $web = $context.Site.RootWeb
        $listTitle = "List Name"
        $list = $Context.Web.Lists.GetByTitle($listTitle)
        $TargetSites = Get-Content "C:\temp\List-of-Ids.txt"
        foreach ($targetSite in $TargetSites)
        $caml = @"<View Scope="RecursiveAll"><Query><OrderBy><FieldRef Name='ID' Ascending='TRUE'/></OrderBy><Where><Eq><FieldRef Name='ID' /><Value Type='Number'>$id</Value></Eq></Where></Query><RowLimit Paged="TRUE">1</RowLimit></View>"
        $query = new-object Microsoft.SharePoint.Client.CamlQuery
        $query.ViewXml = $caml
        $items = $list.GetItems($query)
        if ($items.Count -gt 0)
        for ($i = $items.Count-1; $i -ge 0; $i--)
        Write-Host "Deleted: " $items[$i].Id.ToString() -ForegroundColor Yellow


    Now, the items will start to be deleted, you can change the PowerShell script to fits your need.
    This method is safe because you see exactly what do you want to delete before executing the deletion script

Get SharePoint Online Event Receivers

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In this article we will get list of Event receivers attached to SiteCollection or Web Levels.
Please follow these steps :

  1. Make sure Microsoft.SharePoint.Client.dll and Microsoft.SharePoint.Client.Runtime.dll
  2. Open PowerShell ISE & Run the Below script after setting the target parameter
    # Paths to SDK. Please verify location on your computer.
    Add-Type -Path "c:\Program Files\Common Files\microsoft shared\Web Server Extensions\16\ISAPI\Microsoft.SharePoint.Client.dll"
    Add-Type -Path "c:\Program Files\Common Files\microsoft shared\Web Server Extensions\16\ISAPI\Microsoft.SharePoint.Client.Runtime.dll"
    #declare the variables
    $tenantSite = "https://tenant-admin.sharepoint.com"
    #read file
    $siteurl = "https://tenant.sharepoint.com/teams/site1"
    $UserName = "admin@tenant.onmicrosoft.com"
    $SecurePassword = Read-Host -Prompt "Please enter your password" -AsSecureString
    $Credentials = New-Object -TypeName System.Management.Automation.PSCredential -argumentlist $userName, $SecurePassword
    $SPOCredentials = New-Object Microsoft.SharePoint.Client.SharePointOnlineCredentials($UserName, $SecurePassword)
    Connect-SPOService -Url $tenantSite -Credential $Credentials
    $context = New-Object Microsoft.SharePoint.Client.ClientContext($siteurl)
    $context.Credentials = $SPOCredentials
    $web = $context.Site.RootWeb #You can make it only $context.Site if you want to get the Events on Site Collection level
    $eventReceivers = $web.EventReceivers
    foreach($eventReceiver in $eventReceivers)
    Write-Host $eventReceiver.ReceiverId " " $eventReceiver.EventType.ToString() " " $eventReceiver.ReceiverName
  3. Output will be as follow

Of course the above script can be modified to be compatible with If you want to verify your results, you can use SharePoint Client Browser (SPCB)
It is a free helpful open source tool that can give you nice insights about your Site/Web event receivers and it supports 3 versions (SP2013, SP2016, & SPOnline)


Get SharePoint Admins for All SharePoint Online Sites

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In this article we will get list of all SharePoint Online Sites, and then List Site Admins using PnP library
Please follow these steps :

      1. Set-up PnP module latest version from here https://github.com/SharePoint/PnP-PowerShell/releases
      2. Run the Below script after setting the target parameter
        #Connect to SPO tenant
        $CurrentCred = Get-Credential
        Connect-SPOService "https://tenant-admin.sharepoint.com" -Credential $CurrentCred
        #Get all Site collections
        $sites = Get-SPOSite -Limit All
        foreach ($site in $sites)
        Connect-PnPOnline -Url $site.Url -Credential $CurrentCred
        $admins = Get-PnPSiteCollectionAdmin | select Title #You can also add ,Email
        foreach($admin in $admins)
        $allAdmins += $admin.Title +";" #You can have also $admin.Email
        Write-host ($site.Url+","+$allAdmins) -ForegroundColor Green
        ($site.Url+","+$allAdmins) >> "C:\temp\SiteCollectionAdmins.csv"

Then you will have a CSV file with SiteUrl & Site Admin Name delemited by ;

Apply SharePoint Online template using PnP PowerShell

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In this article we will define a template, and apply it for other SPO sites using PnP library
Please follow these steps :

    1. Set-up PnP module latest version from here https://github.com/SharePoint/PnP-PowerShell/releases
    2. Go to your SPO tenant, and create a SPO Site, you can also define (List structure, Theme, Pages, Content Types) because all of those will be part of the template.
    3. Make sure that the app catalog is activated on the tenant (There is no relation between app catalog and the tenant, but there is a bug found in January PnP package that required App catalog to be activated or a failure occurred)
    4. After having the site ready, run the below PowerShell command:
      $Creds = Get-Credential
      $SiteURL = "https://test.sharepoint.com/sites/demo1/"
      Connect-PnPOnline -Url $SiteURL -Credentials $Creds
      Get-PnPProvisioningTemplate -Out C:\temp\demo1Template.xml
    5. You should see a progress running for a while to export all settings.
    6. Please open the XML file at the provisioned path (C:\temp\demo1Template.xml), and have a look, it is also doable to do medications through the file, by adding items, or fields, but you need to be careful not to crap the schema.
    7. Now it is time to import it to the destination site, Create a destination site on SPO with a default teamsite template
    8. Apply the new template by running the below command.
      $DestUrl = "https://test.sharepoint.com/sites/destination1/"
      Connect-PnPOnline -Url $DestUrl -Credentials $Creds
      $template = Load-PnPProvisioningTemplate -Path "C:\temp\demo1Template.xml"
      Apply-PnPProvisioningTemplate -InputInstance $template

After this, refresh the destination site, and you should see the template applied.
I suggest to start first with a simple template, then apply more complexity to it. this approach should run smoothly also with SP2016, but I haven’t tried to import a template from SPO and import it to 2016 or vise versa

“Access Denied” to Access Requests list or “Request approval failed” when you process a pending request in SharePoint Online

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I have run through a problem today during my work on one of the clients, and this sometimes happened mainly with sites that is migrated to SharePoint Online




This works perfectly fine !