Office Click-To-Run and XML Files

So, it used to be that we would install Office using a batch script that would invoke a setup.exe, assign a specific /configure flag and manually assign a specific XML file that contained the product that we wanted to install. This was bulky. It got too bulky when we needed to install 32-bit and 64-bit versions.

TIME FOR A CHANGE!

This is when I started thinking: “wow I really hate batch. I’m really glad I’m not the one that had to write this old script. Lets PowerShell this shit!”

First I needed a template XML file to modify, So this is what that looks like:

<Configuration>
  <Add OfficeClientEdition="64" Channel="Current">
    <Product ID="O365BusinessRetail">
      <Language ID="MatchOS" />
    </Product>
  </Add>
</Configuration>

This is the file that we will edit to say which product we want installing also if we want 64-bit or 32-bit.

Next, I needed to create a PowerShell script that would take a user’s input, edit the XML file accordingly and start the setup.exe with this flag. I also needed the bit-version that they wanted.

I started by defining the variables I would need for the script:

#Variables used for the installation
$bitVersion = ""
$officeProduct = ""
$pathToOffice = "\\path\to\office\folder"
$xmlFile = "OfficeXML.xml"
$pathToXMLFile = Join-Path -Path $pathToOffice -ChildPath $xmlFile

Then I created a function I would use to update the XML file. I needed two parameters, the product that they wanted installing and the bit version they wanted:

#Updates the XML file based on the input
function Update-XMLFile([string]$product, [string]$bit){

    try{
        #Loading the XML document
        [xml]$xmlDoc = Get-Content -Path $pathToXMLFile

        #Edit the document
        $xmlDoc.Configuration.Add.OfficeClientEdition = $bit
        $xmlDoc.Configuration.Add.Product.ID = $product

        #Save the document
        $xmlDoc.Save($pathToXMLFile)
    }catch{
        $errorMessage = $_.Exception.Message
        Write-Host $errorMessage -ForegroundColor Red
        Read-Host "The script encountered the above error - will now exit"
    }
}

I then created another function to start the installation. This also required two parameters, the bit version and the XML file name

#Function to start the installation
function Start-Installation([string]$bit, [string]$xmlName){
    try{
        .\setup.exe /configure $bit\$xmlName
    }catch{
        $errorMessage = $_.Exception.Message
        Write-Host $errorMessage
        Read-Host "The script encountered the above error - will now exit"
    }
}

My final function was a verification test. Since we want to only use 64-bit for future installations, I had to make sure that whoever was using the script knew this and would be competent enough to do a little bit of math:

#Function to check the user wants 32 bit
function Get-Verification(){
    $output = $false

    Write-Host "Are you sure you want to install 32-bit?" -ForegroundColor Red
    Write-Host "All new installs should use 64-bit instead"
    Write-Host "If you want to install 32-bit, complete the test below, otherwise enter the wrong answer"

    $firstNumber = Get-Random -Minimum 1 -Maximum 11
    $secondNumber = Get-Random -Minimum 1 -Maximum 11

    $sumToCheck = $firstNumber + $secondNumber

    $verificationInput = Read-Host "$($firstNumber) + $($secondNumber) = ?"

    if ($verificationInput -eq $sumToCheck){
        Write-Host "Fine! 32-bit will be installed..."
        $output = $true
    }else{
        Write-Host "Finally! 64-bit will be installed"
        $output = $false
    }
    return $output
}

Now that all my functions were defined, I could start with the actual meat of the script. This included cleaning the screen, asking the user some questions, launching the 32-bit verification is needed, updating the XML file using a switch statement and finally kicking off the installation. Heres what that looked like:

#Clear the screen
Clear-Host

#region Checking if the user wants 64 bit or 32 bit

do{

    Write-Host "Do you want" -NoNewline
    Write-Host " 64-bit " -NoNewline -ForegroundColor Yellow
    Write-Host "or" -NoNewline
    Write-Host " 32-bit " -NoNewline -ForegroundColor Green
    Write-Host "? (64 or 32): " -NoNewline
    $bitVersionInput = (Read-Host).ToUpper()
}while((64 ,32) -notcontains $bitVersionInput)

#endregion

#Check the user definitely wants 32 bit
if ($bitVersionInput -eq "32"){
    if (Get-Verification){
        $bitVersion = $bitVersionInput
    }else{
        $bitVersionInput = "64"
    }
}

#Update the bitVersion variable
$bitVersion = $bitVersionInput

#region Asking what product to install

#Ask the user what product they want to install
Write-Host @"

Please select one product from the below list

"@

Write-Host @"
1) Business Retail
2) ProPlus Retail

"@ -ForegroundColor Cyan

Write-Host @"
3) Visio Std Volume
4) Visio Pro Volume
5) Visio Pro Retail

"@ -ForegroundColor Green

Write-Host @"
6) Project Std Volume
7) Project Pro Volume
8) Project Pro Retail

"@ -ForegroundColor Gray

Write-Host @"
C) Cancel

"@ -ForegroundColor Red

do{
    $officeProductInput = (Read-Host "Enter a number").ToUpper()
}while((1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8, "C") -notcontains $officeProductInput)

#endregion

#Update the product variable
$officeProduct = $officeProductInput

#region Switch the input to see what it is and perform the required operation

switch($officeProduct){
    
    #Business Retail
    1 { Update-XMLFile -product "O365BusinessRetail" -bit $bitVersion}
    #ProPlus
    2 { Update-XMLFile -product "O365ProPlusRetail" -bit $bitVersion}
    #Visio Std Volume
    3 { Update-XMLFile -product "VisioStd2019Volume" -bit $bitVersion}
    #Visio Pro Volume
    4 { Update-XMLFile -product "VisioPro2019Volume" -bit $bitVersion}
    #Visio Pro Retail
    5 { Update-XMLFile -product "VisioPro2019Retail" -bit $bitVersion}
    #Project Std Volume
    6 { Update-XMLFile -product "ProjectStd2019Volume" -bit $bitVersion}
    #Project Pro Volume
    7 { Update-XMLFile -product "ProjectPro2019Volume" -bit $bitVersion}
    #Project Pro Retail
    8 { Update-XMLFile -product "ProjectPro2019Retail" -bit $bitVersion}
    #Cancel
    "C" {Exit}
    default {Exit}
}

#endregion

#Start the installation
Write-Host "Installing..." -ForegroundColor Green
Start-Installation -bit $bitVersion -xmlName $xmlFile
Write-Host "This window can be closed"
Read-Host

Done!

If you’re wondering what the script looks like as a whole, wonder no longer:

#Variables used for the installation
$bitVersion = ""
$officeProduct = ""
$pathToOffice = "\\sandpdc\software\Office"
$xmlFile = "OfficeXML.xml"
$pathToXMLFile = Join-Path -Path $pathToOffice -ChildPath $xmlFile

#Updates the XML file based on the input
function Update-XMLFile([string]$product, [string]$bit){

    try{
        #Loading the XML document
        [xml]$xmlDoc = Get-Content -Path $pathToXMLFile

        #Edit the document
        $xmlDoc.Configuration.Add.OfficeClientEdition = $bit
        $xmlDoc.Configuration.Add.Product.ID = $product

        #Save the document
        $xmlDoc.Save($pathToXMLFile)
    }catch{
        $errorMessage = $_.Exception.Message
        Write-Host $errorMessage -ForegroundColor Red
        Read-Host "The script encountered the above error - will now exit"
    }
}

#Function to start the installation
function Start-Installation([string]$bit, [string]$xmlName){
    try{
        .\setup.exe /configure $bit\$xmlName
    }catch{
        $errorMessage = $_.Exception.Message
        Write-Host $errorMessage
        Read-Host "The script encountered the above error - will now exit"
    }
}

#Function to check the user wants 32 bit
function Get-Verification(){
    $output = $false

    Write-Host "Are you sure you want to install 32-bit?" -ForegroundColor Red
    Write-Host "All new installs should use 64-bit instead"
    Write-Host "If you want to install 32-bit, complete the test below, otherwise enter the wrong answer"

    $firstNumber = Get-Random -Minimum 1 -Maximum 11
    $secondNumber = Get-Random -Minimum 1 -Maximum 11

    $sumToCheck = $firstNumber + $secondNumber

    $verificationInput = Read-Host "$($firstNumber) + $($secondNumber) = ?"

    if ($verificationInput -eq $sumToCheck){
        Write-Host "Fine! 32-bit will be installed..."
        $output = $true
    }else{
        Write-Host "Finally! 64-bit will be installed"
        $output = $false
    }
    return $output
}

#Clear the screen
Clear-Host

#region Checking if the user wants 64 bit or 32 bit

do{

    Write-Host "Do you want" -NoNewline
    Write-Host " 64-bit " -NoNewline -ForegroundColor Yellow
    Write-Host "or" -NoNewline
    Write-Host " 32-bit " -NoNewline -ForegroundColor Green
    Write-Host "? (64 or 32): " -NoNewline
    $bitVersionInput = (Read-Host).ToUpper()
}while((64 ,32) -notcontains $bitVersionInput)

#endregion

#Check the user definitely wants 32 bit
if ($bitVersionInput -eq "32"){
    if (Get-Verification){
        $bitVersion = $bitVersionInput
    }else{
        $bitVersionInput = "64"
    }
}

#Update the bitVersion variable
$bitVersion = $bitVersionInput

#region Asking what product to install

#Ask the user what product they want to install
Write-Host @"

Please select one product from the below list

"@

Write-Host @"
1) Business Retail
2) ProPlus Retail

"@ -ForegroundColor Cyan

Write-Host @"
3) Visio Std Volume
4) Visio Pro Volume
5) Visio Pro Retail

"@ -ForegroundColor Green

Write-Host @"
6) Project Std Volume
7) Project Pro Volume
8) Project Pro Retail

"@ -ForegroundColor Gray

Write-Host @"
C) Cancel

"@ -ForegroundColor Red

do{
    $officeProductInput = (Read-Host "Enter a number").ToUpper()
}while((1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8, "C") -notcontains $officeProductInput)

#endregion

#Update the product variable
$officeProduct = $officeProductInput

#region Switch the input to see what it is and perform the required operation

switch($officeProduct){
    
    #Business Retail
    1 { Update-XMLFile -product "O365BusinessRetail" -bit $bitVersion}
    #ProPlus
    2 { Update-XMLFile -product "O365ProPlusRetail" -bit $bitVersion}
    #Visio Std Volume
    3 { Update-XMLFile -product "VisioStd2019Volume" -bit $bitVersion}
    #Visio Pro Volume
    4 { Update-XMLFile -product "VisioPro2019Volume" -bit $bitVersion}
    #Visio Pro Retail
    5 { Update-XMLFile -product "VisioPro2019Retail" -bit $bitVersion}
    #Project Std Volume
    6 { Update-XMLFile -product "ProjectStd2019Volume" -bit $bitVersion}
    #Project Pro Volume
    7 { Update-XMLFile -product "ProjectPro2019Volume" -bit $bitVersion}
    #Project Pro Retail
    8 { Update-XMLFile -product "ProjectPro2019Retail" -bit $bitVersion}
    #Cancel
    "C" {Exit}
    default {Exit}
}

#endregion

#Start the installation
Write-Host "Installing..." -ForegroundColor Green
Start-Installation -bit $bitVersion -xmlName $xmlFile
Write-Host "This window can be closed"
Read-Host

 

Quering and Adding Info To Access Database Using C#

In this post, I will show you how I created a program to extract and add data to an Access database. Before we get started, you can see my current specifications below:

Getting values from a table:

Using System.Data.OleDB;

//Create a new list to hold all the values
List<String> values = new List<String>();

//Build the connection string and SQL string
string connectionString = @$"Provider=Microsoft.ACE.OLEDB;Data Source = C:\Path\To\Access.accdb";
string sqlString = "SELECT * FROM Table_Name";

//Create a new connection to the Access file
using (OleDbConnection connection = new OleDbConnection(connectionString)){

    //Creating a new command
    OleDbCommand command = new OleDbCommand(sqlString, connection);
    
    //Try/catch to catch errors, DON'T DO THIS IN SERIOUS PROJECTS!
    try{
        
        //Opening the connection and reading the data
        connection.Open();
        using(OleDbDataReader reader = command.ExecuteReader()){
            while(reader.Read()){
                
                //Adding the value to the values list
                values.Add(reader["Field_Name"].ToString());
            }
        }
    }catch{ }
    
    //Closing the connection
    connection.Close();
}

//Sorting the list in ascending order
values.Sort();

 

Adding a new row to the table:

Using System.Data.OleDb;

//Building the connection string and SQL string
string connectionString = @$"Provider=Microsoft.ACE.OLEDB.12.0;Data Source = C:\Path\To\Access.accdb";
string sqlString = $"INSERT INTO Table_Name(Field_Name1, Field_Name2) VALUES ('{Field_Value1}','{Field_Value2}')";

//Creating a new connection to the Access file
using (OleDbConnection connection = new OleDbConnection(connectionString))
{
    //Build a new command
    using(OleDbCommand command = new OleDbCommand(sqlString, connection))
    {
        //Open the database connection and execute the write
        connection.Open();
        command.ExecuteReader();
    }
    //Close the database connection
    connection.Close();
}

Enjoy!

Launch Chrome and Other Applications in C#

Hi Everyone,

Short post, I just wanted to put down into writing how I open Chrome windows and other applications in C# code. This is used by one of my startup programs which allowed me to open all my most used applications with ease 🙂

First I create a Process variables using the System.Diagnostics resource:

Process process = new Process();

I then point the process variables start info filename to the location of my Chrome executable:

process.StartInfo.FileName = @"C:\Path\To\Chrome.exe";

I then add my URL to the start info arguments:

process.StartInfo.Arguments = @"https://bbc.co.uk";

Then, if I want the link to open as a new window instead of onto an existing Chrome window I use:

process.StartInfo.Arguments += " --new-windows";

Finally, I start the process:

process.Start();

Here are some different scenarios:

Opening a URL in an existing Chrome window:

Process process = new Process();
process.StartInfo.FileName = @"C:\Path\To\Chrome.exe";
process.StartInfo.Arguments = @"https://bbc.co.uk" ;
process.Start()

Opening a URL in a new Chrome window:

Process process = new Process();
process.StartInfo.FileName = @"C:\Path\To\chrome.exe";
process.StartInfo.Arguments = @"https://bbc.co.uk";
process.StartInfo.Arguments += " --new-window";
process.Start();

Opening multiple URLs in a new Chrome window:

List<String> URLs = new List<String>(){
    "https://bbc.co.uk",
    "https://mharwood.uk",
    "https://youtube.com"
}

Process process = new Process();
process.StartInfo.FileName = @"C:\Path\To\chrome.exe";
foreach (string i in URLs)
{
    process.StartInfo.Arguments += i;
}
process.StartInfo.Arguments += " --new-window";
process.Start();

Opening different programs:

List<String> Programs = new List<String>(){
    @"C:\Path\To\First\Program.exe",
    @"C:\Path\To\Second\Program.exe",
    @"C:\Path\To\Third\Program.exe"
}

foreach(string i in Programs){
    Process.Start(i);
}

I hope this is useful information for someone. Enjoy!

LAPS WinForm 2

New and improved LAPS WinForm because the original one, found here, was kind of crap. It didn’t handle exceptions very well and I don’t think the group policy update worked at all after some further debugging.

I am please to present the new GUI for LAPS:

The best place to download this from would be my TechNet gallery

Enjoy!

SharePoint Group Membership WinForm

This is a little WinForm I created that would output the group membership for a domain user or FBA (Forms-Based Authentication) user on SharePoint.

This is what the form looks like, it gives the option for a domain or FBA user and also checked if the user exists before trying to get the relevant information:

The form first checks if CredSSP is configured on your machine to delegate your credentials to the SharePoint server. The form then loads, waits for your input, validates your input and finally collects the group information for your input.

And finally, this is the code for the Winform. I’ve removed some details as they need to be filled in by you. Enjoy!

#CHECKING CREDSSP SETTINGS
if ((Get-Item  WSMan:\localhost\Client\Auth\CredSSP).value -eq $false){
    #CREDSSP NOT CONFIGURED, EXITING
    Write-Host @"
    
CredSSP is not configured!

Please open an elavated PowerShell prompt and run:

Enable-WSManCredSSP -Role client -DelegateComputer sandsharepointf

"@
    Exit
}else{}

#LOADING ASSEMBLIES
Add-Type -AssemblyName System.Windows.Forms
[System.Windows.Forms.Application]::EnableVisualStyles()

#ICON FOR THE FORM
[string]$icon64=@"
#base64data
"@

#CONVERTING BASE 64 ICON INTO GRAPHIC
$iconstream = [System.IO.MemoryStream][System.Convert]::FromBase64String($icon64)
$iconbmp = [System.Drawing.Bitmap][System.Drawing.Image]::FromStream($iconstream)
$iconhandle = $iconbmp.GetHicon()
$icon = [System.Drawing.Icon]::FromHandle($iconhandle)

#FORM
$SharePoint_Membership_Form                 = New-Object system.Windows.Forms.Form
$SharePoint_Membership_Form.ClientSize      = '400,278'
$SharePoint_Membership_Form.text            = "SharePoint Membership"
$SharePoint_Membership_Form.TopMost         = $false
$SharePoint_Membership_Form.StartPosition   = "centerscreen"
$SharePoint_Membership_Form.Icon            = $icon
$SharePoint_Membership_Form.FormBorderStyle = "Fixed3D"

#USERNAME LABEL
$Username_Label                  = New-Object system.Windows.Forms.Label
$Username_Label.text             = "Enter a username:"
$Username_Label.AutoSize         = $true
$Username_Label.width            = 25
$Username_Label.height           = 10
$Username_Label.location         = New-Object System.Drawing.Point(146,12)

#USERNAME TEXTBOX
$Username_Textbox                = New-Object system.Windows.Forms.TextBox
$Username_Textbox.multiline      = $false
$Username_Textbox.width          = 175
$Username_Textbox.height         = 20
$Username_Textbox.location       = New-Object System.Drawing.Point(115,33)

#VARIABLE FOR KEYDOWN
$Username_Textbox_keydown = {}

#KEYDOWN ASSIGNED
$Username_Textbox_keydown = [System.Windows.Forms.KeyEventHandler]{
    if ($_.keycode -eq 'Enter'){
        $Search_Button.PerformClick()
    }
}

#REGISTER KEYDOWN HANDLER TO USERNAME TEXTBOX
$Username_Textbox.add_keydown($Username_Textbox_keydown)

#DOMAIN RADIO BUTTON
$Domain_User_RB                  = New-Object system.Windows.Forms.RadioButton
$Domain_User_RB.text             = "Domain User"
$Domain_User_RB.AutoSize         = $true
$Domain_User_RB.width            = 104
$Domain_User_RB.height           = 20
$Domain_User_RB.location         = New-Object System.Drawing.Point(120,64)
$Domain_User_RB.Checked          = $true

#SHAREPOINT FBA USER RADIO BUTTON
$FBA_User_RB                     = New-Object system.Windows.Forms.RadioButton
$FBA_User_RB.text                = "FBA User"
$FBA_User_RB.AutoSize            = $true
$FBA_User_RB.width               = 104
$FBA_User_RB.height              = 20
$FBA_User_RB.location            = New-Object System.Drawing.Point(215,64)

#SEARCH BUTTON
$Search_Button                  = New-Object system.Windows.Forms.Button
$Search_Button.text             = "Search"
$Search_Button.width            = 60
$Search_Button.height           = 30
$Search_Button.location         = New-Object System.Drawing.Point(171,89)

#SEPERATOR LINE
$Seperator_Label                 = New-Object system.Windows.Forms.Label
$Seperator_Label.text            = ""
$Seperator_Label.AutoSize        = $false
$Seperator_Label.BorderStyle     = "Fixed3D"
$Seperator_Label.width           = 390
$Seperator_Label.height          = 2
$Seperator_Label.location        = New-Object System.Drawing.Point(5,124)

#OUTPUT TEXTBOX
$Output_Textbox                 = New-Object System.Windows.Forms.TextBox
$Output_Textbox.Multiline       = $true
$Output_Textbox.Width           = 390
$Output_Textbox.Height          = 142
$Output_Textbox.Location        = New-Object System.Drawing.Point(5,131)
$Output_Textbox.ReadOnly        = $true
$Output_Textbox.ScrollBars      = "vertical"

#ADDING CONTROLS TO FORM
$SharePoint_Membership_Form.controls.AddRange(@($Domain_User_RB,$FBA_User_RB,$Seperator_Label,$Username_Label,$Username_Textbox,$Search_Button,$Output_Textbox))

$Search_Button.add_click({

    $Output_Textbox.Text = ""

    #DATE FOR OUTPUT
    $date = Get-Date    
    $username_value = $Username_Textbox.Text
    $Username_Prefix = $null
    $location = #base location

    #SETTING SEARCH VALUES BACK TO FALSE
    $Search_On_AD_User = $false
    $Search_On_FBA_User = $false

    #CHECKING IF USERNAME TEXTBOX IS EMPTY
    if ($Username_Textbox.Text.Length -le 0){
        #IF EMPTY, VARIABLE IS FALSE
        $Output_Textbox.AppendText("$date - $Username cannot be empty! `n")
        $Username_Not_Empty = $false
    }else{
        $Username_Not_Empty = $true
        $Output_Textbox.Text = ""
    }

    #RUNS IF DOMAIN USER RADIO BUTTON IS CHECKED
    if ($Domain_User_RB.Checked -and $Username_Not_Empty){
        try{
            $Output_Textbox.AppendText("$date - Searching for $username_value `n")
            Get-ADUser -Identity $username_value

            $Output_Textbox.AppendText("$date - Found user! `n")

            $Search_On_AD_User = $true
            $Search_On_FBA_User = $false

            $Username_Found = $true

        }catch{
            $Output_Textbox.AppendText("$date - Cannot find domain user `n")
            $Username_Found = $false
        }
    }

    #RUNS IF FBA USER RADIO BUTTON IS CHECKED
    if ($FBA_User_RB.Checked -and $Username_Not_Empty){
        
        $SPAdmin = "sharepoint_admin_user"
        $credential = New-Object System.Management.Automation.PSCredential $SPAdmin,  (Get-Content "$location\sharepoint_admin_user_encrypted_password.txt" | ConvertTo-SecureString )

        $sb = {
            $username = $args[0]
            Add-PSSnapin microsoft.sharepoint.PowerShell
            $user = Get-SPUser -Limit All -Web http://SHAREPOINTSERVER | 
                Where-Object {$_.loginname -like "i:0#.f|fbamembershipprovider|$username"}

            return $user
        }

        $Output_Textbox.AppendText("$date - Trying to find $username_value... `n")

        $invokeoutputfbasearch = Invoke-Command -ScriptBlock $sb -ComputerName SHAREPOINTSERVER -Authentication Credssp -Credential $credential -ArgumentList $username_value

        if ($invokeoutputfbasearch){
            #FOUND USER
            $Username_Found = $true
            $Search_On_FBA_User = $true
            $Search_On_AD_User = $false
            $Output_Textbox.AppendText("$date - Found FBA user!`n")
        }else{
            #NOT FOUND USER
            $Username_Found = $false
            $Output_Textbox.AppendText("$date - Cannot find FBA user `n")
        }
    }

    #ONLY RUNS IF BELOW CONDITIONS ARE MET
    if ($Username_Found -and $Username_Not_Empty){
        #ASSIGNING THE RIGHT USERNAME FORMAT
        if ($Search_On_AD_User){
            $Username_Prefix = "*|DOMAIN_NAME\"
        }else{
            $Username_Prefix = "i:0#.f|fbamembershipprovider|"
        }

        $SPAdmin = "sharepoint_admin_user"
        $credential = New-Object System.Management.Automation.PSCredential $SPAdmin,  (Get-Content "$location\sharepoint_admin_user_encrypted_password.txt" | ConvertTo-SecureString )

        $sb = { 
            $groups = $null
            $prefix = $args[0]
            $username = $args[1]
            Add-PSSnapin Microsoft.SharePoint.PowerShell
            $user = get-SPUser -limit all -web http://SHAREPOINTSERVER | 
                Where-Object { $_.loginname -like "$prefix$username" }
                $SPGroups = get-spsite -limit all | 
                    Select-Object -ExpandProperty rootweb | 
                    Select-Object -ExpandProperty siteusers | 
                    Where-Object { $user.userlogin -eq $_.loginname } | 
                    Select-Object -ExpandProperty groups | 
                    Select-Object -ExpandProperty name
            foreach ($i in $SPGroups){
                $groups = $groups + "     - $i `r`n"
            }
        return $groups
        }

        $Output_Textbox.AppendText("$date - Collecting group info on $username_value... `n")

        $InvokeOutputfinal = Invoke-Command -ScriptBlock $sb -ComputerName SHAREPOINTSERVER -Authentication Credssp -Credential $credential -ArgumentList $Username_Prefix,$username_value

        $Output_Textbox.AppendText("`n")
        $Output_Textbox.AppendText("$InvokeOutputfinal")

    }else{#THIS SERVES ONLY AS A TRAP TO STOP ANYTHING RUNNING
    }
})

#DISPLAYING FORM
[void]$SharePoint_Membership_Form.ShowDialog()

Using DinoPass in PowerShell

This is a nice little trick I learnt whilst automating domain user creation with PowerShell, I found generating passwords in PowerShell was always ugly. Just see the example below from a previous post I’d made:

[string]$initialpassword = ([char[]](Get-Random -input $(47..57 + 65..90 +97..122) -count 8)) + (Get-Random -minimum 0 -maximum 10)

$passwordwithspacesremoved = $initialpassword.Replace(' ','')

$convertedpassword = ConvertTo-SecureString -AsPlainText $passwordwithspacesremoved -Force

This would generate a password like “cDUtxlvM5” which is just about as ugly as the code used to create it.

So I decided to use DinoPass instead since it created better looking passwords without the faff of generating them in PowerShell. This is a the code I used:

Invoke-WebRequest -Uri https://www.dinopass.com/password/strong | Select-Object -ExpandProperty content

Which would give me a much nicer, but still secure, password like “poorJump62”. Then to use it when automating domain user creation, I would use the below and put the whole thing into a variable that I would set the password to:

$super_secure_password = Invoke-WebRequest -Uri https://www.dinopass.com/password/strong | Select-Object -ExpandProperty content | ConvertTo-SecureString -AsPlainText -Force

Enjoy!

Swaks Email Scripting

Hi, in this blog post I will show you how I configured Swaks for sending emails using SMTP using my custom SMTP server.

First I ran the following command to install swaks:

sudo apt-get install swaks

With swaks installed, I could start building a test command just to
see if this would actually work. I started with the below command:

swaks --to destination@email.com --from source@email.com --auth --auth-user=source@email.com --auth-password=passwordforsource@email.comaccount --server smtp.example.com -tls

This gave me an error along the lines of “Could not authenticate – connection refused” after talking to the people hosting my SMTP server, I found out that I needed to make sure that I was using port 587 and not the default port of 465.

So I made sure that my command explicitly used that port by adding it to the server parameter and managed to get an email to successfully send. You can see the code I used below:

swaks --to destination@email.com --from source@email.com --auth --auth-user=source@email.com --auth-password=passwordforsource@email.comaccount --server smtp.example.com:587 -tls

Extra

I wanted to use this in a script so that I could launch the script and an email would get sent. I also wanted to change what would get sent in the actual email since currently, it was just using the default values.

After 5 or so minutes of cobbling a script together, I came up with what you can see below:

#!/bin/bash

hostname=$(hostname)
uptime=$(uptime)

swaks --to destination@email.com \
--from=source@email.com \
--auth \
--auth-user=source@email.com \
--auth-password=password-for-source-email \
--server smtp.example.com:587 \
--body "$hostname - uptime is $uptime" \
--header "Subject: $hostname is still up" \
-tls \

Now I can send this email whenever I want, I even created a CRON job to send the email every hour. Enjoy!

Coloured BASH Output Using TPUT

From my previous post, found here, you can see that I have formatted the text to be a specific colour depending on what sort of output I get. So for errors I make the text red and for successful messages I make the text green.

This is easy to implement into BASH scripts and a lot of other formatting can be applied as well. In this post, I will be covering the colorization (probably not a word), underlining, bold text and resetting the changes.

Colour Possibilities:

  • 0 – Black
  • 1 – Red
  • 2 – Green
  • 3 – Yellow
  • 4 – Blue
  • 5 – Magenta
  • 6 – Cyan
  • 7 – White
$(tput setaf 1)TEXT HERE

Bold Text:

#Starts bold characters

$(tput bold)TEXT HERE

#Ends bold characters

$(tput sgr0)TEXT HERE

I would just like to add here that tput sgr0 removes all formatting and returns text to the default style and colour.

Underlining:

#Starts underlining

$(tput smul)TEXT HERE

#Ends underlining

$(tput rmul)TEXT HERE

Below is a full script which includes all the possible combinations of the examples above, apart from black text.

#!/bin/bash

echo "
regular bold underline
$(tput setaf 1)Text $(tput bold)Text $(tput sgr0)$(tput setaf 1)$(tput smul)Text$(tput rmul)
$(tput setaf 2)Text $(tput bold)Text $(tput sgr0)$(tput setaf 2)$(tput smul)Text$(tput rmul)
$(tput setaf 3)Text $(tput bold)Text $(tput sgr0)$(tput setaf 3)$(tput smul)Text$(tput rmul)
$(tput setaf 4)Text $(tput bold)Text $(tput sgr0)$(tput setaf 4)$(tput smul)Text$(tput rmul)
$(tput setaf 5)Text $(tput bold)Text $(tput sgr0)$(tput setaf 5)$(tput smul)Text$(tput rmul)
$(tput setaf 6)Text $(tput bold)Text $(tput sgr0)$(tput setaf 6)$(tput smul)Text$(tput rmul)
$(tput setaf 7)Text $(tput bold)Text $(tput sgr0)$(tput setaf 7)$(tput smul)Text$(tput rmul)
"

I know it looks quite horrible in the source code but this is what the output looks like:

Full possibilities

Enjoy!