Archive | February, 2012

Using cURL to pull Google Reader starred items – Part 2 UnStaring in Google Reader

In the first part of this tutorial, I pulled a couple of variables from the XML feed of my Google Reader’s “starred items”. Now I wanted to “process” the item and UnStar it. This was not easy for me to put together – it was my first attempt at working with the Google API.

First I needed to get authenticated against Google Services for accessing Google Reader. Here is the shell script to do this:

stty -echo
read -p "Password: " password; echo
stty echo
RESULT=$(curl -s \
--data-urlencode --data-urlencode Passwd=$password \
-d accountType=GOOGLE \
-d source=MyAppName \
-d service=reader)

This returned some html that included the AUTH code that I needed to add to the header of each Google Reader Request. I used this AUTH to get a Token (my understanding is that if I wanted to edit an item, I needed the token too). Here are the two pieces of code to parse the AUTH get the Token:

AUTH=$(echo "$RESULT" | grep 'Auth=' | sed  s/Auth=//)
TOKEN=$(curl -s --header "Authorization: GoogleLogin auth=$AUTH"

Putting the AUTH together with the Token, and the Source and id from this post, you end up with a cURL command that can mark an item as UnStared:

curl -s --request POST --header "Authorization: GoogleLogin auth=$AUTH" \
--data-urlencode r=user/-/state/  \
--data-urlencode async=true \
--data-urlencode s=$SOURCE \
--data-urlencode i=$OBJID \
--data-urlencode T=$TOKEN

I was surprised when i got this to work. I am still scared of APIs/REST.

Using cURL to pull Google Reader starred items – Part 1 xpath

A while ago, I wrote a post about using ruby to parse the xml feed of shared starred items in Google Reader. One thing that I did not like about this solution was that I could not get the URL AND mark the item as un-starred. Since I had been playing with REST in these two prior posts, I figured I could re-write my code to pull down starred item’s URLs, and mark them as un-starred. I wanted to eliminate ruby, as I just don’t use it that often and I feel like I am re-inventing the wheel every time. This too a lot longer than I thought it would, but I figured it out (I think)

As this article explains, you can share out your Google reader starred items. First step was the find the needed values from this XML feed and put the values into variables. I turned to xpath (xpath is installed by default on OS X, it is part of the Perl library XML::XPath).

For the second part of this tutorial, where we mark the item as “un-starred”, we need 2 variables form the Xml feed: id & source. My end goal was to put these URLs into, so I needed the URL too. Title was just for fun.

Here is the non ruby code to pull the variables that I needed out of the XML of the shared starred items in Google Reader.

XML=$(curl -s | xmllint --format -)
OBJID=$(echo "$XML" | xpath "//entry/id" 2>/dev/null | awk -F"[<>]" '{print $3}')
TITLE=$(echo "$XML" | xpath "//entry/title" 2>/dev/null | awk -F"[<>]" '{print $3}')
URL=$(echo "$XML" | xpath "//entry/link/@href" 2>/dev/null | sed 's/\"//g' | sed 's/href\=//g' | sed 's/\ //g')
SOURCE=$(echo "$XML" | xpath "//entry/source/@gr:stream-id" 2>/dev/null | sed "s/gr:stream-id=//g" | sed "s/\"//g" | sed 's/\ //g')

After getting those variables, I wanted to put the URL in (this has not changed since the previous post). Here is that code:

echo "Adding $TITLE to Together"
osascript << EOT
tell application "Together" to import url "$URL" as web PDF

PowerShell code to update a CRM 2011 field (using REST/oData)

In this earlier post I showed how to loop through all the contacts in CRM 2011. Next thing I wanted to do was to update a field on each Account. So I needed to figure out how to update data, not just read it. Here is the code to do that:

	$assembly = [Reflection.Assembly]::LoadWithPartialName("System.Web.Extensions")
	$webclient = new-object System.Net.WebClient
	$webclient.UseDefaultCredentials = $true
	$webclient.Headers.Add("Accept", "application/json")
	$webclient.Headers.Add("Content-Type", "application/json; charset=utf-8");
	$webclient.Headers.Add("X-HTTP-Method", "MERGE")

PowerShell, JSON, oData and CRM 2011 (or SharePoint 2010)

I am working on how to consume data from/to SharePoint 2010 and from/to CRM 2011. I decided to try and see if I can get the data to display in PowerShell, figuring if I can get it there, I should be able to get it anywhere?  Here is the code to loop through all the Contacts in a CRM 2011 deployment.

Took me a while to figure this out. Should work with any oData source?

$assembly = [Reflection.Assembly]::LoadWithPartialName("System.Web.Extensions")
while ($url){
	$webclient = new-object System.Net.WebClient
	$webclient.UseDefaultCredentials = $true
	$webclient.Headers.Add("Accept", "application/json")
	$webclient.Headers.Add("Content-Type", "application/json; charset=utf-8");
	$json=new-object System.Web.Script.Serialization.JavaScriptSerializer
	foreach ($result in $data.d.results){
		write-host "$($result.FullName) , $($result.EMailAddress1)"
	Write-Host "Press any key to continue ..."
	$x = $host.UI.RawUI.ReadKey("NoEcho,IncludeKeyDown")
	if ($data.d.__next){
	else {

To loop through the items of a SharePoint 2010 list, you would change $url to:


Not sure if this would be valuable to anyone, but here it is!

How to tell if your PowerShell session is remote

I wanted to write a conditional to prevent certain things from runing if in a remote PSSession.

If you are in a standard PowerShell session the following is returned:

[Environment]::GetCommandLineArgs()[0] = C:\Windows\System32\WindowsPowerShell\v1.0\powershell.exe

If you are in a remote PSSession:

[Environment]::GetCommandLineArgs()[0] = C:\Windows\system32\wsmprovhost.exe 

How to add custom JavaScript code to all SharePoint 2010 pages (CustomAction)

There are plenty or articles on how to do this. This is more of a note for myself, as I have to “re-learn” this every time I need to customize SharePoint. There are 2 ways (that I know of) that you can add code to every page in SharePoint 2010, 1 by the AdditionalPageHead delegate control, or ,2 by Custom Action. This article is about #2 using a Custom Action. This article is about #1 – Delegate Controls

To add JavaScript to every page via CustomAction:

  1. Start Visual Studio, and create a new Empty SharePoint Project (uncheck the Create Directory for Solution because you salways create the destination directory yourself)
  2. Deploy as a Farm Solution (I have not figured what you can and can’t do with sandboxed solutions yet)
  3. RightCLick the Project and select Add Module and name the Module at the bottom (I name the Module the name of the Document Library where I want to put the file)
  4. Delete Sample.txt and add the javascript file you want (I usually have to go to the correct folder, put the file there, right click the ProjectName and select “Show all files”, then I can include the file in the project).
  5. Chop up the elements.xml file. The final should look like this below:
    1. is changed to (Url is the Doc Library where the file will be added)
    2. is changed to (Remove the path from Url and add the “GhostableInLibrary” part)
<Elements xmlns="">
  <Module Name="Test" Url="Test">
    <File Path="Test\jquery-1.7.min.js" Url="jquery-1.7.min.js" Type="GhostableInLibrary" />

Now you need to the code to add the file to the top of every page, add the “CustomAction” stuff below


Final looks like this:

Right click the project and package it up.

Common PowerShell commands to work with solutions are (you must create the destination Document Library before you try to install this code):

To add/install
Add-SPSolution H:\Path\To\wsp\Test.wsp
Install-SPSolution Test.wsp -GACDeploy
Update-SPSolution -literalpath  H:\Path\To\wsp\Test.wsp -identity Test.wsp -GACDeploy

To remove
Uninstall-SPSolution Test.wsp
Remove-SPSolution Test.wsp

This results in a new Feature in manage features (Active it!)

A new file in the document library, and the following in the source code for the page. Done!:

How to use Visual Studio to package a SharePoint solution if you don’t have SharePoint installed

I re-image my machine often, and when I fire up a Visual Studio 2010 for the first time, I always get an error “To work with this project, either SharePoint Foundation 2010 or SharePoint Server 2010 must be installed on the system” or “A SharePoint server is not installed on this computer. A SharePoint server must be installed to work with SharePoint projects.”

Instead of installing SharePoint on my local machine, I usually just trick Visual Studio into thinking that SharePoint is installed. This link says to export the RegHive from a real SharePoint server and import it. I can never remember this.

To compile your code, you need to copy the “Microsoft.SharePoint.dll” and Microsoft.SharePoint.Security.dll from “C:\Program Files\Common Files\Microsoft Shared\Web Server Extensions\14\ISAPI” to your local drive and “Add Reference” to your project (Right Click References)

Haven’t worked with remote debugging to much, but this article describes it.

How to tell if your PowerShell function was called by name or by alias

I been wanting to write functions that act differently depending on how they were called. I am not sure if this is good practice or not, but I like the idea. Turns out all you need is “$MyInvocation.InvocationName” Look at they following code:

Function Test-Calling {
if ($MyInvocation.InvocationName -eq "cows"){Write-host "This function was called by an alias ($($MyInvocation.InvocationName))"}
if ($MyInvocation.InvocationName -eq $MyInvocation.MyCommand){Write-host "This function was called by name ($($MyInvocation.MyCommand))"}
set-alias cows Test-Calling

If you call the function by alias you get : This function was called by an alias (cows)
If you call the function by it’s name you get: This function was called by name (Test-Calling)

I hope that helps someone.


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