Thursday, 25 January 2018

Powerscript - Processing Changed Files in a Folder


I needed to find a way of running an import routine for all CSV files in a folder that have recently changed. To do this I created a Windows Powerscript that looked for files where the archive attribute had been set.

(nb. The archive attribute is always set when a file is created or updated)

The basic process will be:-
  • Get all files in folder (which have the .csv extension).
  • Loop through looking for those with the archive attribute set.
  • If found start a new log.
  • Run my dataload process.
  • If success remove archive bit.
  • Write output to log.
The structure and layout of Powerscript is reminiscent of Perl, the block structures are normal, but comparison operators can catch the unfamiliar out.

The Powerscript

Here's what I came up with:-

$path = "<path_to_files>"
$files = Get-ChildItem -Path $path -filter "*.csv"
$attribute = [io.fileattributes]::archive
$newlog = 0

Foreach($file in $files) {
 If((Get-ItemProperty -Path $file.fullname).attributes -band $attribute) {
   if ($newlog -eq 0) {
    $LogTime = Get-Date -Format "dd/MM/yyyy hh:mm:ss"
    "Processing started: $LogTime" | Out-File import.log
    $newlog = 1
   "File: $file" | Out-File run_rt_forecast.log -Append
   $scriptOutput = &<my_external_process> $file.fullname 2>&1
   if($?) {
    Set-ItemProperty -Path $file.fullname -Name attributes -Value ((Get-ItemProperty $file.fullname).attributes -BXOR $attribute)
   Foreach($out in $scriptOutput) {
    "$out" | Out-File run_rt_forecast.log -Append

Having spent a lot of time working with Perl, I found it okay to use. There's quite a nice Windows PowerShell ISE which does a reasonable job of allowing you to develop and test in one place. I was also able to open my log file here, but it's a shame it doesn't offer to reload the file when it detects a change.


Just a few things that caught me out..
  • Ensure you give your script name an extension of ".ps1".
  • When testing, remember to use a Powershell not an ordinary Command Window.

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