Run PowerShell command using .NET SDK

Background

I got one customer who wanted to find all the installed Windows Store App using WPF platform. However, you cannot code in WPF because the current SDK for querying such information only supports UWP, not WPF.

After some research, there is one PowerShell script Get-AppxPackage -AllUsers which will return all the installed Windows Store apps under all the user accounts in that PC.

Reference link:Get-AppxPackage

So what we will show here is how to use .NET library to call PowerShell scripts.

Library path

Why?

When I tested on my PC, I created a WPF project based on .NET 4.6. However, my customer’s .NET version is 4.0. If we try to use the dll the same as my path, customer will get the compiler error.

Correct path

For .NET 4.5 and above: C:\Program Files(x86)\Reference Assemblies\Microsoft\WindowsPowerShell\3.0\System.Management.Automation.dll

Other .NET versions: C:\Windows\assembly\GAC_MSIL\System.Management.Automation\1.0.0.0__31bf3856ad364e35\System.Management.Automation.dll

Implementation

  1. Add the correct System.Management.Automation.dll based on your .NET version.

  2. First we will create a RunSpace which is used to maintain the state between pipelines

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    Runspace rs;

    Why we are doing this is because we are going to create a instance of PowerShell, and this instance is one of a pipeline. Then we will be able to manage the state of the PowerShell instance that we created.

  3. Then we can create the Runspace in the page code behind file.

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    public MainWindow()
    {
    InitializeComponents();
    rs = RunspaceFactory.CreateRunspace();
    rs.Open();
    }
  4. Now we can call the PowerShell script in the ButtonClick event or other events as below:

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    private void Button_Click(object sender, RoutedEventArgs e)
    {
    PowerShell ps = PowerShell.Create();
    // 给这个ps的Runspace赋值
    // 为刚才的rs
    ps.Runspace = rs;
    ps.AddCommand("Get-AppxPackage").AddParameter("AllUsers");
    Collection<PSObject> returnedObject = ps.Invoke();
    }

Till now we finished a quite simple demo on how to do this.

More information

If you just run this project, you will get the below error:

At first I thought this is something related to PowerShell restriction permission, but it’s not. Even with default permission, user should also be able to run this command. And this command will have the same error with PowerShell command line window.

After research, I found this error was due to lack of administrator permission. Because you are trying to get the installed Windows Store apps for all users, not current user. That’s why you will have to run the exe file using Admin permission.

Therefore, if you want to debug this program, you will have to run the exe file by right click on it and choose Run as Administrator. Then go back to VS and use the Attach To Process feature under Debug menu.

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