Skip to content. | Skip to navigation

Personal tools


You are here: Home / weblog / Constructing an ImportExport ItemsSelector in Powershell

Constructing an ImportExport ItemsSelector in Powershell

Posted by Dominic Cronin at Apr 01, 2020 07:17 PM |

I've used the Tridion ImportExport API a couple of times from the PowerShell, and until now, I didn't really have any reason to use anything except a Subtree selector for my exports. If you put your items in a bundle, this is what you use, and for the rest, mostly what you want is everything in a folder or structure group. Invoking the constructor of SubtreeSelection usually looks something like this: 

$selection = New-Object Tridion.ContentManager.ImportExport.SubtreeSelection $someOrgItemUrl,$true

This is fine because the arguments are both single variables. The trouble comes when you want to construct an Items Selector. Your first attempt probably looks like:

$items = @($itemUrl)
$selection = New-Object Tridion.ContentManager.ImportExport.ItemsSelection $items

You're probably thinking: I only want one item, but the constructor expects an [IEnumerable[string]] so I'll just use the array subexpression operator @() to force my single item to be an array and let Powershell take care of the rest of the magic of casting to IEnumerable. Powershell for the easy life, eh?

But it doesn't work. You get back some message like

New-Object : Cannot convert argument "0", with value: "foobar", for "ItemsSelection" to type "System.Collections.Generic.IEnumerable`1[System.String]": "Cannot convert the "foobar" value of type "System.String" to type "System.Collections.Generic.IEnumerable`1[System.String]"."

So what's going on here? It turns out that Powershell thinks that constructor parameters shouldn't be collections. However you want to imagine that, its type resolution logic ends up converting your collection back to a single item (presumably the first) which the constructor promptly rejects. I went through various hoops trying to force things to be an array, or a single item containing an array. You can create your array either with the subexpression operator @(), or just with a unary comma operator ($foo  =  ,$itemURl) but I ended up calling split with an empty delimiter. I'm not saying it's pretty, but it worked for me. I then also cast it explicitly to the expected collection type. In Powershell v5, the constructor is available using the static method syntax on the type, and calling the constructor this way is less prone to type resolution magic messing things up. Don't ask me exactly how. I have no idea. Anyway - this is what worked eventually:

[System.Collections.Generic.IEnumerable`1[System.String]]$items = $itemUrl.split('')
$selection = [Tridion.ContentManager.ImportExport.ItemsSelection]::new($items)

I hope this saves somebody some hair pulling and Googling.