Musings of a Data professional

Stuart Moore

Month: February 2017

Using the Chronometer PowerShell module to analyse module performance

Whilst going through my blog roll on Feedly this weekend, I spotted Kevin Marquette’s blog post announcing his new Chronometer module.

At a high level it generates a script profiler timeline as you run through a script. Showing you how long each line takes to run, which lines weren’t run and how many times that line has been called.

I’ve just finished writing a number of functions for the dbatools module to implement some new restore functionality, this seemed like a great way to peer into my functions and see what was going on inside, and spot where I was spending most of the time. This should make it easier to work out where I needed to focus attention to improve performance.

At it’s simplest form it can be called like this:

$start = Get-Date
$Chronometer = @{
    Path = 'c:\dbatools\module\functions\Restore-DbaDatabase.ps1'
    Script = {Restore-DbaDatabase -SqlServer localhost\sqlexpress2016 -Path C:\dbatools\backups -WithReplace -OutputScriptOnly}
$results = Get-Chronometer @Chronometer -Verbose
(New-TimeSpan -Start $start -End (Get-Date)).TotalSeconds

This took about 10 seconds to run on my test box and dumped out all the coverage for the Restore-DbaDatabase function.

Using regex to find PowerShell functions in PowerShell scripts

Whilst having a play with someone else’s code I wanted to quickly find all the function definitions within a module, and then all the function calls within a function definition.

Having had a quick bingle around for a prewritten regex example I didn’t come up with much that fitted the bill. So in the hope that this will help the next person trying to do this here they are:


  • A PowerShell function name is of the form Word-Word
  • A PowerShell function definition is of the form “Function Word-Word”
  • A Powershell function call can be preceeded by a ‘|’,'(‘, or ‘ ‘
  • The script is written using a reasonable style, so there is a ‘ ‘ post call

So to find the function definition I ended up using:

 -match 'function\s(\w+-\w+)'

The function name ends up in $Matches[1]

And for a PowerShell function call:

-match '[^\s|(]\w+-\w+'}

The function name ends up in $Matches[0]

This works accurately enough for what I needed it to do. Feel free to let me know if you can spot any improvements on it.

Removing multiple Backup devices from an SMO restore object in PowerShell

Probably a bit niche this one, but as I scratched my head trying to work it out I’ll share it to save others in future.

The Problem

Working on some new functionality for DbaTools, adding the ability to cope with striped SQL Server backupsets in fact. Everything’s going pretty swimmingly, I’ve got a process for finding the backup files and grouping them together.

Adding them to the Restore device collection is nice and easy as I have a Object to loop through:

Foreach ($RestoreFile in $RestoreFiles)
    $Device = New-Object -TypeName Microsoft.SqlServer.Management.Smo.BackupDeviceItem
    $Device.Name = $RestoreFile.BackupPath
    $Device.devicetype = "File"

nice and simple.

The problem comes when I want to reuse my restore object as I loop through the Differentials and the transaction logs. If these Devices aren’t removed, then SQL Server tries to reuse them on every run. As this code is designed to be run anywhere by anyone I’ve know idea of the number of devices needed. Not only will people stripe their backups across differing numbers of files, but it’s possible to strip your backups differently for each type! So this is perfectly fine:

  • Full Backup – Across 4 files
  • Differential Backup – Across 2 files
  • Transaction Backup – Across 1 file (you CAN strip transaction backups if you want)

and you can even do it differently for different runs.
I’ve found examples for c# if you know the devices names that don’t work in PowerShell. I’ve found methods using Get-Member that don’t appear to be documented, and generally worn a dent in my work desk with my forehead (annoying my co-workers with the dull thud).

The classic PowerShell way of using ForEach fails:

ForEach ($Device in $Restore.Devices)

Fails with the nice red error message:

An error occurred while enumerating through a collection: Collection was modified; 
enumeration operation may not execute..

The Solution

The oft forgotten while loop!

while ($Restore.Devices.count -gt 0)
    $device = $restore.devices[0]

No need to know beforehand how many objects you need to remove, though here I’m expecting at least 1. If there was a chance of 0 runs I’d use a do…while loop instead. But as if there wasn’t even 1 backup device to remove I’d have had an error during the restore I’m fairly safe here.

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