Compare AWSPowerShell Versions

Series links: Part I, Part II, Part III (Coming)

Well, I wrote enough example code inside my PowerShell ConsoleHost recently, to write another post. That’s typically how these works. Find something great… write. Find something I hate… write. Most of all, just write. Put it on Twitter and help people learn — someone did it for me once.

Today’s goal was to compare my currently installed version of the AWSPowerShell module with the newest version of the AWSPowerShell module. We’ll do this a bit backwards, and start with obtaining the newest version of the AWSPowerShell Module first. Because AWS has elected to put their module on the PowerShell Gallery — thanks, guys — we don’t have to parse the AWS PowerShell home page. I’m not sure if it’s even there, but luckily for us, it doesn’t need to be, and so I don’t need to try.

PS > Find-Module -Name AWSPowerShell

Version    Name                                Repository           Description
-------    ----                                ----------           -----------    AWSPowerShell                       PSGallery            The AWS Tools for Windows PowerShell lets develo...

PS > (Find-Module -Name AWSPowerShell).Version

Major  Minor  Build  Revision
-----  -----  -----  --------
3      3      9      0

PS > (Find-Module -Name AWSPowerShell).Version.ToString()

Now that we can obtain the version number of the newest release, let’s work on getting the currently installed version number. My first thought was to use Get-AWSPowerShellVersion. It was a mess, but here’s what I did. This cmdlet does not return an object, unfortunately (and should be replaced and/or corrected).

Seriously, we expect that cmdlets and functions will return a usable object, or objects. If we really need additional information stuffed in the results, let’s only include it with the Verbose parameter. Maybe just drop all that text in a file and have Verbose indicate the file to open. Maybe make a secondary cmdlet. Anything really, that doesn’t require that we parse text… which is exactly what I did (at first).

PS > ((Get-AWSPowerShellVersion).Split('`n')[2])[1..7] -join ''
PS > [version](((Get-AWSPowerShellVersion).Split('`n')[2])[1..7] -join '')

Major  Minor  Build  Revision
-----  -----  -----  --------
3      3      0      0

The problem with this approach is that it’s much too exact. It’s grabbing certain characters. What happens when the version is longer than seven characters? We would’ve lost our final zero, if I was still on a previous version, such as,, or Not good enough.

I knew the AWSPowerShell module put something somewhere; every module does. I browsed over to “C:\Program Files (x86)\AWS Tools\PowerShell\AWSPowerShell” to take a look around. Maybe there was something there that would be more reliable. I quickly spotted the module manifest file: AWSPowerShell.psd1. I opened it up in a text editor, and as suspected, there was the version… right inside that beautiful hash table. I closed up the file, and used Test-ModuleManifest inside my ConsoleHost.

PS > $Path = 'C:\Program Files (x86)\AWS Tools\PowerShell\AWSPowerShell\AWSPowerShell.psd1'
PS > Test-ModuleManifest -Path $Path

ModuleType Version    Name                                ExportedCommands
---------- -------    ----                                ----------------
Binary    AWSPowerShell                       {Clear-AWSHistory, Set-AWSHistoryConfiguration, Initialize...

PS > (Test-ModuleManifest -Path $Path).Version

Major  Minor  Build  Revision
-----  -----  -----  --------
3      3      0      0

PS > (Test-ModuleManifest -Path $Path).Version.ToString()

That’s way more reliable. I’d much rather blame AWS if it doesn’t return the correct version, than my parsing against the results of Get-AWSPowerShellVersion. I mean, seriously.

If you’ve been following my writings, then it’ll come as no surprise that I started with the hardest way and overlooked the obvious. I could’ve simply just used Get-Module to return the version; it’s getting its information from the .psd1 file. As obnoxious as this is, it’s keeping me sharp. I get to repeatedly practice what I know, and give my mind time to sort out different resolutions to the same problem. Here’s how I returned the version of the currently installed AWSPowerShell module.

PS > Get-Module -Name AWSPowerShell

ModuleType Version    Name                                ExportedCommands
---------- -------    ----                                ----------------
Binary    AWSPowerShell                       {Add-AASScalableTarget, Add-ACMCertificateTag, Add-ASAAtta...

PS > (Get-Module -Name AWSPowerShell -ListAvailable).Version

Major  Minor  Build  Revision
-----  -----  -----  --------
3      3      0      0

PS > (Get-Module -Name AWSPowerShell -ListAvailable).Version.ToString()

Now I can return both the currently installed version of the AWSPowerShell module, and the newest version of the AWSPowerShell module from the PowerShell Gallery. Before we compare them, notice that in the above examples that I did and didn’t use the -ListAvailable parameter. If you don’t use it, you better be absolutely certain the module has already been imported.

So, let’s get these version numbers into a couple variables and compare them.

PS > $CurrentAWSPSModule = (Get-Module -Name AWSPowerShell -ListAvailable).Version.ToString()
PS > $CurrentAWSPSModule
PS > $NewestAWSPSModule = (Find-Module -Name AWSPowerShell).Version.ToString()
PS > $NewestAWSPSModule
PS > Compare-Object -ReferenceObject $CurrentAWSPSModule -DifferenceObject $NewestAWSPSModule -IncludeEqual

InputObject SideIndicator
----------- -------------     =>     <=

As we can tell, there is a difference between my version and the one in the PowerShell Gallery. I should probably download the newest version. Watch for a follow up to this article, as I may go ahead and write a second part, as I have some other ideas.

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