Topic: Get-Member Continued III (and Arrays)
Notice: This post is a part of the PowerShell Monday series — a group of quick and easy to read mini lessons that briefly cover beginning and intermediate PowerShell topics. As a PowerShell enthusiast, this seemed like a beneficial way to ensure those around me at work were consistently learning new things about Windows PowerShell. At some point, I decided I would share these posts here, as well. Here’s the PowerShell Monday Table of Contents.
At this point, we’ve only ever piped to the Get-Member cmdlet, but there’s times we might want to use the cmdlet differently. Before we continue, we need to understand arrays, and so we’re going to break off from Get-Member this week.
In our previous examples, we’ve typically only assigned a single value to a variable.
$a = 'dog' $a dog
Using an array allows us to assign multiple values to a single variable. Here’s how we do that, and how it appears when we return the variable’s newly assigned values.
$b = 'dog','cat','bird','frog' $b dog cat bird frog
You may see arrays created using the array operator syntax, as well: @().
$b = @('dog','cat','bird','frog')
We can access each of the values in the array variable using an index. This is the position of a value within the array. Arrays are always zero-based, so the first value in the array is always at index 0.
Now let’s return all four values. We’ll do them out of order, so you can see that the indexes really do, return the proper value in the array.
$b # 4th value. $b # 1st value. $b # 3rd value. $b # 2nd value. frog dog bird cat
We’ve learned that the array index 0 and then higher, each represent the next value in the array. We can also move backwards through an array, using negative indexes. Here’s both.
$b $b $b $b '--------' $b[-1] $b[-2] $b[-3] $b[-4] dog cat bird frog -------- frog bird cat dog
This means that index [-1] is always the last value in an array, just like index  will always be the first. Knowing this may come in handy one day; it was for me. Next Monday, we’ll actually get back to Get-Member, now that we have some basic understanding of arrays, if you didn’t have them already.