Tag Archives: If-ElseIf

AWS UserData Multiple Run Framework

In AWS, we can utilize the UserData section in EC2 to run PowerShell against our EC2 instances at launch. I’ve said it before; I love this option. As someone that speaks PowerShell with what likely amounts to first language fluency, there’s so much I do to automate my machine builds with CloudFormation, UserData, and PowerShell.

I’ve begun to have a need to do various pieces of automation at different times. This is to say I need to have multiple instance restarts, as an instance is coming online, in order to separate different pieces of configuration and installation. You’ll figure out when you need that, too. And, when you do, you can use the what I’ve dubbed the “multiple run framework for AWS.” But really, you call it want you want. That hardly matters.

We have to remember, that by default, UserData only runs once. It’s when the EC2 instance launches for the first time. In the below example, we’re going to do three restarts and four separate code runs.

Our UserData section first needs to add a function to memory. I’ve called it Set-SystemForNextRun and its purpose is to (1) create what I call a “passfile” to help indicate where we are in the automation process, (2) enable UserData to run the next time the service is restarted (this happens at instance restart, obviously), and (3) restart the EC2 instance. Let’s have a look. It’s three parameters and three If statements; simple stuff.

Function Set-SystemForNextRun {
    Param (
        [string]$PassFile,
        [switch]$UserData,
        [switch]$Restart
    )
    If ($PassFile) {
        [System.Void](New-Item -Path "$env:SystemDrive\passfile$PassFile.txt" -ItemType File)
    }
    If ($UserData) {
        $Path = "$env:ProgramFiles\Amazon\Ec2ConfigService\Settings\config.xml"
        $ConfigXml = Get-Content -Path $Path
        ($ConfigXml.Ec2ConfigurationSettings.Plugins.Plugin |
            Where-Object -Property Name -eq 'Ec2HandleUserData').State = 'Enabled'
        $ConfigXml.Save($Path)
    }
    If ($Restart) {
        Restart-Computer -Force
    }
}

This above function accepts three parameters: PassFile, UserData, and Restart. PassFile accepts a string value. You’ll see how this works in the upcoming If-ElseIf example. UserData and Restart are switch parameters. If they’re included when the function is invoked, they’re True ($true), and if they’re not included, they’re False ($false).

Each of the three parameters has its own If statement within the Set-SystemforNextRun function. If PassFile is included, it creates a text file called C:\passfile<ValuePassedIn>.txt. If UserData is included, it resets UserData to enabled (it effectively, checks the check box in the Ec2Config GUI). If Restart is included, it restarts the instance, right then and there.

Now let’s take a look at the If-ElseIf statement that completes four code runs and three restarts. We’ll discuss it further below, but before we do, a little reminder. Our CloudFormation UserData PowerShell is going to contain the above Set-SystemForNextRun function, and something like you’ll see below, after you’ve edited it for your needs.

If (-Not(Test-Path -Path "$env:SystemDrive\passfile1.txt")) {

    # Place code here (1).

    # Invoke Set-SystemForNextRun function.
    Set-SystemForNextRun -PassFile '1' -UserData -Restart

} ElseIf (-Not(Test-Path -Path "$env:SystemDrive\passfile2.txt")) {

    # Place code here (2).

    # Invoke Set-SystemForNextRun function.
    Set-SystemForNextRun -PassFile '2' -UserData -Restart

} ElseIf (-Not(Test-Path -Path "$env:SystemDrive\passfile3.txt")) {

    # Place code here (3).

    # Invoke Set-SystemForNextRun function.
    Set-SystemForNextRun -PassFile '3' -UserData -Restart

} ElseIf (-Not(Test-Path -Path "$env:SystemDrive\passfile4.txt")) {

    # Place code here (4).

    # Invoke Set-SystemForNextRun function.
    Set-SystemForNextRun -PassFile '4'

}

In line 1, we test whether or not the file C:\passfile1.txt exists. If it doesn’t exist, we run the code in the If portion. This will run whatever PowerShell we add to that section. Then it’ll pass 1 to the Set-SystemForNextRun function to have C:\passfile01.txt created. Additionally, because the UserData and Restart parameters are included, it’ll reset UserData to enabled, and restart the EC2 instance. Because the C:\passfile1.txt file now exists, the next time the UserData runs, it’ll skip the If portion and evaluate the first ElseIf statement.

This ElseIf statement determines whether or not the C:\passfile2.txt file exists, or not. If it doesn’t, and it won’t after the first restart, then the code in this ElseIf will run. When it’s done, it’ll create the passfile2.txt file, reset UserData, and restart the instance. It’ll do this for second ElseIf (third code run), and the final ElseIf (fourth code run), as well. Notice that the final invocation of the Set-SystemForNextRun function doesn’t enable UserData or Restart the instance. Be sure to add those if you need either completed after the final ElseIf completes.

And that’s it. At this point in time, I always use my Set-SystemForNextRun function and a properly written If-ElseIf statement to separate the configuration and installation around the necessary amount of instance restarts. In closing, keep in mind that deleting those pass files from the root of the C:\ drive is not something you’ll likely want to do. In time, I may do a rewrite that stores entries in the Registry perhaps, so there’s less probability that one of these files might be removed by someone.

Either way, I hope this is helpful for someone! If you’re in this space — AWS, CloudFormation, UserData, and PowerShell — then chances are good that at some point you’re going to want to restart an instance, and then continue to configure it.

Read Part II

PSMonday #29: November 14, 2016

Topic: If, If-Else, If-ElseIf II

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.

Let’s start by discussing the fact that we can reverse the way an If statement works. Last week, we discussed that we take a specific action(s) when conditions result in true, such as in the below, conceptual example.

If (<condition>) {
    <action>
}

This can be changed for the times it’s necessary. In the next example, we’ll complete the action if the condition is false — if it’s not true. The Not logical operator negates whatever follows it. Only use the Not operator when it’s absolutely necessary. If it’s not necessary, then there’s no reason to make your conditionals any more difficult to think through.

If (-Not(<condition>)) {
    <action>
}

The below examples help show how the Not logical operator changes the condition, and therefore, the action. In the first below example, the If statement will output the word “If,” because $true evaluates to True.

If ($true) {'If'} Else {'Else'}
If

In the next example, we negate $true, making it $false, so “Else” will be written to the screen.

If (-Not($true)) {'If'} Else {'Else'}
Else

In the next example, it’ll write “If” again. You can actually walk backwards through the conditions, saying it aloud: “True, becomes False, becomes True. It’ll write If.” See if you can do that with the last two examples. While these may be helpful for learning, there likely won’t ever be a time you’re negating a Not logical operator.

If (-Not(-Not($true))) {'If'} Else {'Else'}
If

If (-Not(-Not(-Not($true)))) {'If'} Else {'Else'}

If (-Not(-Not(-Not(-Not(-Not(-Not($true))))))) {'If'} Else {'Else'}

In closing, we’ll take a look at a final example. On the first line in the below example, we assign the variable x a value of 9. When we only put $x inside the If statement’s condition, it only evaluates whether or not the variable x exists. It pays no attention to the value that’s been assign to the variable x. In the If statement following that one, we evaluate the value assigned to the variable x. If that value is equal to 9, and it is, we’ll write the word  “If” to the screen.

$x = 9

If ($x) {
    Write-Output -InputObject 'If'
}
If

If ($x -eq 9) {
    Write-Output -InputObject 'If'
}
If

We’ll close up the If topic next week. Please let me know if there are any questions on today’s PSMonday.

PowerShell Nested Switch Statements

There was a Reddit post recently that gave me an opportunity to try something I’m not sure I’ve tried before: nested switch statements — switch statements inside switch statements. So we’re on the same page, I’ve written an example of a basic, non-nested switch. It provides some of the same functionality as an If-ElseIf. I’ll typically use a switch statement instead of an If-ElseIf when there’s three or more outcomes. It’s easier to read, and it looks cleaner.

In the example below, a specific phrase will be written if the value in the $Fruit variable is apple, banana, or pear. If it’s not one of those, it’ll take the default action. In the case below, the default action indicates that an apple, banana, or pear wasn’t chosen. Switch statements will sometimes be called case statements in other languages.

$Fruit = 'banana'
Switch ($Fruit) {
    'apple' {'You chose apple.'; break}
    'banana' {'You chose banana.'; break}
    'pear' {'You chose pear.'; break}
    default {'You didn''t choose an apple, banana, or pear.'}
}

As a part of my nested switch statement testing, I wrote this example using automobile makes and models. The outermost switch statement makes a determination of which nested switch statement to execute.

$Make = 'Ford'
$Model = 'Escape'
 
Switch ($Make) {
    'Ford' {
        Switch ($Model) {
            'Mustang' {Write-Output -InputObject 'You selected the Ford Mustang.'; break}
            'Escape' {Write-Output -InputObject 'You selected the Ford Escape.'; break}
            default {Write-Output -InputObject "You selected Ford, however, the $Model isn't a valid model for this make."; break}
        }
    }
    'Chevy' {
        Switch ($Model) {
            'Corvette' {Write-Output -InputObject 'You selected the Chevy Corvette.'; break}
            'Camaro' {Write-Output -InputObject 'You selected the Chevy Camaro.'; break}
            default {Write-Output -InputObject "You selected Chevy, however, the $Model isn't a valid model for this make."; break}
        }
    }
    'Dodge' {
        Switch ($Model) {
            'Charger' {Write-Output -InputObject 'You selected the Dodge Charger.'; break}
            'Viper' {Write-Output -InputObject 'You selected the Dodge Viper.'; break}
            default {Write-Output -InputObject "You selected Dodge, however, the $Model isn't a valid model for this make."; break}
        }
    }
}

Should we take this further — a switch statement inside a switch statement inside a switch statement? I’m not going to lie, it started to get confusing and so my first recommendation would be to try and steer clear of the multi-nesting this deep (3 levels). I’ve removed some of the example above — Chevy and Dodge — in my example below and focused on the Ford (pun, absolutely intended). To help, I’ve included comments on the closing brackets. This multi-nested switch statement will return different values based on the make, the model, and the year, too.

$Make = 'Ford'
$Model = 'Escape'
$Year = '2016'
  
Switch ($Make) {
    'Ford' {
        Switch ($Model) {
            'Mustang' {
                Switch ($Year) {
                    '2015' {Write-Output -InputObject "You selected the 2015 Ford Mustang."; break}
                    '2016' {Write-Output -InputObject "You selected the 2016 Ford Mustang"; break}
                    default {Write-Output -InputObject "You selected the Ford Mustang with a non-matching year."; break}
                } # End Mustang Year Switch.
            } # End Mustang Switch.
            'Escape' {
                Switch ($Year) {
                    '2015' {Write-Output -InputObject "You selected the 2015 Ford Escape."; break}
                    '2016' {Write-Output -InputObject "You selected the 2016 Ford Escape."; break}
                    default {Write-Output -InputObject "You selected the Ford Escape with a non-matching year."; break}
                } # End Escape Year Switch.
            } # End Escape Switch.
            default {Write-Output -InputObject "You selected a Ford; however, the $Model isn't a valid model for this make."}
        } # End Ford Model Switch.
    } # End Ford Switch.
    default {Write-Output -InputObject 'Sorry, we''re only dealing with Fords (at the moment).'}
} # End Make Switch.

So I can track it down later, here’s the post I read on Reddit that influenced this post. It includes the link to my possible, partial solution; however, that direct link is here: http://pastebin.com/KRxRb1VM.

Update: It has occurred to me that it might be easier to follow this thrice nested switch without all the comments. I’ve removed those below.

$Make = 'Ford'
$Model = 'Escape'
$Year = '2016'
  
Switch ($Make) {
    'Ford' {
        Switch ($Model) {
            'Mustang' {
                Switch ($Year) {
                    '2015' {Write-Output -InputObject "You selected the 2015 Ford Mustang."; break}
                    '2016' {Write-Output -InputObject "You selected the 2016 Ford Mustang"; break}
                    default {Write-Output -InputObject "You selected the Ford Mustang with a non-matching year."; break}
                }
            }
            'Escape' {
                Switch ($Year) {
                    '2015' {Write-Output -InputObject "You selected the 2015 Ford Escape."; break}
                    '2016' {Write-Output -InputObject "You selected the 2016 Ford Escape."; break}
                    default {Write-Output -InputObject "You selected the Ford Escape with a non-matching year."; break}
                }
            }
            default {Write-Output -InputObject "You selected a Ford; however, the $Model isn't a valid model for this make."}
        }
    }
    default {Write-Output -InputObject 'Sorry, we''re only dealing with Fords (at the moment).'}
}