Archive for the 'Citrix' Category

Citrix’s inconsistent cmdlets naming

After being a part of a few email threads and discussions about Citrix not following the traditional name-verb cmdlet naming scheme I thought I would make a post with my take on that.

Basically, Citrix joined companies like Microsoft, VMware and Quest and is also trying to PowerShell-enable all of their products. However, they chose to not follow the standard naming scheme and went with a few of their own.

The ones for Provisioning Server are just bad: They user verb instead of a noun, prefix instead of a verb, and noun instead of a parameter.

So instead of: Add-Device – they have: Mcli-Add Device.

XenServer ones are slightly better (verb is where it is supposed to be) but nouns get colons and dots – something no other company in the world is using:


I think I understand why XenServer guys are designing their cmdlets that way – they simply try to workaround the namespaces issue which PowerShell has (see my blog post about that and vote for the bug on the connect site)

Basically, they want to make sure that their cmdlets don’t produce naming conflicts if administrators also have VMware and Microsoft cmdlets on the same box.

We had the same issue with our AD cmdlets and are using QAD prefix for every noun: e.g. Get-QADUser.

So I totally agree that the issue exists but I urge Citrix and other companies to not try to workaround it in a way so inconsistent with what everyone else is doing. We will simply do a very bad service to administrators who have to manage more that one system. Consistency is key to the success of PowerShell and I hope we can maintain that.

My suggestions:

To Microsoft: As vendors start adopting PowerShell we will be getting increasingly more issues like that, so please:

  • Consider enforcing naming standards in PowerShell and Visual Studio templates or at least (if the fear of losing backwards compatibility is strong) make sure that compilation and snapin registration produce warnings if non-standard cmdlet names are used.
  • Please provide a viable way of handling cmdlet naming conflicts. Administrators should be able to easily avoid these and get predictable results.

To Citrix:

  • Please get back to the standard Verb-Noun (or Verb-PrefixNoun) notation.
  • Consider giving your snapins short names so your aministrators could use: XenServer\Get-VM (or just Get-VM if there’s no conflict) rather than Get-XenServer:VM.

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Virtualization PowerGUI Forum

Success has its consequences. 😉 VI Toolkit adoption seems to be skyrocketing as does PowerGUI’s Hyper-V, Citrix and VMware PowerPacks so more and more people want to discuss these, share ideas, or ask for help at the forums.

To provide space for these discussions we are opening Virtualization discussion forum at And we even got Scott Herold – Quest’s Lead Architect of Virtualization Solutions – agreeing to be the host at the forum.

Whether you are into using PowerGUI and PowerShell to manage your virtualized environments, or just want to get started with this technology – this is the place you might want to check out from time to time. Or use RSS feed or email subscription for the forum to get every message posted there (which is what I have already set for myself! ;))

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Citrix PowerPack

Quintus has just published a great PowerPack for managing Citrix XenApp (a.k.a. Presentation) Server.

It has 26 (!) different PowerShell functions to manage Citrix farms, users, applications, printers, and much more. He even has actions for application backup and restore!

PowerShell library with a couple of dozen Citrix XenApp management functions

PowerShell library with a couple of dozen Citrix XenApp management functions

Full list of functionality can be found at the powerpack page here.

The scripts use the MFCOM APIs which Christian described here a couple of weeks ago. It’s nice to see Quintus now taking the concept and running with it to create the whole Citrix management library!

(By the way, this is his second entry for the PowerPack challenge contest. You still have a few of days if you want to submit your pack for its first sprint. ;))

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Citrix going PowerShell

Another vendor “gets it”. 🙂 On iForum 2007 last week Citrix announced that they are moving their flagship product – Presentation Server to PowerShell. Quoting from Tim Mangan:

The version after Delaware is called Parra, and we heard a bit about it as well. They plan on a lot changing in Para. From a management standpoint, Citrix is getting high on PowerShell and intend to rewrite the APIs to make everything available from Powershell scripting.

This is a great news for the Windows IT community. Now more or less all major Windows infrastructure management vendors (VMware, Citrix, Quest, and, yeah, Microsoft itself) are on board.

Welcome to the club, Citrix! Looking forward to the new pack in the PowerGUI library. 😉

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© 2007-2014 Dmitry Sotnikov

June 2022

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