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Windows PowerShell Provider Overview

Windows PowerShell providers give you access from a Windows PowerShell command line to data and components that would not otherwise be easily accessible. The data exists in a format that resembles a file directory. The provider is the interface between the user and the data. For example, Windows PowerShell includes a Registry provider that gives you access to the data in the registry. The user accesses this interface by providing the path to the provider when running the standard provider cmdlets, such as the Get-Item or Set-Item cmdlets. The provider accesses the data through its implementation of these provider cmdlets.

Viewing Providers

To see what providers are available in a Windows PowerShell session, run the Get-PSProvider cmdlet. This command will list the built-in providers provided by Windows PowerShell and any other providers that have been added to the Windows PowerShell session.

Built-in Providers

The following providers are included in Windows PowerShell and provide access to known data stores.

Provides access to Windows PowerShell aliases.

Provides access to the X.509 certificates for digital signatures.

Provides access to the Microsoft Windows environment variables.

Provides access to the file system drives, directories, and files.

Provides access to the Windows PowerShell functions.

Provides access to the Windows PowerShell functions.

Provides access to the Windows PowerShell variables.

Provides access to the WS-Management configuration information used for making remote connections.

Provider Functionality

When you write your own provider, you can specify how you want the user to access the data by implementing specific provider functionality. For example, an item-enabled provider enables the user to get and set the items in a data store, and a navigation-enabled provider enables the user to move data around in the data store. For more information about enabling various types of user functionality, see Designing Your Windows PowerShell Provider.

Provider Cmdlets

The cmdlets that are supported by a provider are referred to as provider cmdlets. For example, the Get-Item cmdlet is a provider cmdlet that retrieves an item at a specific location in a data store. The way it retrieves the item can vary depending on how you write your provider. For a list of the provider cmdlets that you can overwrite, see Provider Cmdlets.

See Also

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