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Cmdlet Dynamic Parameters


Cmdlets can define parameters that are available to the user under special conditions, such as when the argument of another parameter is a specific value. These parameters are added at runtime and are referred to as dynamic parameters because they are added only when they are needed. For example, you can design a cmdlet that adds several parameters only when a specific switch parameter is specified.


Providers and Windows PowerShell functions can also define dynamic parameters.

Windows PowerShell uses dynamic parameters in several of its provider cmdlets. For example, the Get-Item and Get-ChildItem cmdlets add a CodeSigningCert parameter at runtime when the Path parameter of the cmdlet specifies the Certificate provider path. If the Path parameter of the cmdlet specifies a path for a different provider, the CodeSigningCert parameter is not available.

The following examples show how the CodeSigningCert parameter is added at runtime when the Get-Item cmdlet is run.

In the first example, the Windows PowerShell runtime has added the parameter, and the cmdlet is successful.

PS C:\Users\user01>  get-item -path cert:\CurrentUser -codesigningcert
Location   : CurrentUser
StoreNames : {SmartCardRoot, UserDS, AuthRoot, CA...}

In the second example, a FileSystem drive is specified, and an error is returned. The error message indicates that the CodeSigningCert parameter cannot be found.

PS C:\Users\user01>  get-item -path C:\ -codesigningcert
Get-Item : A parameter cannot be found that matches parameter name 'codesigningcert'.
At line:1 char:37
+  get-item -path C:\ -codesigningcert <<<<
    CategoryInfo          : InvalidArgument: (:) [Get-Item], ParameterBindingException
    FullyQualifiedErrorId : NamedParameterNotFound,Microsoft.PowerShell.Commands.GetItemCommand

To support dynamic parameters, the cmdlet code must include the following elements.


This interface provides the method that retrieves the dynamic parameters.


public class SendGreetingCommand : Cmdlet, IDynamicParameters


This method retrieves the object that contains the dynamic parameter definitions.


 public object GetDynamicParameters()
   if (employee)
     context= new SendGreetingCommandDynamicParameters();
     return context;
   return null;
private SendGreetingCommandDynamicParameters context;
Dynamic Parameter class

This class defines the parameters to be added. This class must include a Parameter attribute for each parameter and any optional Alias and Validation attributes that are needed by the cmdlet.


public class SendGreetingCommandDynamicParameters 
  [ValidateSet ("Marketing", "Sales", "Development")]
  public string Department
    get { return department; }
    set { department = value; }
  private string department;

For a complete example of a cmdlet that supports dynamic parameters, see How to Declare Dynamic Parameters.