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Windows PowerShell Provider Concepts

This section describes the concepts that you should be familiar with when writing Windows PowerShell providers.

In This Section

This section includes the following topics:

Designing Your Windows PowerShell Provider
Providers define their basic functionality by changing how the provider cmdlets (provided by Windows PowerShell) perform their actions. For example, providers can use the default functionality of the Get-Item cmdlet, or they can change how that cmdlet operates when retrieving items from the data store. The provider functionality described in this topic includes functionality defined by overwriting methods from specific provider base classes and interfaces.

Windows PowerShell Provider Capabilities
Provider capabilities are features that are either implemented or supported by the provider. When a capability is specified, the Windows PowerShell runtime performs the operation using its own implementation; however, in the cases where the provider is allowed to provide its own implementation (such as include or exclude capabilities), a provider-implemented capability will typically perform better than the implementation provided by the Windows PowerShell runtime.

Provider Cmdlets
The cmdlets that the user can run to manage a data store are referred to as provider cmdlets. The behavior of most of these cmdlets can be changed by overwriting the methods defined by the base provider classes and interfaces.

Provider Cmdlet Parameters
Provider cmdlets come with a default set of parameters that are defined by the provider cmdlet method. In addition, dynamic parameters can be added to most provider cmdlets by implementing a dynamic parameters method for the cmdlet.

Provider Paths
Provider paths are used to access items in a data store. When a provider cmdlet is run, the user specifies the path to the item to be accessed. For example, the following command gets the root item of the HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE hive of the Windows Registry: get-item hklm:.

Provider Drives
Drives are the entry points to the data store of your provider. They are virtual drives that can be used to navigate the data store in the same way that system drives are used to navigate the file system.

Provider Cmdlet Help
When writing a provider, you can implement your own Help for the provider cmdlets that you implement. This includes a single Help topic for each provider cmdlet or multiple versions of a Help topic for the same provider cmdlet in cases where the provider cmdlet acts differently for different drives of a provider.

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