top of page

How to create and use PowerShell ArrayList

PowerShell is a versatile and powerful scripting language developed by Microsoft for automating administrative tasks and managing system configurations. It provides various data structures to handle collections of objects, and one such structure is the ArrayList.


An ArrayList is an ordered collection of objects that can be dynamically resized and manipulated. In this article, we will explore how to create and use ArrayLists in PowerShell.


In PowerShell, an ArrayList is a useful data structure for storing a list of items. Unlike an array, an ArrayList's length is not fixed and can be changed dynamically. This flexibility allows for easy addition and removal of elements as needed.


One key difference between an array and an ArrayList is the type constraint. Arrays in PowerShell are strongly typed, meaning they can only store elements of a specific type. In contrast, ArrayLists can store values of any data type. This makes ArrayLists versatile for handling collections where the data types may vary.


How to Create and Use PowerShell ArrayList


Creating an ArrayList:

To create an ArrayList in PowerShell, you can use the New-Object cmdlet along with the System.Collections.ArrayList class. Here's an example:

$myArrayList = New-Object System.Collections.ArrayList

This command creates an empty ArrayList object named $myArrayList. Now, let's dive into some common operations you can perform with ArrayLists.


Adding Elements:

You can add elements to an ArrayList using the Add() method. The Add() method appends the specified object to the end of the ArrayList. Here's an example:

$myArrayList.Add("Apple")
$myArrayList.Add("Banana")
$myArrayList.Add("Orange")

In this example, we added three string objects to the ArrayList $myArrayList.


Accessing Elements:

To access elements in an ArrayList, you can use the indexing operator []. ArrayLists in PowerShell are zero-indexed, meaning the first element is at index 0. Here's an example:

$fruit = $myArrayList[1]
Write-Output $fruit

This code retrieves the element at index 1 from the $myArrayList ArrayList and stores it in the $fruit variable. In this case, the output would be "Banana."


Removing Elements:

To remove elements from an ArrayList, you can use the Remove() method. The Remove() method removes the first occurrence of a specific object from the ArrayList. Here's an example:

$myArrayList.Remove("Banana")

This code removes the first occurrence of "Banana" from the $myArrayList ArrayList. If there are multiple occurrences, only the first one will be removed.


Iterating over an ArrayList:

You can use a foreach loop to iterate over the elements of an ArrayList. Here's an example:

foreach ($item in $myArrayList) 
{
    Write-Output $item
}

This loop will iterate over each element in the $myArrayList ArrayList and output it.


Other Useful ArrayList Methods:

ArrayLists in PowerShell provide several other useful methods, such as

  1. Insert()

  2. Sort()

  3. Count

  4. Clear().

1. Insert()

The Insert() method allows you to insert an element at a specific index within the ArrayList. It takes two parameters: the index at which you want to insert the element and the value of the element you want to insert.

$myArrayList = New-Object System.Collections.ArrayList
$myArrayList.Add("Item1")
$myArrayList.Add("Item2")

$myArrayList.Insert(1, "NewItem")

In this example, the Insert() method is used to insert the string "NewItem" at index 1 within the ArrayList $myArrayList. This results in the ArrayList containing "Item1", "NewItem", and "Item2".


2. Sort()

The Sort() method is used to sort the elements within an ArrayList in ascending order. It rearranges the elements based on their values.

$myArrayList = New-Object System.Collections.ArrayList
$myArrayList.Add("Banana")
$myArrayList.Add("Apple")
$myArrayList.Add("Orange")

$myArrayList.Sort()

In this example, the Sort() method is called on the ArrayList $myArrayList, resulting in the elements being sorted alphabetically. After sorting, the ArrayList will contain "Apple", "Banana", and "Orange".


3. Count

The Count property provides the number of elements present within the ArrayList. It returns an integer representing the count of elements.

powershellCopy code
$myArrayList = New-Object System.Collections.ArrayList
$myArrayList.Add("Item1")
$myArrayList.Add("Item2")

$numberOfElements = $myArrayList.Count

In this example, the Count property is used to retrieve the number of elements in the ArrayList $myArrayList. The value will be assigned to the variable $numberOfElements.


4. Clear()

The Clear() method removes all elements from an ArrayList, resulting in an empty ArrayList.

$myArrayList = New-Object System.Collections.ArrayList
$myArrayList.Add("Item1")
$myArrayList.Add("Item2")

$myArrayList.Clear()

In this example, the Clear() method is called on the ArrayList $myArrayList, removing all elements and leaving an empty ArrayList.


These methods are used to manipulate and manage ArrayLists in PowerShell. By utilizing these methods effectively, you can perform various operations on ArrayLists, such as inserting elements at specific positions, sorting elements, retrieving the count of elements, and clearing the ArrayList when necessary.


Conclusion

ArrayLists in PowerShell offer a flexible and convenient way to store collections of items. Unlike arrays, ArrayLists can change their length dynamically and store values of any data type. This makes ArrayLists a powerful tool for managing diverse collections of objects in PowerShell scripts.


By leveraging the methods and properties provided by ArrayLists, such as Add(), Remove(), and type flexibility, you can create robust scripts that handle varying data types and dynamic collection sizes efficiently.

0 comments

1 Comment


Bijay Kumar Sahoo
Bijay Kumar Sahoo
Jun 11, 2021

Hi As you have copied this post from SPGuides.com, either you delete the post of give a link https://www.spguides.com/powershell-arraylist/ ASAP.

Like
bottom of page