Technical

Another common challenge with DSC, is how to compose DSC configurations.

People have seen the trick of having a Configuration, and the following code within:

This is a good way to get started and works well for small-ish configurations, but it gets out of hand pretty quickly, as it’s hard to read all the if statements and their content. Some variant of this are using Where clauses around the Node expression.

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I’m writing and using a PowerShell module called “Datum” to manage DSC Configuration Data, and raise cattle at work. This is a write up to explain the problem, and why I’m writing it.

I assume you already know a bit about Desired State Configuration, but if it’s new to you or vague, go grab yourself The DSC Book by Don Jones & Missy Januszko, which packs all you need to know about out-of-the-box DSC, and more.

This post tries to explain the DSC Configuration Data composition challenge that I attempt to solve with Datum. It does not include the solution and how to use Datum to solve those problems: you can look on the GitHub repository and see an example of a Control Repository, or come to the PowerShell Summit 2018, where I’ll be presenting Datum used in a DSC Infrastructure.

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I’ve created a template to quickly get started building a sample PowerShell Module that includes different components such as Classes, Enum, private and public functions, DSC Resources, some Unit tests, Quality tests, code coverage, deployment, dependency resolution for build, and AppVeyor Integration.

Note: You’ll need the Plaster module version currently in their Dev branch for this to work, as it’s not yet released (but will be very soon!).

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I’ve for long thought Interface Testing was the most repetitive yet critical task to let a Module or commands evolve without breaking backward compatibility, and upsetting those who depends on it.

While Unit Testing ensures the code behaves as expected and meets its design and requirements, Interface Testing for commands or functions focuses on the contracts it offers to its consumer. It ensures the contracts (the command prototype or syntax) are consistent over time.

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