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A PowerShell Module to help scripters write, version, sign, package, and publish.
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Content initial module template files May 2, 2015
PotentialContribution Fix Edit-Code so it always waits when editing functions Oct 11, 2018
Source Fix not picking scripts from custom source directories Mar 7, 2019
Tests Add a #requires for the new PowerShellGet Mar 5, 2019
.gitignore Try doing CI with Azure Pipelines Sep 20, 2018
GitVersion.yml changing to gitversion 4, and mode mainline Feb 22, 2019
LICENSE adding MIT license to ModuleBuilder repo Aug 4, 2018 Fix copy command in Readme (#60) May 15, 2019
RequiredModules.psd1 Use NuGet.Version and Singular nound Mar 21, 2019
azure-pipelines.yml Use NuGet.Version and Singular nound Mar 21, 2019
build.ps1 Add support for SemVer in builds to produce SemVer modules Oct 14, 2018
nuget.config Try doing CI with Azure Pipelines Sep 20, 2018

The Module Builder Project

This project is an attempt by a group of PowerShell MVPs and module authors to:

  1. Build a common set of tools for module authoring
  2. Encourage a common pattern for organizing PowerShell module projects
  3. Promote best practices for authoring functions and modules

In short, we want to make it easier for people to write great code and produce great modules.

In service of this goal, we intend to produce:

  1. Guidance on using the best of the existing tools: dotnet, Pester, PSDepends, etc.
  2. Module templates demonstrating best practices for organization
  3. Function templates demonstrating best practices for common parameters and error handling
  4. ModuleBuilder module - a set of tools for building modules following these best practices

The ModuleBuilder module

This module is the first concrete step in the project (although it currently consists of only two commands). It represents the collaboration of several MVPs and module authors who had each written their own version of these tools for themselves, and have now decided to collaborate on creating a shared toolset. We are each using the patterns and tools that are represented here, and are committed to helping others to succeed at doing so.

Building from source

Build Status

1. Get the source, obviously

git clone
cd Modulebuilder

2. Install dependencies

We have a few modules which are required for building. They're listed in RequiredModules.psd1 -- the .\Install-RequiredModule.ps1 script installs them (it defaults to CurrentUser scope, but has a -Scope parameter if you're running elevated and want to install them for the AllUsers). They only change rarely, so you won't need to run this repeatedly.


3. Run the build.ps1 script.


4. Make the compiled module available to Powershell

The .\build.ps1 process will output the path to the folder named with the current version number, like "1.0.0" -- the compiled psm1 and psd1 files are in that folder. In order for PowerShell to find them when you ask it to import, they need to be in the PSModulePath. PowerShell expects to find modules in a folder with a matching name that sits in one of the folders in your PSModulePath.

Since we cloned the "ModuleBuilder" project into a "ModuleBuilder" folder, the easiest thing to do is just add the parent of the ModuleBuilder folder to your PSModulePath. Personally, I keep all my git repos in my user folder at ~\Projects and I add that to my PSModulePath in my profile script. You could do it temporarily for your current PowerShell session by running this:

$Env:PSModulePath += ';' + (Resolve-Path ..)

Alternatively, you could copy the build output to your PSModulePath -- but then you need to start by creating the new "ModuleBuilder" folder to put the version number folder in. You could do that as you build by running something like this instead of just running the .\build.ps1 script:

$UserModules = Join-Path (Split-Path $Profile.CurrentUserAllHosts) "Modules\ModuleBuilder"
New-Item $UserModules -Type Directory -Force
Copy-Item (.\build.ps1) -Destination $UserModules -Force -Recurse

You final directory stucture Would look something like this: C:\Users\Jaykul\Documents\PowerShell\Modules\ModuleBuilder\1.0.0\

5. Run tests with Pester


Note: If Pester completely fails you likely haven't loaded the module properly. Try running Import-Module ModuleBuilder and see step 4.

What's in the module, so far:


Builds a script module from a source project containing one file per function in Public and Private folders.

The Build-Module command is a build task for PowerShell script modules that supports incremental builds.


Takes the output from Invoke-Pester -Passthru run against the build output, and converts the code coverage report to the source lines.

A note on build tools

There are several PowerShell build frameworks available. The build task in ModuleBuilder doesn't particularly endorse or interoperate with any of them, but it does accomplish a particular task that is needed by all of them.

A good build framework needs to support incremental builds and have a way to define build targets which have dependencies on other targets, such that it can infer the target build order.

A good build framework should also include pre-defined tasks for most common build targets, including restoring dependencies, cleaning old output, building and assembling a module from source, testing that module, and publishing the module for public consumption. Our Build-Module command, for instance, is just one task of several which would be needed for a build target for a PowerShell script module.

Organizing Your Module

For best results, you need to organize your module project similarly to how this project is organized. It doesn't have to be exact, because nearly all of our conventions can be overriden, but the module is opinionated, so if you follow the conventions, it should feel wonderfully automatic.

  1. Create a source folder with a build.psd1 file and your module manifest in it
  2. In the build.psd1 specify the relative Path to your module's manifest, e.g. @{ Path = "ModuleBuilder.psd1" }
  3. In your manifest, make sure the FunctionsToExport entry is not commented out. You can leave it empty

Once you start working on the module, you'll create sub-folders in source, and put script files in them with only one function in each file. You should name the files with the same name as the function that's in them -- especially in the public folder, where we use the file name (without the extension) to determine the exported functions.

  1. By convention, use folders named "Classes", "Private", and "Public"
  2. By convention, the functions in "Public" will be exported from the module
  3. To force classes to be in a certain order, you can prefix their file names with numbers, like 01-User.ps1

There are a lot of conventions in Build-Module, expressed as default values for its parameters. You can set any parameter to Build-Module by adding keys to the build.psd1 file with your preferences. Check the help for Build-Module for details.

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