TimeSpan Conversion Function and Module

I have a ton of Powershell code I’ve written over the last 6 years or so that I’m in the process of cleaning up and looking to share.  I plan on re-presenting them as a set of scripts and script modules I’ll be featuring in a series of blog posts coming in the near future.

I’ll start simply.  I have a new script module called bsti.conversion that has a single function:  ConvertTo-TimeSpan

I always thought it was neat that you could type in 1kb and Powershell would convert that value to 1024.  You can also use mb (megabytes), tb (terabytes), and pb (petabytes).  I don’t see that eb (exabytes) works.  In any case, I always wished I could do the same with time units like this:

12m (minutes) or 24h (hours) or 7d (days)

The ConvertTo-TimeSpan function I’ve included in this module does just that.

What I use this for is I have functions and scripts I like to write that require the user to pass in an easy time unit value.

This functionality can also be achieved by Timespan conversion like so:

[Timespan](“1.00:00:00”)  # 1 day
[Timespan](“1.6:00:00”)  # 1 day, 6 hours
[Timespan](“1:22:00”)  # 1 hour, 22 minutes

The conversion function is a little less precise, but a bit more human-readable, which is important to me since most of my users are not .NET programmers and don’t understand the format of a timespan object right offhand.

The function in this module supports both formats:

bsti.conversion1

The module files can be downloaded here.
Once downloaded, extract the folder to the C:\windows\system32\windowspowershell\v1.0\modules directory.  The final structure should look like this:
C:\windows\system32\windowspowershell\v1.0\modules\bsti.conversion

Then just use the Import-Module bsti.conversion command as shown above.

Not bad for a start, hope you enjoy.

UPDATE:  I’m adding my stuff to GitHub.  Bear with me while I come up-to-speed on how to use it.  Find this module project here:

https://github.com/Roadkill4545/bsti.Powershell/tree/master/bsti.conversion

4 thoughts on “TimeSpan Conversion Function and Module

    1. Brandon Post author

      Absolutely, thanks for the comment. There are several scenarios where that works out wonderfully. The reason I wrote the function is I have several scenarios where it makes providing input much easier. If you are passing a TimeSpan value into a script, you need to provide the user an easy way to represent the value they want. In the days of yore, I used to make parameters like -DaysPast, where you would provide an integer representing how many days back you wanted to go. I’d use the function you listed above to turn that into a timespan, or simply: New-TimeSpan -Days 4 or some similar value. However, that’s kind of imprecise. What if you want 1.5 days? 12 hours?

      It’s much more flexible to provide an option to let the user specify a precise value. “12h” or “12:00:00” for instance. Further, this makes a difference when the input has to be read from a text or xml configuration file, which I do often for my more complex processes.


      DaysBack=12h
      or
      <Daysback>12.00:00:00</DaysBack>

      Like

      Reply

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