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question about count variable

Posted on 2015-01-22
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Last Modified: 2015-01-23
Hello,
If $JOBS contains one row, the variable $nb_jobs is null, why ?
$JOBS = (& sqlcmd -E -S SRVTEST -h -1 -b -W -Q "set nocount on; SELECT DISTINCT name FROM msdb..sysjobs")
$nb_jobs = $JOBS.count

Thanks

regards
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Question by:bibi92
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8 Comments
 
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Expert Comment

by:Subsun
ID: 40565104
You probably using an earlier version of PowerShell. Before PS 3, If the var is not an array (Contains more than one objects), the count property result would be null.
You either have to upgrade to Powershell v3 or later..

Or try

($JOBS | Measure).count

Or

@($JOBS).count
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LVL 40

Expert Comment

by:footech
ID: 40565156
My preferred method would be to modify the line as follows.
$JOBS = @(& sqlcmd -E -S SRVTEST -h -1 -b -W -Q "set nocount on; SELECT DISTINCT name FROM msdb..sysjobs")

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Subsun earned 2000 total points
ID: 40565175
FYI, There is a small bug in @().count as it wont display the 0 count for a $null value. For a $null value it shows 1.. with PS 2 using Measure-Object would return the actual count..
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Expert Comment

by:footech
ID: 40565458
I don't know if I would call it a bug.  PS treats $null as a valid object.  I think it's more an "as designed" feature.  But I've never considered it in depth... perhaps there is a bug report filed on the Connect site.
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LVL 40

Expert Comment

by:Subsun
ID: 40565483
May be.. but $null.count or $null | Measure should ideally return count as 0 not 1. They have fixed it in PS 3 and above..
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Expert Comment

by:footech
ID: 40565642
In PS 2.0 $null.count gives nothing.  In 3.0 it gives 0.
Having an array that includes a null element the count is the same in both.
$a = "asfsd",$null,"lkjasf"
$a.count


Am I missing something?
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Expert Comment

by:Subsun
ID: 40567513
As per my understanding single object did not had count property in PS 2. This was fixed in PS 3 and above.

I see that the examples you have given is true even in PS 4 also, @($null).count still returns 1, and there are many other things which I don't really like. For example Foreach will iterate even through null objects (it does help in some scenarios).

Foreach ($A in ($null,$null)){"Test"} or $null | Foreach {"Test"}

But really i don't want to tear my hair out as there are workarounds. For count I normally use Measure-object which gives me more accurate result..
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Expert Comment

by:footech
ID: 40567576
Up to this point I've worked with the understanding that nulls should be counted, and further processing should handle them appropriately.  But I think it's a valid approach to not count nulls if that's what you prefer.  You'd still have to handle them in further processing, so I don't see it making much difference either way.
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