imageDuring my P2F talk at the PowerShell Summit NA 2014, I announced a project that would make creating a PowerShell Provider “stupid simple.”  I happily present you the first iteration of this stupid simplicity in the form of the Simplex open source project.

The goal of Simplex is to remove any barrier between the operator and the items they would like to access as a PowerShell drive.  Instead of focusing on C# types, interfaces, and cmdlet support, Simplex keeps you in script, using a simple domain-specific language (DSL) based on PowerShell to define a drive hierarchy.  Here is an example of the DSL:

root { # the root folder of the drive
    folder System { # a folder named System
        script Processes -id Id { # a folder named Processes
            get-process                   # that contains Process objects
        script Errors -id Index { # a folder named Errors containing event log entries
            get-eventLog -log application -entrytype error -newest 25

To mount this Simplex script as a PowerShell drive, you just need to use the Simplex module, like so:

import-module simplex;
new-psdrive -name s -psprovider simplex -root "c:\path\to\simplexscript.ps1"

Once the script it mounted, you can navigate the folders and script containers as if they were a filesystem:

PS C:\Windows\SysWOW64\WindowsPowerShell\v1.0> cd s:

PS s:\> dir

    Container: Simplex\Simplex::C:\share\simplex.ps1

           Type       Name                    
---------- ----       ----                    
d+~<       Folder     System                  

PS s:\> cd system

PS s:\system> dir

    Container: Simplex\Simplex::C:\share\simplex.ps1\system

           Type       Name                    
---------- ----       ----                    
d+~<       Script     Processes               
d+~<       Script     Errors                  

PS s:\system> cd errors

PS s:\system\errors> dir

   Index Time          EntryType   Source                 InstanceID Message                                                                                                                      
   ----- ----          ---------   ------                 ---------- -------                                                                                                                      
   63846 Jul 31 09:05  Error       Application Error            1000 ...

Simplex DSL

The Simplex DSL has three elements: root, folders, and scripts.  Each element defines a container location on the drive.  The root element defines the root of the drive and contains any number of script and folder elements.

root {
    # any number of script and/or folder elements

Folders can also contain other folders and script elements, and folders must have a name.

folder <foldername> {
    # any number of script and/or folder elements

Scripts are containers that use bits of PowerShell to supply the items they contain.  Scripts elements also must have a name, and they can optionally specify an –idField parameter to identify a property to be used as the item’s child name.

script <foldername> [-idField <propertyname>] {
    # PowerShell script to return objects from this folder

The DSL is “just PowerShell,” so you can actually do any PowerShell things you want to do.  In this example, the DSL generates folders on demand based on the available performance counter sets:

root {
    get-counter -list * | foreach {
        $folderName = $_.CounterSetName;
        script $folderName {

When you mount and explore the drive, you’ll find a set of folders generated from the script:

PS g:\> dir

    Container: Simplex\Simplex::C:\share\gen.ps1

           Type       Name                    
---------- ----       ----                    
d+~<       Script     RAS                     
d+~<       Script     WSMan Quota Statistics  
d+~<       Script     Network QoS Policy      
d+~<       Script     SMB Client Shares       
d+~<       Script     SynchronizationNuma     
d+~<       Script     Synchronization         
d+~<       Script     Event Tracing for Win...
d+~<       Script     Thermal Zone Information
d+~<       Script     Processor Information   
d+~<       Script     Event Tracing for Win...
d+~<       Script     FileSystem Disk Activity
# ...

So please check out the project, submit any issues/features you find/want.  And as always, enjoy!