Santosh Benjamin's Weblog

Adventures with AppFabric, BizTalk & Clouds

Creating Hosts with Powershell

with 9 comments

[UPDATE]: The issue I had has now been solved. Please refer to the text below for the original issues as well as the solution

Context: Basically I was trying to write the powershell equivalent of the MSDN Article : Creating a Host using WMI

For the C# version of the sample here is the powershell equivalent
$putOptions = new-Object System.Management.PutOptions
$putOptions.Type = [System.Management.PutType]::CreateOnly;

[System.Management.ManagementClass]$objHostSettingClass = New-Object
[System.Management.ManagementObject]$objHostSetting = New-Object
$objHostSetting = $objHostSettingClass.CreateInstance()
$objHostSetting[“Name”] = $hostName
$objHostSetting[“HostType”] = $hostType
$objHostSetting[“NTGroupName”] = $NTGroupName
$objHostSetting[“AuthTrusted”] =$authTrusted

This gives me the error
Exception calling “Put” with “1” argument(s): “You cannot call a method on a
null-valued expression.”

If i try the VBscript version (PS equivalent) as shown below
 $objLocator = New-Object -ComObject “WbemScripting.SWbemLocator”
$objService = $objLocator.ConnectServer(“.”,”root/MicrosoftBizTalkServer”)
$objHostSetting = $objService.Get(“MSBTS_HostSetting”)
$objHS = $objHostSetting.SpawnInstance_
$objHS.HostName = $hostName
$objHS.HostType = $hostType
$objHS.NTGroupName = $NTGroupName
$objHS.AuthTrusted = $authTrusted

Then i get an error saying : the property is read only (name, hosttype etc)

changing the assignment to the following

$objHS.Properties_.Item(“Name”).value = $hostName

does not work  either, saying

You cannot call a method on a null-valued expression.


In the original post, I had said that I was going to try to solve the problem through Reflection and indeed that was the only way i could get it to work.


In the code (for the C#/PS equivalent) shown above , it appears that the line [$objHostSetting.Put($options)] is the offender. Although $objHostSetting gets initialised correctly and all properties get set, the Put method cannot be called on it. At the time of invocation it seems that PS thinks its null.


It was a very painful process (for a PS newbie) and the reflection equivalent isn’t an exact translation of the C# either. The Invoke() method requires an object[] in C# but in PS you just pass the actual object and it will work


PS Script 

function bts-host-create([string]$hostName, [int]$hostType, [string]$NTGroupName, [bool]$authTrusted)


       $putOptions = new-Object System.Management.PutOptions

       $putOptions.Type = [System.Management.PutType]::CreateOnly;


       [System.Management.ManagementClass]$objHostSettingClass = New-Object System.Management.ManagementClass(“root\MicrosoftBizTalkServer”,”MSBTS_HostSetting”,$null)

       [System.Management.ManagementObject]$objHostSetting = New-Object System.Management.ManagementObject

       $objHostSetting = $objHostSettingClass.CreateInstance()



       $objHostSetting[“Name”] = $hostName

       $objHostSetting[“HostType”] = $hostType

       $objHostSetting[“NTGroupName”] = $NTGroupName

       $objHostSetting[“AuthTrusted”] =$authTrusted


       [Type[]] $targetTypes = New-Object System.Type[] 1

       $targetTypes[0] = $putOptions.GetType()


       $sysMgmtAssemblyName = “System.Management”

       $sysMgmtAssembly = [System.Reflection.Assembly]::LoadWithPartialName($sysMgmtAssemblyName)

       $objHostSettingType = $sysMgmtAssembly.GetType(“System.Management.ManagementObject”)


       [Reflection.MethodInfo] $methodInfo = $objHostSettingType.GetMethod(“Put”,$targetTypes)



       Write-Host “Successfully created host named:  $hostName”




Here’s the C# code

public static void CreateHostThroughReflection(string HostName, int HostType, string NTGroupName, bool AuthTrusted)




                PutOptions options = new PutOptions();

                options.Type = PutType.CreateOnly;


                //create a ManagementClass object and spawn a ManagementObject instance

                ManagementClass objHostSettingClass = new ManagementClass(“root\\MicrosoftBizTalkServer”, “MSBTS_HostSetting”, null);

                ManagementObject objHostSetting = objHostSettingClass.CreateInstance();


                //set the properties for the Managementobject

                objHostSetting[“Name”] = HostName;

                objHostSetting[“HostType”] = HostType;

                objHostSetting[“NTGroupName”] = NTGroupName;

                objHostSetting[“AuthTrusted”] = AuthTrusted;


                Type[] targetTypes = new Type[1];

                targetTypes[0]= typeof(PutOptions);


                object[] parameters = new object[1];

                parameters[0] = options;


                Type objType = objHostSetting.GetType();

                MethodInfo mi = objType.GetMethod(“Put”,targetTypes);

                mi.Invoke(objHostSetting, parameters);


                //create the Managementobject


                System.Console.WriteLine(“Host – ” + HostName + ” – has been created successfully”);


            catch (ManagementException mex)


                Console.WriteLine(“Management Exception ” + mex.Message);


            catch (Exception excep)


                System.Console.WriteLine(“CreateHost – ” + HostName + ” – failed: ” + excep.Message);



Notice that the “Invoke” is different in the PS and the C#. Also notice how convoluted the PS is when trying to do a simple object.GetType() , but i guess PS wasnt meant for this sort of thing anyway, so we cant complain.

Hope this helps someone. Do let me know if it does. Use the code for whatever you want but i dont provide support  🙂


Written by santoshbenjamin

October 8, 2008 at 6:14 PM

9 Responses

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