Sample Creating PowerShell SQL Agent Jobs


With the introduction of SQL Server 2008, Microsoft SQL Server Team introduce SQLPS.exe.   SQLPS.EXE mini-shell is based on PowerShell v 1.0 and includes the SQL Server provider and snapins.  Also, SQL Server 2008 setup will install the SMO (SQLServer Management objects) for you.

What is SQLPS?

The sqlps utility starts the PowerShell environment (PowerShell.exe) with the SQL Server PowerShell snap-ins loaded and registered. The SQL Server PowerShell snap-ins are as follows:

  • Microsoft.SqlServer.Management.PSProvider.dll
    Implements the SQL Server PowerShell provider and associated cmdlets such as Encode-SqlName and Decode-SqlName.
  • Microsoft.SqlServer.Management.PSSnapin.dll
    Implements the Invoke-Sqlcmd cmdlet.

You can use sqlps to do the following:

  • Interactively run PowerShell commands.
  • Run PowerShell script files.
  • Run SQL Server cmdlets. Only three:
    • Encode-SqlName
    • Decode-SqlName
    • Invoke-SqlCmd

Use the SQL Server provider paths to navigate through the hierarchy of SQL Server objects.

Back to PowerShell SQL jobs:

There’s at least two ways to create a PowerShell job in SQL Server 2008 when creating a Job step:

1. Create new jobstep as a job type “Operating System (CMDExec)” then type the DOS Commands or Cmd batch file.

2. Or, create the jobstep as a job type “PowerShell” then type the PowerShell Cmdlets or PS

Script: (sample)

Both methods will result in generating a simple text report:

Here’s a list of PowerShell.exe parameters you can use at the DOS command line:

Microsoft Windows [Version 6.1.7600]

Copyright (c) 2009 Microsoft Corporation. All rights reserved.

C:\Users\Max>PowerShell /?

PowerShell[.exe] [-PSConsoleFile <file> | -Version <version>]

[-NoLogo] [-NoExit] [-Sta] [-NoProfile] [-NonInteractive]

[-InputFormat {Text | XML}] [-OutputFormat {Text | XML}]

[-WindowStyle <style>] [-EncodedCommand <Base64EncodedCommand>]

[-File <filePath> <args>] [-ExecutionPolicy <ExecutionPolicy>]

[-Command { – | <script-block> [-args <arg-array>]

| <string> [<CommandParameters>] } ]

PowerShell[.exe] -Help | -? | /?


Loads the specified Windows PowerShell console file. To create a console

file, use Export-Console in Windows PowerShell.


Starts the specified version of Windows PowerShell.


Hides the copyright banner at startup.


Does not exit after running startup commands.


Start the shell using a single-threaded apartment.


Does not use the user profile.


Does not present an interactive prompt to the user.


Describes the format of data sent to Windows PowerShell. Valid values are

"Text" (text strings) or "XML" (serialized CLIXML format).


Determines how output from Windows PowerShell is formatted. Valid values

are "Text" (text strings) or "XML" (serialized CLIXML format).


Sets the window style to Normal, Minimized, Maximized or Hidden.


Accepts a base-64-encoded string version of a command. Use this parameter

to submit commands to Windows PowerShell that require complex quotation

marks or curly braces.


Execute a script file.


Sets the default execution policy for the session.


Executes the specified commands (and any parameters) as though they were

typed at the Windows PowerShell command prompt, and then exits, unless

NoExit is specified. The value of Command can be "-", a string. or a

script block.

If the value of Command is "-", the command text is read from standard


If the value of Command is a script block, the script block must be enclosed

in braces ({}). You can specify a script block only when running PowerShell.


in Windows PowerShell. The results of the script block are returned to the

parent shell as deserialized XML objects, not live objects.

If the value of Command is a string, Command must be the last parameter

in the command , because any characters typed after the command are

interpreted as the command arguments.

To write a string that runs a Windows PowerShell command, use the format:

"& {<command>}"

where the quotation marks indicate a string and the invoke operator (&)

causes the command to be executed.

-Help, -?, /?

Shows this message. If you are typing a PowerShell.exe command in Windows

PowerShell, prepend the command parameters with a hyphen (-), not a forward

slash (/). You can use either a hyphen or forward slash in Cmd.exe.


PowerShell -PSConsoleFile SqlSnapIn.Psc1

PowerShell -version 1.0 -NoLogo -InputFormat text -OutputFormat XML

PowerShell -Command {Get-EventLog -LogName security}

PowerShell -Command "& {Get-EventLog -LogName security}"

# To use the -EncodedCommand parameter:

$command = ‘dir "c:\program files" ‘

$bytes = [System.Text.Encoding]::Unicode.GetBytes($command)

$encodedCommand = [Convert]::ToBase64String($bytes)

powershell.exe -encodedCommand $encodedCommand



The Benefit and the Drawback:

1. The Benefit: Using the “Operating System (CmdExec)”, you can extend your PowerShell v2 by adding the SQL Provider and Snapin into your PowerShell user profile. By Default, the user profile is loaded automatically when executing PowerShell from the DOS command prompt.

2. The Drawback: When, you add your code in a PowerShell job type, SQL Job Agent uses the SQLPS.exe subsystem which is based on PowerShell v1. So, you won’t be able to use PowerShell new cmdlets, such as “Send-MailMessage”. But, you can build your own .NET code to build your own email solution in PowerShell.  Or, just look for the code on the internet…  Well, here’s an example of building an email .NET solution for PowerShell v1:

$mailmess = new-object
$mailmess.From = ""
$mailmess.Subject = "Test send message .NET mail."
$mailmess.Body = "Should work!!!!!!!!!";
$mailclient = New-Object System.Net.Mail.SmtpClient
$ = ""

Finally, after testing the PowerShell scripts, now we are ready to scheduling the job or mix with other jobs.

Go ahead and keep working with PowerShell!!

It Really ROCKS!!


About maxt2posh

I’m from Puerto Rico, have been working with computers since 1979. Throughout many years, I have worked with SQL Server Technologies, provided support to Windows Servers/Client machines, Microsoft Virtualization Technologies, and build some Visual Studio solutions. I’m a Microsoft PowerShell MVP since 2009 and MVP SAPIEN Technologies since 2010. I speak in most of the SQLSaturday, IT Pro and .NET camps events around the Florida’s State. Also founder of the Florida PowerShell User Group which meeting every 3rd Tuesday evening of the month.
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3 Responses to Sample Creating PowerShell SQL Agent Jobs

  1. Thanks for posting this wicked article!

  2. shruthi says:

    thank you.i now know how to execute ps on sql server

  3. szumigalski says:

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