PowerShell: best way to ensure function name uniqueness?


What’s the best way to ensure your PowerShell function name is unique? The standard since version 1 is to put in a short unique id after the verb dash and before the noun. For example, with my initials I could create function Get-DWServer; this is fine until someone creates a function in a different module for getting an object reference to a datawarehouse and uses the same function name. Two or three letters just isn’t sufficient but more than that gets ugly to read.

I’d prefer to have a unique prefix* similar to .NET namespaces. It’s better for organization, easier on the eye and works with tab completion. And it expands gracefully so you could name it DW.Get-Server or DW.Network.Get-Server.

The downside of doing this is it runs afoul of PowerShell’s proper verb check during module import/Export-ModuleMember. You can get around this by specifying DisableNameChecking during import but I’m wondering if doing this is sloppy and might be bad if PowerShell 3 comes out with a better solution. I know PS verb purists (are there any?) will complain that this probably ‘hinders discovery’ but I can’t think of a better option.

What do you do?

(*You can refer to an exported function using module_name\function_name notation but this won’t work with tab completion and still doesn’t get around the problem of the function name being unique).


I have heard Jeffrey Snover (the inventor of PowerShell) talk about this a few times and he described it as a dilemma, not a problem. A dilemma has to be managed but can’t be solved completely. A problem can be solved. As a PS verb “purist” I would say the best way to manage this is to have a 2 or 3 letter prefix to your nouns. This has been sufficient so far for many widely distributed sets of cmdlets. IE, Quest AD Cmdlets vs Microsoft’s AD Cmdlets. Get-ADUser and get-qaduser.

If you are consuming a module and want to use your own prefix, you can specify one with

I know this isn’t the one single silver bullet answer, but I would say it works for 95% of the situations.


PowerShell: best way to ensure function name uniqueness? by licensed under CC BY-SA | With most appropriate answer!

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