Skip to content

Developer Guide - General Information

This guide will introduce you on how to write custom PowerShell modules (described as Icinga for Windows components) and how certain aspects of the architecture work.

PowerShell Module Architecture

Each single PowerShell module has to be installed inside a module directory of Windows. You can view a list of current available locations by using $Env:PSModulePath. By default, we are going to use the directory C:\Program Files\WindowsPowerShell\Modules.

Folder Structure

To create a new module, you can create a custom folder within the PowerShell module folder. This folder is the namespace of your module and is required for later creating the RootModule and Manifest.

Within your module folder, you are free to create as many sub-directories as you want and place script and module files there, which are shipped and used by your module.

Manifest And RootModule

To provide all basic information, you will require to create at least a Manifest file, which has the file ending .psd1. The name of the file has to match the folder name you choose as namespace for your module in the previous section.

Our RootModule is using the file ending .psm1 and can use the same name as your folder, but is not required to, as long as a valid .psd1 file is present. Within our manifest, we can define the path on where the .psm1 can be found.

Nested Modules

While writing your own module, you will add additional code and possible different files to your project. By adding additional .psm1 files for easier loading of functions, we can use the NestedModules attribute within our .psd1 file, to add them to our known module list.

Please note that it is only required to use the relative path, starting with .\ to use the root directory of your module as base.

Lets assume we have the following file structure:

  |_ plugin.psd1
  |_ plugin.psm1
  |_ provider
     |_ custom_provider.psm1
  |_ plugin
     |_ custom_plugin.psm1

In this case, our NestedModules variable within our .psd1 file requires the following values

    NestedModules = @(

Data Management

Icinga for Windows is using one global variable $Global:Icinga, to store information for daemons and other tasks. This variable is split into three different categories, which you can read more on below. The general architecture of this construct is a simple hashtable. You can interact with this variable and sub-entries like you would with normal hashtables, making data stored a lot easier to access and maintain.


Everything which should be stored while a daemon is running internally or within a PowerShell session and not being shared with other daemons, is stored within the $Global:Icinga.Private space.

The following entries are set by default within the Private space:

Category Description
Timers All created timers by using Start-IcingaTimer are stored under this environment variable
Scheduler Once plugins are executed, performance data, check results and exit codes are stored in this section, in case the PowerShell instance is set to run as daemon
Daemons This is a place where all daemon data should be added and stored, separated by a namespace for each module as entry. This data is not shared between other daemons
PerformanceCounter A space to share all PerformanceCounter information between threads, which counters are already created for internal usage
ProgressStatus A list of all created progress status bars from Icinga for Windows

Example Data



Everything stored within the Public space of $Global:Icinga is automatically shared between all threads of the current PowerShell instance. If you run the ServiceCheckDaemon in addition with the RestAPI for example, metrics over time will be read from the public shared space from the RestApi and used during check execution.

There is no manual configuration required to share the information, as Icinga for Windows will deal with this for you, once a new thread instance is created.

The following entries are set by default within the Public space:

Category Description
ThreadPools A list of all thread pools available to create new thread limits for certain background daemons
Daemons A place to store shared information for each single daemon within a namespace, making data accessible to other threads
Threads A list of all started and available threads running by Icinga for Windows
Example Data


This is a section reserved for Icinga for Windows and Icinga developers in general. This space will store general information for Icinga for Windows, determining on how the PowerShell instance is handling internal requests and procedures.

As custom module developer, you can read from this space but are in general not allowed to store information there. Please use the Private and Public space for this.

The following entries are set by default within the Protected space:

Category Description
JEAContext Tells Icinga for Windows that the current environment is running within a JEA context
RunAsDaemon Tells Icinga for Windows that the current PowerShell instance is running as daemon, changing behaviors on error and plugin execution handling
DebugMode Enables the debug mode of Icinga for Windows, printing additional details during operations or tasks
Minimal Changes certain behavior regarding check execution and internal error handling

Private and Public Functions

Icinga for Windows will by default only export Functions and Cmdlets, in case they are either located within the root .psm1 file, inside a folder called public or in case Global: is added before the function:

function Global:Invoke-MyCommand()

In addition, all commands with the alias Invoke-IcingaCheck are automatically exported for plugins. This ensures that each module is isolated from each other and functions with the same name can be used within different modules, without overwriting existing ones. This ensures a better integrity of the module itself.

Last but not least, each module is created with a compilation file which is created during the first run of the module and used later on. This ensures en even faster response and reduced load on the system.

Using Icinga for Windows Dev Tools

Maintaining the entire structure above seems to be complicated at the beginning, especially when considering to update the NestedModules section whenever you make changes. To mitigate this, Icinga for Windows provides a bunch of Cmdlets to help with the process

Create New Components

To create new components, you can use the command New-IcingaForWindowsComponent. It will create a new PowerShell module inside the same module directory, were you installed the Framework itself.

The command ships with a bunch of configurations to modify the created .psd1 in addition, with a different author, copyright, and so on. the most important arguments how ever are Name and ComponentType.

Argument Type Description
Name String The name of your Icinga for Windows component. This will create a new module in the following syntax: icinga-powershell-{name}
ComponentType String The type of component you want to create for Icinga for Windows with different base-modules and code available to get started quickly. Available types: plugins, apiendpoint, daemon, library
OpenInEditor Switch Will directly open the module after creation inside an editor for editing

Publish/Update Components

Once you have started to write your own code, you can use the Cmdlet Publish-IcingaForWindowsComponent to compile and add requires functions for the calls, including the documentation in case the module is of type plugin.

In addition, you ca create a .zip file for this module which can be integrated directly into the Repository Manager. By default, created .zip files will be created in your home folder, the path can how ever be changed while executing the command.

Argument Type Description
Name String The name of your Icinga for Windows component to update information from
ReleasePackagePath String The path on where the .zip file will be created in. Defaults to the current users home folder
CreateReleasePackage Switch This will toggle the .zip file creation of the specified package

Please note that using Publish-IcingaForWindowsComponent is mandatory, before you can use the module on target systems. Each Icinga for Windows module is isolated from the general environment and allows to overwrite certain functions locally, inside the module instead of having to worry about them being overwritten on other, critical areas.

Testing Your Component

In order to validate if your module can be loaded and is working properly, you can use the command Test-IcingaForWindowsComponent. In addition to an import check, it will also validate the code styling and give you an overview if and how many issues there are with your code.

By default, only a summary of possible issues is added to the output, you can how ever use an argument flag to print a list of possible found issues, allowing you to resolve them more easily.

Argument Type Description
Name String The name of your Icinga for Windows component to test
ShowIssues Switch Prints a list of all possible found issues into the console

Open Components

A quick and easy way for opening components inside an editor is to use the command Open-IcingaForWindowsComponentInEditor. You simply require to specify the name of the component and the editor is opening.

At the moment, only Visual Studio Code is supported. More editors will follow in the future.

Argument Type Description
Name String The name of your Icinga for Windows component to open
Editor String Allows to specify, which editor the component should be opened with. Supported values: code