Dealing with existing SharePoint connections

We all can Imagine the scenario. You create sites in sharepoint and now you want to edit multiple sites afterwards with PowerShell. In order to be safe, we have to check, wether an connection exists and if yes to disconnect the current connection to have a clean processing of the sites. In this article I want to show you how can achieve dealing with existing SharePoint connections. If you don’t know how to connect to SharePoint Online, check the article.


Symptoms – How I tried it first

Multiple paths as needles

I tried to check the connection by a normal if query, but as you can see it throws everytime an error, so the script will be halted under normal circumstances. Changing the ErroActionPreference is something you could do for sure, but I would not recommend it, if you want to handle other upcomming potential errors of the API. So as you can see dealing with existing SharePoint connections in terms of checking, wether an connection exists, is not that easy.

if ((Get-PnPConnection) )
{
    Write-Host "Connection found"
}
Get-PnPConnection : The current connection holds no SharePoint context. Please use one of the Connect-PnPOnline commands which uses the -Url argument to connect.
In Zeile:2 Zeichen:6
+ if ((Get-PnPConnection) )
+      ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    + CategoryInfo          : NotSpecified: (:) [Get-PnPConnection], InvalidOperationException
    + FullyQualifiedErrorId : System.InvalidOperationException,PnP.PowerShell.Commands.Base.GetPnPConnection
PS H:>> 
if ((Get-PnPConnection) -ne $Null )
{
    Write-Host "Connection found"
}
Get-PnPConnection : The current connection holds no SharePoint context. Please use one of the Connect-PnPOnline commands which uses the -Url argument to connect.
In Zeile:2 Zeichen:6
+ if ((Get-PnPConnection) -ne $Null )
+      ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    + CategoryInfo          : NotSpecified: (:) [Get-PnPConnection], InvalidOperationException
    + FullyQualifiedErrorId : System.InvalidOperationException,PnP.PowerShell.Commands.Base.GetPnPConnection
PS H:>> 
if ((Get-PnPConnection|out-null) -ne $Null )
{
    Write-Host "Connection found"
}
Get-PnPConnection : The current connection holds no SharePoint context. Please use one of the Connect-PnPOnline commands which uses the -Url argument to connect.
In Zeile:2 Zeichen:6
+ if ((Get-PnPConnection|out-null) -ne $Null )
+      ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    + CategoryInfo          : NotSpecified: (:) [Get-PnPConnection], InvalidOperationException
    + FullyQualifiedErrorId : System.InvalidOperationException,PnP.PowerShell.Commands.Base.GetPnPConnection
PS H:>> 
if ((Get-PnPConnection -ErrorAction SilentlyContinue) -ne $Null )
{
    Write-Host "Connection found"
}
Get-PnPConnection : The current connection holds no SharePoint context. Please use one of the Connect-PnPOnline commands which uses the -Url argument to connect.
In Zeile:2 Zeichen:6
+ if ((Get-PnPConnection -ErrorAction SilentlyContinue) -ne $Null )
+      ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    + CategoryInfo          : NotSpecified: (:) [Get-PnPConnection], InvalidOperationException
    + FullyQualifiedErrorId : System.InvalidOperationException,PnP.PowerShell.Commands.Base.GetPnPConnection

Solutions

sewing kit

Try Catch Solution

In order to handle this situation, you have to catchup the error.

The snippet tries to check wether there is an connection and if there is one, it will proceed and disconnect it. After disconnecting it I have set the variable $connection to $null, so I can process it later on.

try 
{
    Get-PnPConnection -ErrorAction Stop
    Disconnect-PnPOnline
    $Connection = $null
}
catch 
{
    $Connection = $null
}

BONUS 1: Invoke-PNPConnection with Credential object (No MFA enforcement)

A function which handles the whole procedure of cutting of the connection and reconnecting, makes the handling easier. In this case I have added an additional check of the contents of lists, because sometimes you do connect, but experience that the webserver is not ready yet – basically you get an 403 FORBIDDEN message in PowerShell.

NOTE: This will only work If your user has no MFA enforcement. If you have MFA enabled, I have another function for you.

Function Invoke-PNPConnection ($Url, $Cred)
{
    try 
    {
        Get-PnPConnection -ErrorAction Stop
        Disconnect-PnPOnline
        $Connection  = $null
    }
    catch
    {
        $Connection  = $null
    }
    $i = 1
    while ($null -eq $Connection -and $i -le 6 -and $null -eq $Lists)
    {
        Write-Verbose "Trying to connect to $Url for the $i time" 
        $Lists = $null
        Connect-PnPOnline -Url $Url -Credentials $Cred
        $Lists = Get-PnPList -ErrorAction SilentlyContinue
        $i++
        if ($i -ne 1 -and $null -eq $Lists)
        {
            Start-Sleep -Seconds 30
            Write-Verbose "Wait 30 Seconds"
        }
    }
    Write-Verbose "Connection to $Url established"
}

You can call the function like this

$Cred = get-credential
$Url = "https://contoso.sharepoint.com/sites/Sales"
Invoke-PNPConnection -Url $Url -Cred $Cred

Bonus 2: Invoke-PNPConnection interactively (MFA enforced)

So if you use the scripts interactively (with MFA enforced users), you can make use of this function

Function Invoke-PNPConnection ($Url)
{
    try 
    {
        Get-PnPConnection -ErrorAction Stop
        Disconnect-PnPOnline
        $Connection  = $null
    }
    catch
    {
        $Connection  = $null
    }
    $i = 1
    while ($null -eq $Connection -and $i -le 6 -and $null -eq $Lists)
    {
        Write-Verbose"Trying to connect to $Url for the $i time" 
        $Lists = $null
        Connect-PnPOnline -Url $Url -Interactive
        $Lists = Get-PnPList -ErrorAction SilentlyContinue
        $i++
        if ($i -ne 1 -and $null -eq $Lists)
        {
            Start-Sleep -Seconds 30
            Write-Verbose "Wait 30 Seconds"
        }
    }
    Write-Verbose "Connection to $Url established"
}

Start the function like this


$Url = "https://contoso.sharepoint.com/sites/Sales"
Invoke-PNPConnection -Url $Url

Conclusio

There are ways to deal with the connections, you just have to think a bit OOTB 🙂

patched teddy

You might find intersting

If you are not familiar with connecting to SharePoint, check out this Post: Connect to SharePoint Online with PowerShell

Original article of PNP Connecting with PnP PowerShell | PnP PowerShell




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