Update-Help process

Update-Help Logic flow

  1. Get module information from module manifest.

    Update-Help collects the following module information:

    Get-Module ManageIssues | Select-Object HelpInfoUri, Name, Guid
    HelpInfoUri                                       Name         Guid
    -----------                                       ----         ----
    https://mikefrobbins.github.io/psotr/help/1.0.2/  ManageIssues cd79248e-2d34-4e3b-8014-ab5572b94d42
    LCID             Name             DisplayName
    ----             ----             -----------
    1033             en-US            English (United States)

    [!NOTE] The HelpInfoUri doesn’t point to the HelpInfo XML file, but to a directory that contains the HelpInfo XML file.

  2. Construct the download URLs from the module info.

    Update-Help uses the module information to construct the full path to the HelpInfo XML file. For example:

  3. Download the HelpInfo.xml

    The HelpInfo XML file contains the following information:

    <?xml version="1.0" encoding="utf-8"?>
    <HelpInfo xmlns="http://schemas.microsoft.com/powershell/help/2010/05">
  4. Compare local help version to downloaded version.

    If you have previously installed help for the module, Update-Help compares version information in the local HelpInfo XML file with the downloaded version.

  5. If local version is older, download the HelpContent.cab.

    If the local version is older or no help has been downloaded yet, Update-Help constructs the download URL from the HelpContentURI property in the HelpInfo XML file. For example:


    [!NOTE] Windows PowerShell download CAB files only. PowerShell 7 and higher looks for ZIP files first. If no ZIP file is found, it downloads the CAB file. You must publish both formats to support both versions.

  6. Unpack the CAB and install the help files

    Finally, Update-Help unpacks the help archive package and installs the help files in the appropriate location.

Important notes

There are several important details to keep in mind when you publish help for your module:

  • The URL HelpInfoUri must point to a directory that contains the HelpInfo XML file and must end with a forward slash (/) character.
  • The HelpInfo XML file must be named <ModuleName>_<ModuleGuid>_HelpInfo.xml.
  • The help package files file must be named <ModuleName>_<ModuleGuid>_<Locale>_HelpContent.cab.
  • Most web services are case sensitive. Therefore, constructed URLs must match the case of the directory and file names on the web server.
    • <ModuleName> must match the case of the published module
    • <ModuleGuid> is all lowercase
    • <Locale> uses lowercase language code and uppercase country code, for example en-US