Arranging and manipulating data

In the second article in our continuing series on scripting, noted scripting expert Christa Anderson covers some advanced scripting concepts and offers several tips that will help you debug your scripts.

Arranging data. Last month's column discussed data types. You can deal with multiple pieces of data at a single time by collecting that data into an array -- essentially a numbered list. While an array can contain any data type (and any combination of data types), you'll generally use arrays to group like pieces of data, such as telephone numbers. To refer to a particular item in an array, refer to its index number, beginning with 0.

Manipulating data. We also talked about data types last month. Operators, often (but not exclusively) mathematical functions, are one way to manipulate data. Operators have an order of precedence. Although VBScript typically reads lines in a script from left to right, operator precedence determines the order in which the operators are interpreted. (If you think back to fourth-grade math, it's the same thing as looking at 5+2(4*3). You calculate 4*3 first because it's in parentheses, then multiply that by 2, then add 5 to that amount.)

An expression is a calculation that includes any combination of data types to get some result. Expressions can include operators.

 Increase your scripting expertise

- Introduction
- Arranging and manipulating data
- Combining operators with functions
- Simplify with subroutines
- Where do objects come from?
- Grouping objects
- Seven quick scripting tips
- Summary

Christa Anderson has written extensively about administrative scripting and taught technical sessions on the subject at conferences such as Comdex and CeBIT, helping people who had never done any scripting to write their own scripts in half a day. In addition to her interest in scripting Windows management, Christa is an authority on server-based computing and the program manager for Terminal Services licensing in Windows Server 2008.. 

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