RegEx for dates

So I am glad to be back into a position where I can freely use Powershell again (still amazes me the Windows shops who frown upon “working” on code). Working on a project where original estimates said it couldn’t be done, simply because timestamps being written were mixed with text, basically a label.

In short, a process to update ActiveDirectory with an external source updates a custom attribute field with a label and then a datetime stamp. I knew RegEx was the way but forming a valid RegEx was the first hurdle. With some research and then some validation tools I came up with the pattern I needed to use.

   1: $regex = "(?=\d)(?:(?:(?:(?:(?:0?[13578]|1[02])(\/|-|\.)31)\1|(?:(?:0?[1,3-9]|1[0-2])(\/|-|\.)(?:29|30)\2))(?:(?:1[6-9]|[2-9]\d)?\d{2})|(?:0?2(\/|-|\.)29\3(?:(?:(?:1[6-9]|[2-9]\d)?(?:0[48]|[2468][048]|[13579][26])|(?:(?:16|[2468][048]|[3579][26])00))))|(?:(?:0?[1-9])|(?:1[0-2]))(\/|-|\.)(?:0?[1-9]|1\d|2[0-8])\4(?:(?:1[6-9]|[2-9]\d)?\d{2}))($|\ (?=\d)))?(((0?[1-9]|1[012])(:[0-5]\d){0,2}(\ [AP]M))|([01]\d|2[0-3])(:[0-5]\d){1,2})?$"

So then I started to play with it, I knew I had to use –match but getting a return value of True wasn’t what I was looking for. The reason I am posting this is for anyone else who threw up their hands on how to use RegEx in Powershell. The trick is –match not only returns True/False, it returns values into a variable name matches ($matches). Now you can interrogate $matches and get the value you were originally targeting. In my case it went something like…

   1: if ($var.extensionAttribute14 -match $regex){

   2:         $ultidate = get-date($matches[0])

   3: }

.csharpcode, .csharpcode pre
{
font-size: small;
color: black;
font-family: consolas, “Courier New”, courier, monospace;
background-color: #ffffff;
/*white-space: pre;*/
}
.csharpcode pre { margin: 0em; }
.csharpcode .rem { color: #008000; }
.csharpcode .kwrd { color: #0000ff; }
.csharpcode .str { color: #006080; }
.csharpcode .op { color: #0000c0; }
.csharpcode .preproc { color: #cc6633; }
.csharpcode .asp { background-color: #ffff00; }
.csharpcode .html { color: #800000; }
.csharpcode .attr { color: #ff0000; }
.csharpcode .alt
{
background-color: #f4f4f4;
width: 100%;
margin: 0em;
}
.csharpcode .lnum { color: #606060; }

By evaluating the string within the AD extensionAttribute it finds the date string and stores just that value in a variable where I can perform date oriented comparisons and ultimately only return records where the update has been recent.

.csharpcode, .csharpcode pre
{
font-size: small;
color: black;
font-family: consolas, “Courier New”, courier, monospace;
background-color: #ffffff;
/*white-space: pre;*/
}
.csharpcode pre { margin: 0em; }
.csharpcode .rem { color: #008000; }
.csharpcode .kwrd { color: #0000ff; }
.csharpcode .str { color: #006080; }
.csharpcode .op { color: #0000c0; }
.csharpcode .preproc { color: #cc6633; }
.csharpcode .asp { background-color: #ffff00; }
.csharpcode .html { color: #800000; }
.csharpcode .attr { color: #ff0000; }
.csharpcode .alt
{
background-color: #f4f4f4;
width: 100%;
margin: 0em;
}
.csharpcode .lnum { color: #606060; }Preferred Powershell Editor

(polls)