After (taking some time) to discover the Invoke-WebRequest cmdlet in PowerShell 3, I hoped it might at least be able to warn me when the bane of IT- Adobe and Java updates- were updated, so I knocked up the following script. Hopefully you’ll find it sufficiently well commented, but essentially it extracts a URI from the main Adobe Reader download site, checks it against an initially non-existent file with an existing URI inside it, then continually updates that file and re-checks to find out when a new version is available. It also keeps a legacy list of versions on file.
One word of warning- I can’t get PowerShell to authenticate through our proxy, so I’ve only used it with straight-through connections to the internet.
Also, I haven’t tested it for real- there are a couple of dummy lines in the script that I’ve used to mimic the updating process but I guess I’ll have to wait for Adobe to actually release a new version. However it all works functionally, including the email bit. I haven’t scheduled it either, which is the main point of writing it.
I do have modified version that run against Air (easy), Java (harder, x86 only) and Shockwave (just weird- it works but will only allow me to install the update, not save it). I haven’t done Flash yet because I was working on a Windows 8 machine, which has its Flash updates sorted through Windows Updates.
I know- working within an IT department- that Adobe do allow you to register for distribution rights which would have probably made the whole thing easier, but it contravenes the license terms to publish those URIs here…
#This script will monitor the primary Adobe Reader download site and send an email when new version are available
#This script will indicate that Adobe reader is out-of-date the first time it is run;
#this is because the relevant text files aren’t populated; ignore and re-run, then it should be correct
#Oh; and it doesn’t work through our proxy, despite trying New-PSSessionOption -ProxyAccessType with all combinations of -ProxyAuthentication
#Start by clearing the window
#Explicitly defines legacy Adobe version variable as string
#Explicitly defines current Adobe download page variable as string, sets to value of Windows x86 download link
[String]$readerDownloadNowSite=(Invoke-WebRequest -Uri http://get.adobe.com/uk/reader).Links|Select-String -Pattern “Download Now”
#Explicitly defines actual (direct) download link as string, sets to single value
[string]$actualReaderDownloadSite=$readerDownloadNowSite.Split(‘; ‘)|Select-String -Pattern “href=/”
#These are dummy lines. The URI is real, but if you comment out the 2 [string] declarations above and un-comment these,
#you can test the script with dummy values to make sure it works. Start with 9.5, then replace that number with 10.1.4,
#then eventually comment these 2 lines back out and un-comment the 2 [string] declarations above.
#[string]$actualReaderDownloadSite=$readerDownloadNowSite.Split(‘; ‘)|Select-String -Pattern “href=/”
#Next 2 lines trim unwanted characters to leave “clean” http URI
#This line prefixes a URI to the $actualReaderDownloadSite
#Reads the existing version of Adobe Reader into a variable
#Checks to see if the existing version of Adobe Reader is the same as the existing- stored- version
#If it is, write a message to the PowerShell window
If($savedReaderDownloadSite -eq $actualReaderDownloadSite)
Write-Host “Adobe Reader is up-to-date.”
#If the two versions don’t match, send an email!
#It also logs the existing version to a “legacy version” text file, so you have a record of all Adobe Reader versions
ElseIf($savedReaderDownloadSite -ne $actualReaderDownloadSite)
#Define hub transport server, sender and recipient variables
$smtp_server = “mailserver.emaildomain.com”
$sender = “FirstName Surname <firstname.lastname@example.org>”
$recipient = “FirstName Surname <email@example.com>”
#Define date and time variables
$dateNow = get-date -displayhint date
#Define email subject and body
$msg_subject = “Adobe Reader is out-of-date”
$msg_body_text = “Adobe reader is out-of-date on the $dateNow `n You can download it from $actualReaderDownloadSite”
Send-MailMessage -to $recipient -from $sender -subject $msg_subject -body $msg_body_text -smtpserver $smtp_server
#Clears the contents of the existing version file.
#This will always fail first time, as the file does not yet exist
#Writes the new version of Adobe Reader to the above file (or creates it first time around).