Using PowerShell Scripts with the Box CLI

Using PowerShell Scripts with the Box CLI

By itself, the CLI is already powerful, but using it alongside a PowerShell script lets you complete repetitive tasks even quicker. We created an example scripts folder within our CLI GitHub repository to help jump start your development.

For this step in the quick start, we are going to use the create users and provisioning automation script template.

This script uses the Box CLI to build and create a user-owned (admin or service account) onboarding folder structure, create managed users in bulk, and provision such new users by adding them to the newly created folder structure as collaborators with viewer or uploader roles.

Only service accounts and users with administrative privileges are able to go through this part of the quick start. You can skip this step if you are not a Box administrator or using a service account.

Use case

The use case presented in this example is to illustrate the automatic creation of users:

  • using a .csv file to load users in bulk
  • have a predetermined folder structure associated to each user
  • define that folder structure using a JSON file
  • or, optionally, create the folder structure by uploading from a local drive



MacOS & Linux

If you encounter issues make sure you installed both dotnet core and PowerShell

Configured Box application

You should have a Box application created. If you haven't done so yet, see step 1 of this quick start guide. Alternatively, go to your developer console, and follow the guide Setup with OAuth 2.0.

Download script

git clone box-cli
cd box-cli/examples/User\ Creation\ \&\ Provisioning/

Modify script configuration

You must adapt this script to run in your own environment.

Prepare the user list

You can use the following sample files to load users: Employees_1.csv, Employees_5.csv, and Employees_10.csv. Each will load 1, 5 or 10 new users.

Customize these files for a test run. For example, update the Employees_1.csv with the following data:


In the Users_Create_Provision.ps1 script file, specify which .csv file you would like to load. For example, Employees_1.csv:

#Set Employee List CSV Path
$EmployeeList = "./Employees_1.csv"

Create folder structure

You can either create a folder structure from a JSON file, or upload it from your local drive.

Using a JSON file

The Folder_Structure.json file represents the folder structure you want to create. As an example we're going to create a Market Research and a Sales Plays folder, each with a subfolder Statistics and Big Pharma respectively.

On the script file Users_Create_Provision.ps1 you also have some options to choose from.

The folder creation section in the script has the folder Onboarding hard coded. This means that whatever folders are present in the Folder_Structure.json file, they will be created under the Onboarding folder.

#First create Onboarding folder owned by current user
$script:OnboardingFolderId = box folders:create 0 "Onboarding" --id-only 
Write-Output "Created a user owned Onboarding folder with id: $($OnboardingFolderId)"

Set the location of the Folder_Structure.json file.

#Onboarding Folder Structure: Set either path build off JSON or directly
# upload a local folder
$FolderStructureJSONPath = "./Folder_Structure.json"
#$LocalUploadPath = "./OnboardingLocalUpload"

Uploading from a local drive

The script also shows the example of uploading a folder structure directly from the local file system. If you want to try that, set the path to your local folder:

#Onboarding Folder Structure: Set either path build off JSON or directly
# upload a local folder
#$FolderStructureJSONPath = "./Folder_Structure.json"
$LocalUploadPath = "./OnboardingLocalUpload"

Comment the New-Folder-Structure call, and uncomment the next section:

#Create Folder Structure from JSON

#OR directly upload Folder structure to current user's root folder
# from local directory

$script:OnboardingFolderId = box folders:upload $LocalUploadPath --id-only
Write-Output "Uploaded local folder structre to current user's root folder 
with $($script:OnboardingFolderId)"

Run the script

Now all you need to do is run the script. Change the directory to the folder containing the script. In this example, it is the User Creation & Provisioning folder.

rvb@lab:~/box-cli/examples/User Creation & Provisioning$ pwsh
PowerShell 7.2.4
Copyright (c) Microsoft Corporation.
Type 'help' to get help.

PS /home/rvb/box-cli/examples/User Creation & Provisioning>

Run the script:

PS /home/rvb/box-cli/examples/User Creation & Provisioning> ./Users_Create_Provision.ps1
Starting User Creation & Provisioning script...

firstName lastName email
--------- -------- -----
Isaac     Newton   abc@abc.local
Extracting folder structure
Found current User ID: 18622116055

Created a user owned Onboarding folder with id: 164734146745

Created subfolder Market Research under Onboarding folder with id: 164735375585

Created subfolder under Statistics folder with id: 164734956242

Created subfolder Sales Plays under Onboarding folder with id: 164735683001

Created subfolder under Big Pharma folder with id: 164736160637
Creating employee Managed User account with first name: Isaac, last name: 
Newton, email: abc@abc.local, and

Created Managed user with id: 19605663027

Type: collaboration
ID: '37250833128'
Created By:
    Type: user
    ID: '18622116055'
    Name: Rui Barbosa
Created At: '2022-06-07T13:58:05-07:00'
Modified At: '2022-06-07T13:58:05-07:00'
Expires At: null
Status: accepted
Accessible By:
    Type: user
    ID: '19605663027'
    Name: Isaac Newton
    Login: abc@abc.local
Invite Email: null
Role: viewer uploader
Acknowledged At: '2022-06-07T13:58:05-07:00'
    Type: folder
    ID: '164734146745'
    Sequence ID: '0'
    ETag: '0'
    Name: Onboarding
Collaborated Managed User Isaac Newton to current user's 
Onboarding folder for provisioning


  • You explored automation using a PowerShell script with the Box CLI to provision users and create their initial folder tree.