Archive for February, 2009

AD team launches PowerShell blog

As you probably know, Microsoft’s Active Directory team is going to ship their own set of PowerShell cmdlets to manage AD as a part of Windows Server 2008 R2 (see the current list here).

The AD PowerShell folks at Microsoft have just launched a blog you can use to get more insight into what’s coming: Pipelining AD – one object at a time. :)

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What’s new in PowerGUI 1.7

We have just posted version 1.7 on PowerGUI.org.

Once Darin is back from VMWorld he will update the changelog page at PowerGUI.org but here’s a quick What’s new from me.

The key new scenario which we wanted to support was creating custom PowerGUI-based consoles: branding them, locking them down, distributing to administrators (e.g. helpdesk), and then having automatically updated whenever you make changes to the central configuration.

The main pieces of this scenario were:

1. Lockdown mode: this allows you to disable and/or hide any functionality in the PowerGUI admin console. Simply open the file quest.powergui.Lockdown.xml in PowerGUI profile folder (%appdata%\Quest Software\PowerGUI). You can just replace all true with false (in that case users won’t even be able to click an action or change order of columns), or be more granular.

2. Central configuration update: Redirections.xml from PowerGUI profile folder lets you make PowerGUI pull its configuration and/or lockdown information from another location (e.g. file share). PowerGUI also checks for the configuration version, which lets you force the UI update whenever you change anything in your custom console.

3. Ability to change the welcome page to something more meaningful for your organization.

And then there are multiple smaller changes:

4. Multiline comments for PowerShell v2 (<# #>).

5. Icons in the grid and dynamic nodes.

6. Multiple bugfixes based on reports we got from our community forums. We’ll hopefully follow-up on all of them next week.

Download the new version and let us know what you think.

As usual, for existing PowerGUI customers we will only turn on automated update in a week or so, so feel free to go to PowerGUI.org and download the new version right away without waiting for us.

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Impoved PowerGUI.org site search

powergui.org-site-searchFinally the last big item from last year’s community feedback got satisfied. We’ve finished integrating PowerGUI.org web site with a search appliance and now you will hopefully have much easier time locating information on the website.

The search works across the whole site: including the forums, wiki, and even PowerPacks. And if you select the “PowerGUI.org and blogs” option the results will include this blog and poshoholic.com – the two PowerGUI-related blogs out there.

I hope this makes PowerGUI.org an even more useful community site. And if you have any other site-related requests – just keep them coming.

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Virtualization EcoShell Initiative

At VMworld Europe Scott Herold has started talking about the new project he started based on the PowerGUI admin console – Virtualization EcoShell Initiative. Check out his blog post here or Eric Sloof’s one (with actually far more information) here. The project site also appears to be live now.

Obviously, if you are at VMworld this week, don’t spend you time reading these and instead go to the Vizioncore booth and press Scott for details. ;)

Cool to see PowerGUI getting used in more and more projects!

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PowerGUI.org survey

community_surveyPlease take a few minutes to help us make PowerGUI.org an even better place by answering the questions of this survey.

This is a regular exercise we are trying to do every year. Those of you who took it last year have probably noticed that we more or less implemented all the feedback we got like:

  • Tabbed navigation,
  • Wiki with PowerGUI and AD cmdlets documentation,
  • Signatures in posts,
  • More videos,
  • More PowerPacks,
  • Profiles of the most active community members,
  • Better search (oops, this one is not there yet – but coming in just few days ;))

I am sure there were more – but a year is a long time and we really had a lot of work done to improve our online community.

Please take the survey to keep us busy for another year. :)

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PowerShell Ecosystem vs. Perl

Edward Haletky (aka @texiwill) has just published a really interesting story of how he got converted to PowerShell thanks to the rich ecosystem we have.

He started with Perl:

I wrote a Perl application that would log in to an ESX host, run an assessment of its configuration and from there aid me in judging the security of the host and some smaller parts of the virtual environment. Since it was written in Perl, it would be hard to get people to use excepting myself and other Perl users. This breed is found mostly within the Linux world; many VMware infrastructure administrators may not understand Perl well as it comes with a learning curve.

Then he found:

They all combined are solving Edward’s tasks. Quite a success story for the PowerShell ecosystem! Read the whole story here.

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Videos on Managing VMware with PowerShell and PowerGUI

Scott has just posted an awesome series of 5 really quick videos demonstrating how PowerGUI and PowerShell take VMware Infrastructure management to the next level. Each is just a few minutes long. Definitely worth checking them out!

 
Establishing Connections to your VMware Infrastructure using the PowerGUI Console   Navigate your VMware Infrastructure using the PowerGUI
Console
 
Execute Links and Actions in the PowerGUI Console   Create and Save Filters using the PowerGUI Console
   
Using the PowerGUI Script Editor    

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Rebranding PowerGUI console

Here’s a script which allows you to replace PowerGUI’s default welcome screen to any page of your own.

This is of course a part of our 1.7 feature set enabling PowerGUI use as locked-down customized consoles to use through-out your company – but this particular feature is in fact already available in 1.6.1 – so if there is a page that you like more than what we ship – read on.

custom-powergui-homepage

The process of replacing the page is very straight-forward:

1. Create a new page in the editor of your choice. The page should be in MHT format. So either use Microsoft Word, or any html editor you like. If the editor does not support MHT format, simply save the page as MHT from Internet Explorer.

2. Put the page on the computer at which you use PowerGUI or a file share somewhere.

3. Run the script either from the command-line or PowerGUI Script Editor. The latter is probably easier – you just need to do File / Search Online and look for PowerGUI:

powergui-search-online

4. Download the script, type in the filepath in the parameter box and click Start Debugging.

supply-parameter

5. Now you can start PowerGUI and enjoy your custom look and feel!

custom-powergui-homepage

This is something you can start doing right away!

Other features (such as ability to lock down user ability to modify the console and central configuration distribution do require version 1.7 so either apply for the beta or wait just a little longer.

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Seattle and New York next week

I’ll be traveling next week with be in Seattle area and on Microsoft campus Monday through Wednesday (Feb 16-18) and New York – Thursday through Saturday (Feb 19 – 21). Let me know if you want to get a hold of me. ;)

See the about page for various contact information.

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Vote for OCS PowerPack

Please help us by casting your vote for PowerGUI’s Office Communications Server PowerPack by Curtis Johnstone at the SearchExchange’s Exchange Unified Communications vote.

Note: the page is a bit confusing because they have some product ads right on the page. Ignore those ;) and click the Vote here link instead.

OCS PowerPack has been a huge success. It has already been downloaded more than 3400 times, and is being used in a lot of companies as a replacement or an addition to the native OCS management tools. However, even considering all that it is still very impressive that it kind of started living a life of its own and even gets nominated to awards like the SearchExchange one!

If you have not tried the PowerPack yet check out my write up about it here.

Then cast your vote here. ;)

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© 2007-2014 Dmitry Sotnikov

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