What I love about PowerShell and what I will love about it even more pretty soon

It looks like Windows PowerShell has already created a buzz so big that it is hard to find someone who would have never heard about it.

If you had a great vacation somewhere where the buzz does not reach (please let me know the name of the place by the way!) here’s a really quick overview:

Windows PowerShell is basically an object-oriented command-line and scripting environment with unified standard rules and functionality across multiple platforms.

For example, on the screenshot below I am getting (always happens with a get-something command) the processes starting with a (wildcard support) and “piping” them (here’s the power of the object-oriented world) into a Stop-Process command (PowerShell commands are known as cmdlets) and using a standard -whatif parameter to only simulate execution rather than actually stop something:

Sample PowerShell screenshot

Good stuff. You can read more about PowerShell on the corresponding Microsoft’s page (yes, for those who are tired of reading documentation there are recorded webcasts there as well).

There’s a lot to PowerShell and this is a (pardon me being repetitive) a lot of power in the system and I could spend a lot of time talking about all I love about it (just the ability to execute something as a script or command-by-command in an interactive fashion is great) but if I had to choose just one feature – that would be the unification that PowerShell is bringing. I can go to any of the systems which support PowerShell interfaces (Windows, Exchange 2007, Operations Manager 2007, IIS 7, etc.) and know that I can get objects with a get- command, change properties with set-, use -whatif, use the same piping syntax, etc., etc. And with a little bit of luck I can start using that to create scripts using bits and pieces from multiple systems.

What I don’t like about this command line  is that… well… frankly, that it is a command line. 😉 I am just getting paralyzed with the blinking cursor on my screen and there’s nothing I can do about it. I first experienced this feeling when installing some early build of Exchange 2007 and finding that the way to see my root Public Folders is starting the command prompt and typing in “Get-PublicFolder -GetChildren”. I actually was pretty shocked and only at that point realized how spoiled I became with Microsoft’s UIs.

And this was the point when I started looking around for someone who could help me create a UI with the capabilities of PowerShell but in a familiar MMC-like avatar.

I could actually find a few guys who liked the idea and even persuaded my employer to let us do that – and in a few months we are now really close to releasing a tool that does just that: give PowerShell a user interface in which I can click a node to get a list of processes, filter them by any of the properties and just pick the Stop command from the Actions pane:

PowerGUI screenshot with Windows processes

I know what you see on the screen is just “get-process | where { $_.Handles  -gt  500 }” – I am just a UI kind of guy.

I’ll blog more about what we are building into the tool. We are launching pretty soon so stay tuned or sign up for the beta at http://PowerGUI.org.


0 Responses to “What I love about PowerShell and what I will love about it even more pretty soon”

  1. Leave a Comment

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

My Recent Tweets


The posts on this blog are provided “as is” with no warranties and confer no rights. The opinions expressed on this site are mine and mine alone, and do not necessarily represent those of my employer - WSO2 or anyone else for that matter. All trademarks acknowledged.

© 2007-2014 Dmitry Sotnikov

March 2007
    Apr »

%d bloggers like this: