PowerGUI Interactivity

There are many small nice things which I love about PowerGUI. One of them is its ability to transform every bit of interactivity present in PowerShell command-line into UI:

  • Prompts for parameters.
  • Prompts to confirm actions.
  • Prompts for mandatory parameters.
  • Error handling.

Our vision with PowerGUI has always been to give user as much information and interaction as we could get out of PowerShell.

Let’s see how command-line compares to UI for each of these items:

Prompts for parameters

In command-line, when you type in a cmdlet name, type -, and then use tab-completion to see all possible parameters.

New-Mailbox -

PowerGUI gives you a table with all parameters and associated help information:

PowerGUI gives rich parameter info

Prompts to confirm actions

In command-line, you’ll get asked to confirm potentially risky operations:

[PS] C:\>Remove-Mailbox ps64.local/Users/user_name_420

Confirm
Are you sure you want to perform this action?
Removing the Mailbox “ps64.local/Users/user_name_420” will remove the Windows
user object and mark the mailbox in the database for removal.
[Y] Yes [A] Yes to All [N] No [L] No to All [S] Suspend [?] Help
(default is “Y”):

Same thing in PowerGUI:

Confirmation dialog box

Prompts for mandatory parameters

In command-line, if you omit a mandatory parameter you’ll get prompted to supply one:

[PS] C:\>New-Mailbox

cmdlet New-Mailbox at command pipeline position 1
Supply values for the following parameters:
Password:

Same thing in PowerGUI but all shown in one handy dialog box:

Asking for mandatory parameters

Error handling

PowerGUI even shows you exactly the same errors when something goes wrong.

Command-line:

New-Mailbox : Cannot bind parameter 'UserPrincipalName' to the target. Exception set
F" is not valid for UserPrincipalName. Valid values are: Strings that includes '
aracter.."
At line:1 char:11
+ New-Mailbox <<<<

PowerGUI:

Error from PowerShell

Pretty cool, eh?

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