Archive for September, 2008

PowerShell for WSUS

Jonathan Medd has just shared another cool PowerPack – this time providing a great set of scripts for Windows Server Update Services (WSUS).

His pack includes scripts to get information on almost every aspect of WSUS deployment: servers, configuration, email notifications, databases, target computers, updates, approvals, download progress and much more.

At the moment the PowerShell scripts in the pack are mostly just reporting the data, but it looks like Jonathan is adding stuff as we speak. He has just uploaded a newer version with the Start-Synchronisation action added – kicking off a manual Synchronization against Windows Update or the Upstream WSUS server.

Download the pack and keep an eye on the changes Jonathan is posting.

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PowerShell at DEC 2009

Looks like agenda for DEC 2009 (March 22-25) is almost settled by now – and it does have a few PowerShell sessions in there: Darren Mar-Elia (who gave the PowerShell world GPO management!) and Brian Desmond (another well-known AD MVP) are both going to present various tips and tricks on AD management with PowerShell.

I love DEC (DEC 2007 was one of the first conferences where AD cmdlets were first demoed by Richard in his PowerShell talk). If you are in AD/Identity Management world this is the conference to attend. The content is very deep and the peers you meet are very knowledgeable. Just check out the speaker line-up and the agenda so far.

This year they are also adding a whole new subconference on Exchange and messaging – hence the name change from DEC to TEC – which means more agenda conflicts if you are into both. 😉 Rob Allen is giving a PowerShell talk over there.

For those of us preferring Berlin to Vegas – there’s TEC Europe in September (obviously next September).

The early bird discounts seem to still apply. Register now and see you at the event!

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More SQL Cmdlets

It didn’t take long for the community to start adding more cmdlets to the (somewhat limited) default Microsoft’s implementation of PowerShell cmdlets and provider for SQL.

Last week I found this blog post by Jacob Bindslet in which he is using PowerShell to get SQL transaction data!

And once I found out that the cmdlets are actually shipped with a trial version of Litespeed (which you can freely download here) – I got really interested and gave it a try.

For some reason (“to ship is to choose”? ;)) the cmdlets were not registered by default, but this was easy to fix:

set-alias installutil $env:windir\Microsoft.NET\Framework\v2.0.50727\installutil.exe
installutil "C:\Program Files\Quest Software\LiteSpeed\SQL Server\Quest.LogReader.SqlServer.PSSnapIn.dll"
add-pssnapin Quest.LogReader.SqlServer

Now I could connect to a database:

$lr = New-QLRSqlReader -Server spb9771 -Database AdventureWorksDW -LoginMode Windows -Online

And retrieve the latest changes from the transaction log:

Get-QLRSqlCommand $lr

Or use parameters to limit the set:

Get-QLRSqlCommand $lr -After '24-09-2008 12:00:00'

And not only can I use standard PowerShell cmdlets to output the data into csv/xml/html – the snapin has more advanced Out-* cmdlets that let me save the data into another DB:

Get-QLRSqlCommand $lr | Out-QLRSqlDatabase -Server mydbserv -Database MyAuditDB -Table AdventureWorksDW_log -LoginMode Windows

Now, if I schedule that to be automatically run every now and then (or actually better off just before the backup is started) I get full audit trail of any changes made to my database! Is that cool or not?

Besides Litespeed, Log Reader seems to also be available with Toad and Change Director for SQL Server – if you have any of these products, look for the Quest.LogReader.SqlServer.PSSnapIn.dll file. If not, download the trial here!

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PowerGUI in Chinese, Greek, Polish

Three more localizations released for PowerGUI

Three more localizations released for PowerGUI

With 1.5.2 PowerGUI has become available in 3 more languages – all thanks to the hard work and participation of the great individuals from our community:

Chinese translation was accomplished by Huajun GU,

Greek – by Panos Stavroulis, and

Polish – by Marek Wiewiorka also starting a blog here.

This is great and makes PowerShell and PowerGUI (now translated to 14 different languages!) even more accessible worldwide!

If you want to contribute to any of the localization efforts – you can do this at our wiki site.

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AD PowerShell Book

Managing Active Directory with Windows PowerShell - the book is out and available at the stores!

Managing Active Directory with Windows PowerShell - the book is out and available at the stores!

I cannot tell you how often do I hear someone asking how to get started managing AD with PowerShell. For a long time I could only refer people to the AD cmdlets user’s guide, forums, or online help. Now there is a game-changing addition to these resources – a book (yes, real, physical book which you can buy in the stores) from Jeffery Hicks – “Managing Active Directory with Windows PowerShell: TFM”.

I was helping Jeff with the book as much as I could (wrote the preface, reviewed, helped with some examples) and must say that this is just a great book for AD administrators regardless of how familiar they are with PowerShell and scripting.

The book is a pretty comprehensive source of ready to use solutions employing all the tools available at today’s admin disposal: native ADSI and WMI support, AD provider from PSCX, AD cmdlets from Quest, GPO cmdlets from SDM Software, PowerGUI and so on. So regardless of whether you prefer native out-of-box no-third-party or best-of-breed-wherever-they-come-from approach – this is a book to have!

See Jeff’s blog with the TOC or get the book from SAPIEN or Amazon.

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Full VMworld videos

Carter has posted full recordings of both demos we were showing at the VMWorld 2008 PowerShell session, as well as his slides. So if you missed the session or felt that we were going to fast – here’s your chance to watch the demos again.

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New patch for AD cmdlets

There is a new patch available for AD cmdlets. It fixes two pretty important issues:

This patch was released as a maintenance release 1.1.2 and was published on September 8. If you downloaded the setup after that date you probably have the version already (just look up the Support information in Control Panel / Add/Remove Programs). If not – download the latest build and install on top of the version you are using – this will upgrade your installation to the patched version.

I want to say thanks to the team which quickly released the patch is demonstrated the commitment to fixing the issues for which they cannot provide a workaround – way to go!

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PowerGUI 1.5.2 RTMs

We have just posted the latest release of our PowerShell admin console/script IDE suite – PowerGUI 1.5.2.

Our key focus in this release has been on performance and stability improvements. Some highlights include:

  1. We added 3 new languages (Chinese, Greek, and Polish).
  2. [Admin console] The grid performance has been significantly improved so simple nodes like Process or Services take 1-2 seconds to load.
  3. [Admin console] You can now assign icons to any nodes/links/actions: in the properties dialog box simply click the Icon picture and browse to the ico file.
  4. [Admin console] Fixed a lot of the grid issues: handling of $null properties, multivalued properties, PSCustomObject properties, etc.
  5. [Admin console] Node deletes now have a confirm dialog box. 😉
  6. [Editor] Significantly improved highlighting performance for large scripts (1000-2000 lines of code).
  7. [Debugger] Fixed some compatibility issues with Microsoft’s current v2 builds.
  8. Multiple bugfixes for the issues reported by the online community.

As usual, autoupdate will be turned on in a week or so. So if you want the latest build now – go get it here!

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VMworld session recording

Eric Sloof has just published a 10 minute version of the Managing VMware with PowerShell session Carter, Andrey and I gave at VMWorld yesterday. This is a bootleg recording so get it before legal folks find the site. 😉

Eric also got a hold of us after the session and recorded a few quick interviews with:

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PowerPack Challenge Countdown

It’s just 2 weeks left before the PowerPack Challenge is over and now is the time to start working on your entries if you have not started the project yet! Just export a cool pack from PowerGUI, submit it to the challenge and you are in. 🙂

I would highly recommend that you resist the temptation to hold your cards closed till the very last moment (can you tell I am in Vegas this week? ;)) As the first sprint demonstrated, submitting earlier helps get the community involved, so you get extra hands/eyes/heads helping you make your pack better and ultimately to win the prizes – Jonathan submitted his Exchange 2003 pack pretty early in the first sprint and walked away with the $500 prize as result!

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© 2007-2014 Dmitry Sotnikov

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