Archive for March, 2010

PowerGUI turns 3

It’s Birthday for PowerGUI and AD cmdlets! 3 years ago on March 28, 2007 we launched betas for what later became the most popular and influential tools in the PowerShell community.

Back in early 2007 it was not that obvious that PowerShell, PowerGUI and AD cmdlets would pick up so quickly. Now it retrospect this all all looks obvious and one of the best business decisions we have ever made.

And there is even more ahead! By the time we turn 4 we will get a lot of very exciting new functionality which I just can’t wait to share with all of you!

Here’s a quote from the original press release:

Quest Software, Inc. (Nasdaq: QSFT) today announced the next steps in its commitment to support Microsoft Windows PowerShell and the next version of Windows Server, code-named “Longhorn.” Quest has created a graphical user interface for Windows PowerShell, PowerGUI; built PowerShell commands (Cmdlets) for Active Directory; and is sponsoring a new independent online community dedicated to Windows PowerShell, PowerGUI.org. These efforts help users make the most of Microsoft’s next-generation command-line and scripting environment.

“IT professionals are eager to learn more about Windows PowerShell, and with Quest’s extensive background in Active Directory it just seemed right for us to help,” said Jackson Shaw, senior director, Active Directory Solutions, Quest Software. “We’re taking steps to help organizations better understand and use Windows PowerShell to manage their IT environments. We’re very pleased to offer the new interface, free community and commands.”

The new interface, PowerGUI, offers IT professionals an easy-to-use view that reduces the learning curve for Windows PowerShell. This intuitive and familiar user interface unleashes the capabilities of Windows PowerShell without requiring IT professionals to learn the new command-line syntax. PowerGUI is available for download at no charge from the new PowerGUI.org community.

The PowerGUI.org community allows Windows PowerShell users to share their knowledge, and find and share Windows PowerShell scripts. Membership is free and includes a discussion community, FAQs and the opportunity to download the new PowerGUI interface.

“Quest has taken a leadership position by offering these new solutions for Windows PowerShell,” said Bob Visse, senior director of Windows Server Marketing at Microsoft Corp. “Quest is one of Microsoft’s top ISV partners because it consistently provides customers a technology- and community-focused approach to using and managing Microsoft software.”

Happy Birthday, PowerGUI and AD cmdlets!!!

PowerGUI Spring Wallpaper

Time to bring Spring to your desktop – here’s the new wallpaper for you to cheer-up your work environment – just pick the resolution you need here:

1024×768,
1280×800,
1280×960,
1280×1024,
1440×900,
1600×1200,
1920×1200

If you want to have a look at the Spring wallpaper we had last year – it is still available here.

And of course for those of us in the Southern Hemisphere, there are some Autumn options here and here.

Test if AD object/path exists

This Test-QADObject (Test-QADPath) function I have created gives a quick true or false answer on whether a specific user, computer, group, OU already exists in your domain.

Test-QADObject dsotniko

Test-QADObject 'OU=demo,DC=quest,DC=local'

Test-QADPath k*

I have posted the whole code with proper help and parameter handling to poshcode. Here’s a simplified one for the blog:

function Test-QADObject {
 param($Identity)
 
 (Get-QADObject $Identity -DontUseDefaultIncludedProperties `
  -WarningAction SilentlyContinue -ErrorAction SilentlyContinue `
  -SizeLimit 1) -ne $null
}

Protecting PowerShell Scripts with Team Foundation Server (TFS)

PowerGUI Pro Script Editor 2.0 integrates with multiple source control systems. In this blog post I will guide you through setting it up to work with Microsoft Visual Studio Team Foundation Server.

First of all, the machine on which you are doing your script development needs to have the following prerequisites from Microsoft:

  • Microsoft Visual Studio Team Explorer – the setup ships with Team Foundation Server.
  • Install Team Foundation Server MSSCCI Provider – it is a free download from microsoft.com but you need to make sure you pick the same version as your VS installation: 2005, 2008, or 2010 (currently RC).

Now you are ready to start using TFS inside PowerGUI!

  1. Start PowerGUI Pro Script Editor
  2. In Tools / Options / Version Control / Current provider, select Team Foundation Server MSSCCI Provider.

Once you’ve done that checking in your scripts is trivial. When you save a script, you will be prompted whether you want to add it to the source control project:

And if you click Yes you will be able to pick the TFS server and project:

And then supply your check-in comments:

After that the Tab displaying the script will have a blue check indicating that the file is under source control, and you will be able to use Version Control menu or toolbar to check in/check out the file and perform other source-control-related operations:

One final comment to add, is that if this is a fresh machine and there already exists a TFS project which you want to join and from which you want to download all existing files, you may do so using the Visual Studio or Visual Studio Team Explorer. All you need to do is add the server/project in File / Source Control / Open from Source Control menu, then double-clicking Source Control in Team Explorer, and Getting Latest Version of the projects you need:

I hope this makes your scripting even safer and more compliant with your corporate policies.

Video: NetPoint meets PowerGUI

Discover and manage hardware and software resources in your network with NetPoint and PowerGUI PowerPack built for it.

In this video Shannon Ma walks Darin Pendergraft through a demo of the tool:

The tool itself is pretty amazing. Right inside PowerGUI you can discover hardware and software you have on computers in your network, and then do a bunch of tasks based on the resources you find, such as:

Systems:
– Run a command
– Log off
– Reboot
– Shutdown

Logical Disks:
– Run Chkdsk
– Run Autochk on Reboot

Network Adapters:
– Enable
– Disable
– Renew DHCP Lease
– Release DHCP Lease
– Set Static IP Address
– Set Auto Obtain IP Address
– Set Primary DNS Suffix
– Append DNS Suffixes

Printers:
– Print Test Page
– Cancel Jobs
– Pause
– Resume

Programs:
– Uninstall a Windows Installer based program

Services:
– Pause
– Resume
– Start
– Stop
– Set Startup Mode
– Change Log On Account

Watch the video above and then get the PowerPack here.

Script to Set Up Test AD Lab

Ted Wagner took my demo environment creation script to the next level by adding computer accounts, containers, and so on – and then sharing it here.

Check out Ted’s script and hopefully this will make your test or demo Active Directory environment incredibly close to life and impressive.

PowerShell in the Enterprise

Jeffery HicksA wealth of best practices and recommendations on deployment and use of PowerShell at the enterprise scale can be found in this whitepaper from Jeffery Hicks.

This is more of a high-level architect kind of document providing key information on all the most important aspects to keep in mind. Which is great considering that most of the PowerShell material available on the web today is low-level PowerShell code for geeks – rather than the guidelines which IT architects and IT managers probably need.

The whitepaper introduces PowerShell and talks about its origins and advantages over the alternatives. discusses the deployment process, security aspects and best practices on using PowerShell in the enterprise.

All in all, great way to plan your enterprise transition to PowerShell in a secure and efficient way!

Get the whitepaper here (free download but registration required.)

Remote File Explorer in PowerGUI

Ravi published a PowerPack which lets you browse file system of a remote computer and download files from it:

PowerGUI Remote File Explorer

This is based on PowerShell 2.0 remoting and Oisin’s pModem module. So really a great mashup story of multiple technologies from different people coming together in a cool admin UI.

Download the Remote File Explorer PowerPack or read more about it in Ravi’s blog.

NFR License for PowerGUI Pro

If you are a Microsoft MVP, software vendor integrating with PowerGUI or a trainer using PowerGUI in your classes you can get a free Not For Resale (NFR) license for PowerGUI Pro (our commercial version which includes version control integration and MobileShell).

MVPs can request the license by filling out this form. ISVs and trainers can apply by emailing Darin at Darin-dot-Pendergraft-at-quest-dot-com

Hope this post made some of you real happy. Everyone else can still take consolation in the $99 introductory price at which you can get PowerGUI Pro for the next couple of months.

PowerGUI Pro and MobileShell for $99

We are running a special: for the first 60 days on the market PowerGUI Pro – including all the features of PowerGUI freeware plus technical support, version control integration (TFS, Subversion, SourceSafe, StarTeam, etc.) and MobileShell can be bought for just $99 per administrator using the product.

This is a special introductory price, and starting May 1 we will go to regular $199.

I personally think this is a great deal which can make your PowerShell experience way more enjoyable and effective.

Learn more about PowerGUI Pro, download a trial version, and make the purchase at www.quest.com/PowerGUIPro.


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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

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