Sunday, January 22, 2012

GUI Editors for Powershell

What !!!!......I thought Powershell was a CLI Environment.

Well the problem with the huge user base of Windows is that all the users (even those calling themselves as Admins) are a slave of Graphical Interfaces.

Pop up a Powershell to a Windows Admin (experienced ones) and he has no idea what to do.....
So the big guys at M$ came up with the Powershell ISE to ease the learning curve for those users and there are many GUIs now available for PoSh (who saw that coming :P ).

Powershell Integrated Scripting Environment

Go to Start and type "powershell ise" click on the top result and you are presented with a following screen.

Now this GUI has a Ouput, Command, and Script pane. Read the help for more info.


Another great GUI tool for Powershell is PowerGUI from Quest Software. This GUI beats the Powershell ISE any day. I personally use this as it is the best free and has a huge community support.

Go to to get yourself  one.
The PowerGUI comes with a Administrative Console and a Script Editor. The Administrative console is very cool and can be customized by using the powerpacks . The script editor is pretty cool as it drops a list of cmdlets as you type in and also the variable defined up to that point. Really cool.

See the snapshot below.


This is yet another great tool for not only Powershell scripting but it has huge functionality and is really for professionals. PrimalScript is from Sapien Technologies and you have to buy it. Well there is a free trail period of about 46 days. You can try if you script in many environments as VBScript, C# etc.
I am not a pro at this so haven't really given it a try but from what i hear.....this is a tool worth to buy.

But what i feel really is the Users/Admins should give the command line a try before going into GUI stuff. I get it we all want ease but this PowerShell with Shell appended to Power and once you are comfortable with CLI...GUI is a piece of cake, right ?  :)

The offline key to learning Powershell


I have been reading a lot about Powershell and Powershell Community has helped me a lot in various problems that I faced. There are lots of books and blogs available. But what if i have just powershell installed and no Internet connectivity...........then the only thing that comes to rescue is the

"get-help" cmdlet ( commands referred as cmdlets in PoSh )

Now, it is pretty basic and has helped a beginner like me a lot. So how do i know how to use get-help ?
Well the answer is simple, key in this
get-help get-help

Now try this

get-help about*

This lists all the about examples shipped with Powershell. These examples are very informative.

Now, if you read the get-help's help then you know what to do...when you want to know about a new cmdlet...but wait how you discover all cmdlets in Powershell

Key in this to  know how to discover new cmdlets.

get-help get-command

Few useful links:  --- has got great tutorials for beginners  --- this one i read for citrix + powershell stuff MVP & CTP Brandon's blog  --- MVP Don Jones' blog --- hey! scripting guy's blog -- try this free GUI for PoSh

Monday, January 09, 2012

Real PowerShell lies in Objects

The very first thing about Powershell which takes geeks by awe is that every cmdlet (same as command) in PS returns Object based ouput rather than text-based.

Though this is the major reason for the success of Powershell but i think that Microsoft has done a great job integrating all the best things available as of now , just to name a few piplining, interpolation from Unix and programmatic constructs of Perl, Python and many more.

Powershell gives geek a way to finally be free of the GUI but the question is do we really want to be free of the Graphical UI ?

Another thing that is worth appreciating is that finally Microsoft is able to give users (say admins) the well documented help....Ohh! that was a long wait. Key in "get-help get-help -detailed" for how to use get-help.

The commands referred to as cmdlets in Powershell are of a standard naming convention "verb-noun" now this is simple but is pretty awesome feature.....suppose i wanted to get the list of all the services running then verb is get and noun is service, so the cmdlet is get-service.

More to come ...

Disclaimer -- these are a Powershell enthusiasts views. Don't feel offended.

Wednesday, January 04, 2012

This is the #1 post for "Powershell for Freedom" blog.
There's a reason for this name to blog.

Hoping PS sets me free.