Hate to say it, but Powershell is cool!

Just to put it out there.
Some history.

There was Powershell. At first, I didnt quite understand its potential and role in the Microsoft product suite. Then came the ‘not-quite-headless’ windows server. I was like: oooh, It looks like Microsoft is Changing/learning and stripping useless overhead (read things that can potentially break, need maintenance, costs resources and thus it costs money). Up to this point I still didn’t quite understand the PowerShell potential and didn’t bother to look into it.

Then last month a team member needed to install Oracle Fail Safe on a Microsoft 2012 box. He needed to run an PowerShell script to set some things right and the script didn’t quite work. Hating the fact (as a former microsoft SE) not being of any real help, I figured, lets spend some time and start learning Powershell. Its time I get to  (ex-Windows NT4,2K,2K3 guy) understand this puppy everybody is revved up on.

In my search for a good learning site I came across the: Microsoft Virtual Academy and followed the course. After doing some of the course my conclusion was: Powershell (V3) is way more cool then I anticipated!


At first I thought another Linux-shell-clone was being created by Microsoft. But don’t let yourself (like I was at first) be fooled by the Linux looking Pipe approach. In the Microsoft implementation its not text that’s being redirected, its redirecting objects. For those that not understanding objects: Instead of sending  the unstructured text output of a command, its sending you the whole thing with structures and methods and everything. This enables you to do the wildest things without losing the oooh so important overview of things and is makes waaaay more sense.

The simplest way to explain this is by example. For instance, the following command gets the directory (as an object), pipes this object to a select method, then we select specific properties from this object then output and then manipulate “@{…}” some of this output while we are at it because we can. The result, a logical flow of information resulting in the usable and desired form I WANT IT. Did you ever use awk?!

This Object approach makes you wickedly flexible as you can see, formatting, using and manipulating data as you see fit.

Another cool thing is that you are not bound to some servers commandline console. You can output to the console sure, but there are also some several nice, cool options. For example: output an Get-Help article to a window with the -ShowWindow parameter.This enables you to view en search content from a nice scrollable window. Or output the table from the previous statement to an Gridview view.







If this is cool enough yet, there are tons of very cool features that are incorperated into powershell. A few of many are: Updateable help-system, Out of the box remoting to PS sessions on different machines, Remoting using sessions locally, Importing PS management modules from remote machines (so you dont need to install them over and over again), An PS webapplication for remote -mobile- management using powershell. Yeah, the list goes on.

Sadly all the nice graphical perks still need that blasted explorer.exe proces. I guess Microsoft still needs to develop an X alternative for that. Please Microsoft, lose the need for that explorer.exe process and you regain my trust😉

Wrap-up, no tech is perfect, so my advice: Definitely look into is the free (Yeah ITS FREE) getting started training by Microsoft. http://www.microsoftvirtualacademy.com/training-courses/getting-started-with-powershell-3-0-jump-start#?fbid=jzUgaMv9GOI

Now lets go back to my beautifully tweaked and optimized Oracle Enterprise Linux deployment. With awk(ward) GNU text pipes that noone really understands. Without the cool management interface, but still the OS I prefer in my HAHP-backend



About Chris Gralike

Momenteel ben ik manager van de afdeling business continuity bij de zakelijke IT dienstverlener AMIS Services BV. Sinds 2003 ben ik actief in de ICT branche. Tussen 2003 en nu heb ik verschillende rollen vervuld. In de rollen: systeem- en netwerkbeheer, system engineer, servicemanager en nu practice manager ben ik in contact gekomen met uiteenlopende technologieën, methodologieën, ideeën, oplossingen en innovaties. Een rijke ervaring waarmee ik de klanten van Conclusion en AMIS elke dag probeer te ondersteunen. Mijn credo: 'Altijd opzoek een win-win tussen business en technologie.'

Posted on March 7, 2014, in Tooling, Windows Compontents, Windows Server and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

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