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Introduction

What is PowerShell?

PowerShell is a command-line tool designed for IT Administrators. It is an interactive shell as well as scripting language to automate the tasks and manage the configuration.

Why PowerShell?

Okay, why we need to learn PowerShell? Fine, I am not trying to promote or prove PowerShell is the best, but if you are working with Microsoft products then you should know why you need to learn PowerShell.

  • It makes our life easier

    Yes, you be a System Administrator, or Database Administrator, or Exchange Administrator, or SharePoint Administrator or any IT Administrator, it makes your day to day activities easy and simple. You write it once and use it many times.

  • Opensource and cross platform support

    In the month of August’ 2016, Microsoft made PowerShell as an opensource product and it works not only in Windows, but also works with Linux and MacOS as well.

  • More and more features from PowerShell team and community

    Ever since PowerShell became a opensource, there is a huge contribution from the PowerShell community and more & more feature are being introduced with the latest editions/versions of PowerShell.

  • Microsoft continues to integrate with its’ products

    Yes, you take any product from Microsoft there is a PowerShell module to manage it. It is also extended to cloud platforms as well, like we have Active Directory, SharePoint, Exchange Server modules, and so on besides the System Administration modules, and it also extended to Azure Cloud and Microsoft Office 365 as well.

  • You can’t achieve everything from GUI

    Again, take an example of connecting to 100 servers and checking any required service is running or not, or retrieve free disk space from all the servers, or creating 100 active directory users, these kind of tasks take lot of time when you try to achieve through GUI, where as using PowerShell in the matter of seconds you can achieve these tasks. That is the beauty of the PowerShell

  • It’s usage is wide spreading and will not go away in the near future

    Its not only the Microsoft is using or enabling the PowerShell support on its products, but also non Microsoft products like AWS, VMWare and many other products are also using the PowerShell. Since it is widely spreading it will take some time to go away and also takes time to any new technology to replace the PowerShell.

  • For many applications behind the scenes it is PowerShell

    Yes, you read it right, especially the products from Microsoft behind the scenes it’s PowerShell. Take an example of Active Directory, all of its GUI invokes PowerShell scripts in background to perform the required tasks.

  • Direct interaction with the product

    True, you can take any product like Windows, Sql Server, SharePoint, Active Directory, Exchange Server or any other product, you can simply go PowerShell console and run the commands against that product, and you can see the instant results on the screen.

  • No limits to automate on any platform

    Since PowerShell is a cross platform product, you can automate anything to any extent on any platform.

  • No need to remember and easy to use

    Yes, this is the beauty of the PowerShell, you don’t need to remember the commands/CmdLets or how to use any command, only thing is that you should know whether it is doable or not, if it can be done we can easily retrieve the appropriate command and its help. I will discuss more in the upcoming session.

  • Huge community and excellent documentation

    As I mentioned earlier, ever after the PowerShell became the opensource, there is a huge PowerShell community support from across the globe and even Microsoft documentation is also made available for community to update the help and you can get best out of the Microsoft Docs; its not only for the PowerShell, but also for the other Microsoft technologies as well.

  • Microsoft certifications contain PowerShell questions

    This is one of the important point that why you should learn PowerShell, now in all the Microsoft certification exams there are majority of the questions are coming from PowerShell and they definitely show impact on passing score.

PowerShell Editions

Now we will see PowerShell Editions, we have three PowerShell Editions released so far…

Versions:

Version Release Date Operating System
v 1.0 2006 Win XP SP2, Win Svr 2003 SP1 and Vista, Win Svr 2008
v 2.0 2009 Win 7, Win Svr 2008 R2
v 3.0 2012 Win 8, Win Svr 2012
v 4.0 2013 Win 8.1, Win Svr 2012 R2
v 5.0 2016 -
v 5.1 2017 Win 10 AU, Win Svr 2016
And, next released edition is….

Versions:

Version Release Date Operating System
v 6.0 2018 Windows, Linux & Mac
v 6.1 2018 Windows, Linux & Mac
v 6.2 2019 Windows, Linux & Mac

And now the latest edition is (at the time of I was writing this session)…

Okay, so far we have seen the available PowerShell editions, and now we will take a look on the other members from the PowerShell family, however I will not cover them in these sessions, it is exclusively for PowerShell alone.

  • Desired State Configuration (DSC) is a feature introduced in PowerShell version 4.0 and Windows Server 2012 R2 that helps to manage and deploy the configuration data. DSC is a declarative scripting language.

  • Pester is a unit testing framework for PowerShell. It provides a few simple-to-use keywords that let you create tests for your scripts. This makes it great for both black-box and white-box testing.


Reference

Thank you, and will see you in the next session



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Last modified: 1 July 2020