The Windows PowerShell and Windows Remote Management (WinRM) teams recently released updates to their products. Windows PowerShell v2.0 has many new features and improvements over v1.0. The most notable is the integrated scripting environment (ISE). The ISE is a new graphical PowerShell host that, in my opinion, makes Windows PowerShell much more usable for scripting and also for novice command line users. The things I find the most useful about the ISE are:
- Intelligent formatting – the ISE colors the various command line components – cmdlet names, parameter names and values, etc like in C# and other languages. This makes it much easier to read your scripts
- Tabbed runspaces – You can open new tabs which are each their own isolated runspace. This can be useful if you want to isolate your environments for testing or if you want to use WinRM to connect to remote runspaces.
- Tabbed scripts within runspaces – Not only can you have multiple tabbed runspaces but within each runspace you can have multiple scripts open in their own tabs.
- Interactive command window – While you are working on your script in the script window, you can try out commands in the command window without having to worry about accidentally changing your script. Or, if you just want to use the ISE as an interactive Windows PowerShell host, you can minimize the script window and just use the command window. I find myself using this over the original text-based console. There’s more screen real estate and the ISE also accepts unicode characters unlike the text-based window.
- Dedicated output window – Any output that is displayed is sent to the output window.
- Lots of other stuff – The ISE gives you lots of additional features that aren’t available in the text-based console – easy cut and paste, F1 help, a debugger, and more.
WinRM also shipped at the same time as Windows PowerShell. WinRM is a transport protocol that you can use with Windows PowerShell to allow a local Windows PowerShell session to communicate and run cmdlets on a remote Windows PowerShell host. Very useful if you need to manage multiple remote computers.
Give Windows PowerShell v2.0 CTP3 and WinRM 2.0 CTP3 a try by downloading them from the following locations:
- PowerShell – http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkId=135123
- WinRM – http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkId=135126
Be aware, however, that Windows PowerShell v2.0 isn’t supported with Microsoft Exchange Server 2007. You must continue to use Windows PowerShell v1.0 to manage your Exchange 2007 server.
You can visit the Windows PowerShell blog here – http://blogs.msdn.com/powershell/
The CTP3 versions of both Windows PowerShell and WinRM are included in the Windows 7 Beta release that comes out on Friday 1/9/2009. You can find out how you can get Windows 7 by visiting the Windows Team Blog.