Find PowerShell Reference Documentation


Summary: Ed Wilson, Microsoft Scripting Guy, talks about where to find Windows PowerShell reference documentation.

Microsoft Scripting Guy, Ed Wilson, is here. I am eagerly anticipating Saturday because Saturday is the Jacksonville IT Pro Camp, and the Scripting Wife and I will be speaking. I believe there are still tickets available, so if you are in the area, you should definitely check it out. It will be an awesome time.

In addition to giving the Keynote, I think I am doing two additional sessions. It will be tremendous fun. The last time we were down there (a couple of years ago), we got to see some friends who we had not seen in a long time, and this should also be a special time with them.

Speaking of presentations...

The other day, I was making a presentation at the Cincinnati Windows PowerShell User Group. After the presentation, a person came up to me and asked about Windows PowerShell reference documentation. Basically, he said, "Where is it?"

This stumped me for a minute, and I started to say, "Well, there are a bunch of videos on Channel 9, MVA, and even YouTube, that talk about Windows PowerShell, and…"

Then he cut me off. He said, "I know I can find stuff that talks about how to learn Windows PowerShell or how to use Windows PowerShell, but where is a systematic presentation of Windows PowerShell itself?"

And I say, "Well, there is the Help, the cmdlet documentation, and the About conceptual articles..."

And he stops me again. "No," he said, "I need something better organized and put together than that."

OK! Welcome to Windows PowerShell Fundamentals Week. Today I am providing some links to what I consider good reference documentation for Windows PowerShell.

TechNet Library

The TechNet Library is the basic place to start for people seeking Windows PowerShell documentation and reference material. It has a collection of great information from our official Windows PowerShell documentation team. In addition, to documenting new features for each version of Windows PowerShell, there are a number of conceptual articles and an awesome collection of links to other references about Windows PowerShell. This is the number one place to start:

Books

One of the great things about Windows PowerShell is there are a lot of books about the subject. Hey, go to Amazon or some other place and look for all the great books about Windows PowerShell. I am highlighting three publishers, but there are many others. Microsoft Press has a number of books about Windows PowerShell, as do O’Reilly and Manning Publications.

Windows PowerShell Language Specification

A great free resource is the Windows PowerShell Language Specification. This is the technical document that tells you exactly how Windows PowerShell works. Versions were created for Windows PowerShell 2.0 and Windows PowerShell 3.0. I printed this reference, and had it bound. It sits near my desk, and I reference it on a regular basis.

This is a tremendous resource. I guarantee that if you read it from cover to cover, you will discover at least one thing you did not know about Windows PowerShell. Me? I learn something new each time I pick it up. Here is a link to the Windows PowerShell 3.0 version

That is all there is to finding the best Windows PowerShell reference materials. 

I invite you to follow me on Twitter and Facebook. If you have any questions, send email to me at scripter@microsoft.com, or post your questions on the Official Scripting Guys Forum. See you tomorrow. Until then, peace.

Ed Wilson, Microsoft Scripting Guy 

Comments (3)

  1. Larry Weiss says:

    Windows Powershell Language Specification Version 2.0
    is also available at
    http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/details.aspx?id=9706

  2. Bob Hyatt says:

    Where’s the 4.0 language specification?

  3. Thanks for sharing these resources!

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