Microsoft's PowerShell scripting language has proven to be an excellent addition to the scripting language family largely due to its flexibility and raw power. However, as the saying goes, "with great power comes great complexity." Like I said, PowerShell is eminently flexible and, for simple tasks, pretty easy to figure out, but as a powerful and extensible scripting language, memorizing complete syntax for every command and procedure would not be a simple task.
Quest Software has developed a freeware product, PowerGUI, that provides PowerShell script developers with a GUI tool that makes the development process much easier. In fact, Quest has built an entire community around this tool and around PowerShell in general.
As you can see in the screenshot below, PowerGUI can be used to allow you to quickly develop code snippets that you can use in your own scripts. This automated develop can save you a whole lot of time. In the shot below, PowerGUI generated code that displays all of the members of an Active Directory group.
PowerGUI provides PowerShell script developers with a number of benefits, including:
- Code generation. Browse through the Active Directory — as well as through other objects — and let PowerGUI build code snippets for you to use.
- Syntax highlighting
- Through the use of PackPack extensions, wide support for managing a number of systems, including:
- Windows Server
- Exchange Server 2007
- Active Directory
- SQL Server 2005 and 2008
- VMware ESX
- Commenting of code blocks
The screenshot below gives you a look at the syntax highlighting feature found in the PowerGUI Script Editor.
These are just a few of the features provided by PowerGUI. For more information about PowerGUI and the PowerGUI user community, visit the PowerGUI site.
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Since 1994, Scott Lowe has been providing technology solutions to a variety of organizations. After spending 10 years in multiple CIO roles, Scott is now an independent consultant, blogger, author, owner of The 1610 Group, and a Senior IT Executive with CampusWorks, Inc. Scott is available for consulting, writing, and speaking engagements and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.