PowerShell – More than the command promptApril 21, 2008 – 7:00 AM
Windows PowerShell™ is a new Windows command-line shell designed especially for system administrators. The shell includes an interactive prompt and a scripting environment that can be used independently or in combination.
Introducing Windows PowerShell
Most shells, including Cmd.exe and the SH, KSH, CSH, and BASH Unix shells, operate by executing a command or utility in a new process, and presenting the results to the user as text. Over the years, many text processing utilities, such as sed, AWK, and PERL, have evolved to support this interaction.
These shells also have commands that are built into the shell and run in the shell process, such as the typeset command in KSH and the dir command in Cmd.exe. In most shells, because there are few built-in commands.many utilities have been created.
Windows PowerShell is very different.
- Windows PowerShell does not process text. Instead, it processes objects based on the .NET platform.
- Windows PowerShell comes with a large set of built-in commands with a consistent interface.
- All shell commands use the same command parser, instead of different parsers for each tool. This makes it much easier to learn how to use each command.
Best of all, you don’t have to give up the tools that you have become accustomed to using. You can still use the traditional Windows tools, such as Net, SC, and Reg.exe in Windows PowerShell.
Windows PowerShell Cmdlets
A cmdlet (pronounced “command-let”) is a single-feature command that manipulates objects in Windows PowerShell. You can recognize cmdlets by their name format — a verb and noun separated by a dash (-), such as Get-Help, Get-Process, and Start-Service.
In traditional shells, the commands are executable programs that range from the very simple (such as attrib.exe) to the very complex (such as netsh.exe).
In Windows PowerShell, most cmdlets are very simple, and they are designed to be used in combination with other cmdlets. For example, the “get” cmdlets only retrieve data, the “set” cmdlets only establish or change data, the “format” cmdlets only format data, and the “out” cmdlets only direct the output to a specified destination.
Each cmdlet has a help file that you can access by typing:
The detailed view of the cmdlet help file includes a description of the cmdlet, the command syntax, descriptions of the parameters, and example that demonstrate use of the cmdlet.
Besides the above mentioned things, powerShell also includes: a new scripting language (not the lame-ass batch), processes objects, object pipelines, interaction, etc. If you are interested take a look at microsoft.com/powershell