Is PowerShell just for administration?

Two related questions were left on my blog recently.

Is PowerShell just for administration?

Should I learn PowerShell, VBScript or cmd tools?

PowerShell was introduced as Microsoft’s automation engine for the Windows platform. It includes a scripting language, a shell and  the Integrated Scripting Environment (ISE). Other additions over the years have included Powershell workflows and Desired State Configuration.

The extension of PowerShell to Linux and Mac extends the administrative capabilities.

I would say that PowerShell  is primarily about the administration of Windows machines. This will be extended in time but at the moment its a Windows based administration tool.

Does that mean that its all you can do with it – Very definitely Not for example I recently wrote a script that would look at a large set of photos and move them into the correct folder based on the month they were created. Doing this by hand for a few photos is easy – for hundreds you need a script.

Over the years I’ve seen PowerShell code to do many non-administrator based things – for instance:

– manage and modify photos and videos

– play space invaders

– calculate the cooking time of a chicken given its weight

– work out the apparent temperature using air temperature, wind speed and altitude

– create web sites

PowerShell is .NET based which means you can work with just about the whole of the .NET framework in your PowerShell code. You can even write GUI applications in PowerShell if you want.

If you have a task that you perform on a Windows machine its very probable that a script could be written to perform that task. Creating the script may be very easy or very difficult but it should be possible.

If you want to do this sort of thing you need to:

– work out how to do the task manually

– break that down into a number of steps

– create the code to perform each step

– join it all together and test

If any one has suggestions for tasks they’d like to do leave a comment and I’ll see if I can suggest how you could do it

PowerShell or VBScript or cmd tools is fairly easy decision for me.  VBScript will receive no further development as far as I’m aware. The cmd tools are OK for specific jobs but don’t have the breadth that PowerShell does. CMD batch files are no where as caapble asa PowerShell script.

Learn PowerShell and use it as you want to make your computer use easier

This entry was posted in Opinion, Powershell. Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Is PowerShell just for administration?

  1. Michael Reiser says:

    I’m not a Windows administrator, however I use PowerShell daily to do many ad-hoc tasks and automations. I’ve wrapped various platform API’s in PS cmdlets to allow completely different systems to talk to each other. For me, PS is a programming language primarily. For any crazy idea I can come up with, PS allows me to whip up a program to make it a reality in the shortest amount of time.

  2. cavallogolooso says:

    Thanks Richard. I’m thinking about this.

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