What is PowerShell?
PowerShell is an automation framework and scripting language which was developed by Microsoft. It provides a command line shell and scripting language which is integrated with .Net framework and it can also be embedded with other applications. It is a task-based command line shell and automates batch processing and helps in creating system management tools. It is a combination of flexible scripting, command line speed and power of GUI based admin tool. All problems can be solved efficiently by helping systems to get rid of any future manual labor hours.
In order to automate system tasks like batch processing and create system management tools which can help in commonly implemented processes, Microsoft designed PowerShell. It is similar to Perl. PowerShell is built on.Net framework and provides several ways in which tasks can be automated. It is thus an automation platform and scripting language which helps in better management of Windows and Windows Server systems. It has to be a text-based shell has all functionalities of .Net and of the objects for managing the Windows environments. PowerShell users can access it through a command line or use the PowerShell Integrated Scripting Environment. It helps beginners to start designing and experts to work more effectively.
This is known for integrating concepts from many environments. All these concepts are like shell programming. To Understand, it is necessary to know that traditional command line interfaces are designed to deal with different kinds of objects. An object is a piece of structured information which can be directly accessed in portions of data by using this object syntax. It has a huge command family which is extensible. It has interfaces like cmd.exe which helps indirectly extending the built-in commands. The native commands are known as cmdlets(Command-lets). By using cmdlets user can create their own cmdlet modules and functions which can be compiled. These modules can easily add up the cmdlets and providers to the shell. The scripts that are analogous to Unix scripts are also supported by PowerShell.
How does PowerShell make working so easy?
The reason for the popularity of PowerShell is that it adds power, functionality, and flexibility to Windows Command Prompt. As everything cannot be done by using GUI, the command line is very important. By using PowerShell, you can easily update the active directory attributes for a thousand users. By using PowerShell user can easily complete the task by using a single line of code. It is a mechanism which provides interactive mechanism between the server and the products. The PowerShell command is interactive, and the console enables you to run different commands in real time. It is easier and quicker as there is no need to edit any script in notepad and then run it separately. The addition to this is that the user can invoke all small scripts, bat files or procedures. All these can be invoked from PowerShell. It is said to be a powerful tool. This power that it gets is not feasible or practical to remember all the commands. With this in place, it is built right into the editor where multiple tools can help you in getting a proper solution.
Working with PowerShell
A user can easily run and create scripts by using this. The user needs to open and edit Windows PowerShell in the Script Pane which provides specific file types. These files are distinguished as script files(.ps1), script data files (.psd1) and script module files (.psm1). These file types are assigned different colors in the script pane. Other files may include configuration files, XML files, and text files. A developer can easily create a new script file, open existing scripts, close any script tab, etc. They can easily display the file path, run the script or even run a portion of the script. With this user can also enter text in the Script pane, copy it and do the necessary changes to it.
Advantages of PowerShell
Following are a few advantages of PowerShell
- It is an object-oriented scripting language.
- This is interactive and allows programmers to try new things on a console and then integrate those into larger complicated scripts.
- It supports .Net objects and forms. It can access all .Net libraries and hence it supports languages like C# or VB.
- It supports Automation which is also an important factor.
- This runs on single threads and hence it can invoke any .Net libraries which help in creating more threads. These jobs run in the background.
It does not require any knowledge related to programming. By making use of Exchange server user can activate certain tasks from the command line. It is also useful for admins who want to learn the scripting. Once they are familiar with cmdlets they can work with the components and specific products. The scripts are reusable, and these combinations of the runs will depend on specific requirements. These scripts can be used to build different types of frameworks.
The scope in PowerShell is related access to variables and functions. The scope can be global, local, script and private. The scope when global is in effect from PowerShell starts. The variables and functions that are present have a global scope. The scope is local when it is current. The script scope is created when a script file runs. The items that are present in a private scope cannot be accessed outside its current scope.
Why do we need PowerShell?
This is a task-based command line shell scripting language. It provides both command line along with scripting language. It can interact with many numbers of technologies together at once. In addition to this, it is object based. Once you understand PowerShell you can work on the Microsoft ecosystem.
Who is the right audience for learning PowerShell technologies?
It is a boon for all IT admins. In addition to them, any developer who wishes to learn the scripting can use PowerShell. It can be useful for automation professionals as well.
This is one of the important tools created by Microsoft. The cmdlets are very helpful in creating new applications easily. Moreover, it is open source and hence it can be used by anyone. It has a design which improves the scripting experience. It is here to stay for sure and with its consistency, it can be used everywhere.
This has been a guide to What is PowerShell. Here we discussed the basic concepts, Definition, and advantage of PowerShell. You can also go through our other suggested articles to learn more –