PowerShell is certainly one of the next big things that Microsoft are putting out there. We’ve been told that things like the Exchange System Manager are built AFTER the PowerShell commands are written. Indeed using Exchange 2010 as an example, there are some things that have no GUI equivalent and you are forced to run PowerShell instead. The noise around PowerShell is getting louder and louder with every server product now having PowerShell as a way to manage and automate tasks going to it. Is it going too far though? Is it going so far that they are compromising the value of the product by NOT writing GUI components for the same PowerShell command?
A thought that crossed my mind this week…. going back to the late 70s – command line driven operating systems were the big thing. Moving forwards, Microsoft wrote and release Windows because everyone was demanding it. Now it seems we are approaching full circle with PowerShell being the next big thing. One wonders if in the next 5-10 years if we will still have a Windows GUI to manage our networks and be back at the start once more with just a PowerShell command list to go from.
What do you think?
Mike H says
It’s called cost cutting.
Powershell has it’s place but it should not be used to replace basic (and advanced) GUI functions and definitely NOT complex GUI functions.
Powershell is a very useful (and essential) tool for carrying out NON configuration functions.
Chris Knight says
@MikeH it has everything to do with cost cutting, just not by Microsoft’s dev teams. It’s simply because Microsoft’s largest customers (such as Hotmail) are demanding highly scriptable interfaces to effectively manage data centre scale deployments. The majority of their revenue comes from these clients and the majority of these clients are using scriptable interfaces.
A complex GUI function is probably bad design IMNSHO and should be scripted. If it’s scripted, it can be automated. If it’s automated it can be consistently repeated. And if it’s scripted it’s self-documented (to a degree).
Powershell is a highly effective and flexible tool that should be leveraged to automate as much as possible. It’s only downside is that it’s internal documentation mechanism is a bit more awkward than, say, man on UNIX and UNIX-like systems. Oh, and the fact it relies on WMI too much for system data collection tasks (another poorly documented subsystem).
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