Top 3 Features in PowerShell V3 (video)

In this video, PowerShell MVP Don Jones talks about his top 3 features in PowerShell V3. What can Windows Admins look forward to in the newest version of the powerful scripting tool? Watch the video or check out the transcription below.

What’s New in PowerShell 3.0?

So what’s new in and important in PowerShell version 3? What isn’t?

Microsoft has invested heavily in their remoting technology for version 3. They support the ability to disconnect a session, reconnect a session, have sessions be a little bit more resilient across network hiccups, things like that. They’ve really incorporated remoting throughout the PowerShell product. It used to be “I’m going to send a command to a server; I’ll get results. Yay, done!” It’s a lot more intense than that now. I can sit on my computer and use a GUI that’s really just using remoting to send commands to a server, to bring results back, to draw icons, or whatever else.

The idea of having to install admin tools on your computer kind of goes away. You don’t need to remote desktop into the server, either. You get your GUI and your client, and remoting takes care of the connection in between.

Remoting plays into workflow too; which is, I think, a major feature that people are going to overlook, because it’s going to seem kind of… maybe it’s going to seem complicated, or “Why do I care?” I’m not sure that Microsoft’s telling a great story about it yet, but, man, there is a story to be told. You can imagine writing something that looks like a PowerShell function, a bunch of commands that are going to execute some long running process. Computers might have to be rebooted, joined to the domain after reboot. Maybe there’s the potential for network outages, but this thing has to survive, has to start back up, has to resume, has to log every single step it’s doing.

That’s workflow. You put those commands into a workflow – a script, if you will. You pass it off to PowerShell. It translates it, hands it off to Windows Workflow Foundation. Windows Workflow Foundation coordinates it. It makes sure everything runs, it makes sure it’s audited. It can parallelize multi-thread different tasks for you. At the end of the day, that’s management. I need to promote twenty domain controllers. Click one button, it’s all done.

Those are probably two of the flagship features. There’s more. The Integrated Scripting Environment – the ISE. I think this is the first time Microsoft has given us a tool that makes me wonder if I really need to buy a third party commercial script editor. They’re just putting out a great product. It works well, pretty speedy, and it’s extensible for a public API, so for some feature it doesn’t have, my fellow MVPs will probably have that feature worked out in a couple of days. You can add into it.

There’s a lot in version three. There’s a lot worth looking at. Flagship features are definitely there, they’re definitely great. A ton of just minor improvements and investments that are going to make things so much better for everybody who uses the shell.