Thursday, May 25, 2017

PowerShell as Rescue Party

During the last two years Microsoft reorganized its own certification system, and now MVA is offering several so-called Learning Paths, two of them based on PowerShell. Although it's categorized as a tool for IT professionals, I consider PowerShell a fundamental tool for developers as well.

As most end-users are working in small and medium-sized companies, most IT guys are expected to offer working solutions, not just completing isolated tasks.

Thinking about solutions determines us to analyze and define the problem we have, to shortlist possible alternatives, to consider the pros, cons, HR and financial aspects of those alternatives - in short it teaches us project management.

The nature of end-user activities and workflows indicate when and where a web app, a shell script or a desktop app works better.

PowerShell always comes in handy as a rescue party when an emergency situation arises, or concrete results are required by undecided users, or the work environment is chaotic.

This happens because PowerShell has been designed to be the IT guy's Swiss Army knife. Of course PowerShell has evolved together with the Windows OS versions, and it's neither a universal glue for 32 bit and 64 bit software, nor a scotch tape for parallel and batch processing.

When I've made my first home work with PowerShell and MS SQL Server, I've been impressed that my small script was reading csv (xml etc.) files pushed by a different system, and updating my database, and sending notifications in case of certain error conditions.

Later I've learned that SharePoint workflow automations and remote server monitoring are also using PowerShell - so it certainly worth the time and money spent.

Business models are changing in the same pace as the economic environment, consequently nowadays in an IT system the proportion of the rapidly updatable shell scripts tends to grow - that's why learning some PowerShell becomes more and more important.

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