I have one phrase to utter to Microsoft.  I know this is Beta but PLEASE oh PLEEEEEEAAAAASSSSEEEEE DON’T (DON’T DON’T DON’T!!!!) remove this feature I found.

In Server 2008R2 Microsoft introduced possibly the easiest way for a Help Desk or an Administrator to manage the common day to day functions in Active Directory.   It’s called the Active Directory Administrative Center.  You’ll have seen it and heard it was built in Powershell.

In Windows Server 2012 the Powers that be kicked this tool into OVERDRIVE. 

They attached a little piece that I initially overlooked in the Active Directory Administrative Center.    A small but incredibly Powerful change for the new Administrator.

They let us see the history of Powershell cmdlets PRODUCED by the Administrative Center.  

Let me state just how unbelievably over the top, Jump up and down, Flip for Joy, Scream to the SKIES amazing this is.  This is the BEST feature they could have introduced.

Let’s take a quick look!

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So here is the current version of the “Active Directory Administrative Center”.   Functionally it is identical to the previous version.   I can create a user with the rich interface as I had last time.

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With this interface all of the details an Administrator needs are placed directly in front of them in an “At a Glance Scenario” making viewing and editing the user easier

So we click “OK” and create a user and all seems normal… Or does it?

Look right near the bottom of the GUI interface and see if you spot what I almost overlooked.   “Windows Powershell History”.  The BIGGEST and BEST CHANGE offered to an Administrator.

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Simply click on “Windows Powershell History” to see the EXACT Cmdlets that were used to produce you action in the GUI!  No more muss and fuss!

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You can copy the contents by right clicking and selecting Copy to copy a single line and paste it elsewhere.

You can even do a CTRL-A and CTRL-C to copy the content used directly into a NOTEPAD.EXE instance or better yet, paste it straight to the Powershell ISE for editing and debugging!

You can even (if you choose) have it clear off the history each time so you can see the Cmdlets being used to generate other functions of Active Directory.   How about just adding a user to a group or unlocking a user?  

The guesswork of using the Active Directory modules is now gone!  Just clear the history, execute the action in the “Active Directory Administrative Center”, check the Windows Powershell History and grab a copy of what you just did.

Now this is where Windows Server 2012 really just…well it just KICKS ASS!  I can use the GUI the way I will be comfortable, but if I need to learn to automate it, the very commands being used are place right square in FRONT OF ME!

The Future is looking pretty DAMN GREAT with Windows Server 2012 and Powershell. 

THE NEW DYNAMIC DUO!  w000t!

Sean
The Energized Tech