Powershell v3 and the NEW ISE (Integrated Scripting…. AHHHH! THE NEW EDITOR!)

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Sorry, I hate long long extracted acronyms.  I LOVE the ISE but I would rather call it “The Powershell Editor” (Sorry Guys!)

In the first rendition of Powershell you had pretty much one choice, go find Notepad, Notepad++ or any standard Text editor or go “Hardcore” and build your content in CMD.EXE with COPY CON:

Later vendors like Quest introduced PowerGUI which at least gave us something to edit and debug with.

Then Powershell version 2 came along and somebody got smart.  “Hey we should at least provide a basic editor, one that can troubleshoot the script, view variables and drop in breaks”

The first ISE was “good”.  That’s a fare word. It didn’t crash, it didn’t suck but it wasn’t EVERYTHING we wanted.   But it was “good”

Now the gates have opened and with the Windows Management Framework 3.0 we have the new, the GREATLY improved, the “Oh come on, why didn’t you give us this in version 2” Powershell ISE.

I’m not poking fun.   I actually liked the ISE in Version 2 but for me personally, it was just another Notepad.  I used it occasionally but for my personal purposes it was lacking enough that I didn’t care.

In the new Powershell ISE I find myself launching it more.   Do you know why?  Look at it’s default setup.

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By Default, launching the Powershell ISE gives you what APPEARS to be a normal Powershell Console, which I am most comfortable with.   But unlike the old ISE which had the stupid console screen, editor screen and output screen (I have no clue where that idea came from) this one is DEAD simple.

I can work in the “console” as happy as can be, but with a quick wave of my hand and a CTRL-R….

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I have the ISE Editor Window directly above.   And since this whole thing is a GUI interface I can copy/paste with the mouse from the console straight into the editor.    This causes me to use the editor more than normal since I tend to live in the console, but if I want to create a create I just click and enable the editor directly above.

On the right is one of the best new features ever brought.  Technically it’s TWO new features.   In the Powershell ISE Version 3 they’ve introduced what is known as “Add-ons”.   Add-ons are just what they sound like, extensions and pieces you can “Add on” to the Powershell ISE to make it more useful and more to your liking.

The one built in is called the “Commands” Add-on which literally shows all available Cmdlets within the modules on your workstation and places them in a list on the right.

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You can filter them out by selecting a pull down and choosing and individual module, click on a cmdlet and see the individual details of the paramters for the Cmdlet.

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But to make your life easier, the Powershell team introduced what I thought was the coolest feature.  Snippets.

Imagine blocks of code you might use on a regular basis.   The beginning of a cmdlet, a For-next loop, the basic format of Comment based Help.

The snippets are accessed by hitting CTRL-J in the ISE.  Click on a Snippet name and watch it populate the code automatically.

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….and yes Virginia, you CAN add on your own to the list.

This is just scratching the surface.  It has Intellisense on the Cmdlets as you type them including Variables and parameters.  it finally has an MRU list (Most recently used) to show scripts I have been editing.   IT SELF RECOVERS if the console crashes so you DON’T LOSE YOUR WORK!  You can even go out to Microsoft to pull down more Add-Ons.

It slices, it dices, it smashes, it trashes! It’s the NEW SLEDGE-O-MATIC!

Anyhow, take a look and see what you think.  It’s built in and part of Version 3 and I LIKE IT!

Feel the POWER of SHELL

Sean
The Energized Tech

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