Immersing myself in PowerShell

PowerShell has been around for some time now, what with betas and CTPs. For (the released version of) Vista it became available a month or so ago.

It’s been on my ‘must get to grips with’ list for a while now and I’ve kinda been following some blogs about it, slowly getting a little knowledge here and there.

Mr Hanselman (the oracle for all things technical) has done a couple of podcasts on it and I listened a couple of weeks ago to an episode of Hanselminutes where he interviewed Bruce Payette. Bruce is the language architect for PowerShell and has just (2 weeks ago) released a book on it (Windows PowerShell in Action).

Bought the book last week in the US and have had it open ever since. Everything I do, I now do with a rosy PowerShell perspective. The only way (I find) to really to get to grips with something is to completely immerse yourself in it – think in it, live it, breathe it….

Today I have been updating the server side file for our Archive One (email archiving for Exchange) auto update feature (we’re just released V5.0 SR1, so the build numbers that are checked have changed). It’s a simple XML file that is parsed for ‘GA’ release version (ProdVer) and ‘HF’ version (hotfix). It looks like this (sample only):

<?xml version="1.0"?> <Versions> <AOnePolService ProdVer="" HotFix=""></AOnePolService> <AOneCmplService ProdVer="" Hotfix=""></AOneCmplService> </Versions>

I wanted to provide a quick and easy way to find the latest version of each products. I came up with the following PowerShell one liner (split over three lines for readability):

([XML] (new-object ("net.webclient")).Downloadstring(
"")).versions.get_ChildNodes() |
% { "" } { $_.psbase.Name + "`t GA=" + $_.prodver + "`t HF=" + $_.hotfix } { "" }

Downloads the xml file, parses it and lists out the product, GA version and HF version

Watch this space for some Active Directory related stuff as I have been very active in scripting AD over the past few days and am in the process of porting it to PowerShell.