Powershell? Yes

I have read over Scott Hanselman’s Tool List at least a dozen times. The first time I read it, I saw that Powershell was on his top 10. I knew a little about Powershell from Exchange 2007 but hadn’t taken any time to look at it.

About a month ago, I had to write some server maintenance scripts. Things like deleting files older than X days, SQL Server maintenance, etc. These tasks were perfect for scripting, so I picked up a Powershell book and went to town. It took a while to pick it up, but my overall impression of Powershell is wow. Powershell fills that void in the soul of Windows that developers hate. Now scripting in Windows doesn’t have to involve Cygwin and Perl, even though Perl will always stay close to my heart.

Powershell combines the ease of scripting with the power of .NET. It is a loosely typed language that can work with strongly typed objects from .NET. For me, it boils down to scripting objects instead of text. In Bash, grep and awk had to be used when parsing the output of any program. In Powershell, the output of a program is usually an object, which is much easier to work with.

The following line sums up why I love Powershell. It deletes files older than 14 days in a directory. While this is a trivial example, it is so simple, and so elegant.

gci c:\directory |  where { $_.LastWriteTime.AddDays(14) -lt [DateTime]::Now } | ri