Friday, August 29, 2008

More on PowerShell Plus

I wrote about PowerShell Plus on Monday on my personal blog, and have been using it this week to create additional MSDN samples. I have to say that it’s a seriously good product. Like all betas, there are some minor niggles, but the product itself is very much on the right side of very good!

Some features I particularly like:

  • Debugging support – in the script editor, you can set break points easily and intuitively. When at a breakpoint you can get/set variables, etc.
  • Code Signing support – this is nice. You easily select a code signing cert (or generate a self signed cert!) and apply it. PowerShell Plus then signs the script whenever you save.
  • Learning Centre – there is some great info here.
  • History is ‘smart’. You can view history and click on individual lines in the history and have them executed.
  • Intellisense – this is something I find very useful in Visual Studio and it’s equally valuable here!

I first got PowerShell Plus working on my XP Laptop, and today have set it up on my main X64 Windows Server 2008 workstation. It’s not so good on XP, as there are some missing APIs, but on Server 2008 it rocks. I suppose it works well under Vista (i.e. better than on XP), but I do not use Vista here so can’t comment.

All in all, this is an excellent product. When I first saw it and started playing with it, I wasn’t so convinced of the price point. But at US$79.00 (the price for beta testers) I think this is about right.

One niggle over price, it’s actually US$79 plus a US$15.8 “maintenance” charge. Personally, I’d prefer to see a single price (i.e. US$79) and a free update policy for each version. That is, version 2.1, 2.2 upgrades from 2.0 being free, but when Idera bring out a Version 3, then there’s an upgrade cost. They probably make the same amount over time, but it feels a bit dirty to ask for maintenance up front. And if they do need to bundle that extra charge, then why not just charge US$95 for the package and bundle the maintenance for ‘free’.

This is a good product, whether it’s US$79 or US$95! I will probably end up getting the RTM version!!

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