Thursday, July 21, 2011

PowerShell User Groups

PowerShell is slowly becoming totally mainstream – and along with that there are user groups springing up around the world! Some of these groups, like the the UK PowerShell user group, have been around for many years and are going strong. Some are new and growing. But they all enable their members to learn more about PowerShell.

Mark Schill has done some great work with, a site that promotes the PowerShell User Groups around the world. His latest endeavor is a Google Map of all the user groups – well the ones he knows about so far! You can see this at: Pretty cool.

So – if you are a member or a leader of a PowerShell user group or scripting club, make sure Mark knows about you and your group. Make sure you are on the site. And if you are interested in either starting a new group or seeing where there are groups, then head over to

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Enabling PowerShell Remoting Using Group Policy

As I work with clients to deploy and leverage PowerShell, several issues almost always come up and need to be solved. One of those relates to remoting. Remoting in PowerShell V2 is a fantastic feature but is not on by default. You can easily enable it by using the Enable-PSRemoding Cmdlet – but if you have a lot of systems in your environment, it can take a while to do this consistently. But as ever, there are ways around this.

My good friend Jan Egil from Crayon in Norway, another super-star PowerShell MVP from a cool consulting company, has written a great blog article showing you how to Enable and configure PowerShell Remoting using Group Policy. It’s a well written article that vies some great advice.

Friday, July 15, 2011

PowerGui 3 is Released

Those very nice people over at Quest have released a new version of their wonderful PowerShell tool: PowerGui. You can see the detaisl of what’s new in this release by reading the release notes at:

PowerGUI 3 is a free download. There’s also a professional version you can get which includes some extra tools. The coolest part of PowerGui pro is the MobileShell. This enables you to perform systems management using PowerShell from your mobile device or a web browser. The Pro version also enables you to create an .EXE file from your PowerShell script. The commercial version is $199.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Lync Databases

If you are an IT Pro managing Lync, you know that Lync has a key dependency on SQL databases. For the most part, you don’t need to know the details of what databases Lync actually uses but at times that knowledge can be very useful, like during troubleshooting! As a Lync (and OCS) trainer, I know a fair bit about how Lync (and OCS before it) makes use of SQL, but there are details that, until now, I wasn’t totally clear on,

Curtis Johnstone has written a great article on The Lync Server Databases which covers the databases used and what they are used for plus some other relevant information about SQL server (and what  versions are needed).

I recommend reading this article (and bookmarking it) to learn more about this topic.

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Tuesday, July 05, 2011

Edit PowerShell Scripts from Your iPad

I’ve just seen a pretty cool product for the iPad I don’t yet own (but lust after). It’s called Koder and is a US$5.99 app for iPad only. It’s a little bit like Notepad++ although a lot richer. I has syntax highlighting for a variety of languages – over 20 including PowerShell.

You can read a review of the product here:, and can look at the manufacturer’s website here: The product is available in Apple’s normal way – via their App Store.

If I had an iPad, I would buy this application! Maybe after I finish paying for my new laptop!

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Friday, July 01, 2011

Office 365 is released

On June 28th, Microsoft released Office 365 – their office software as a service product. I previously blogged about the product in mid-April - During the latter stages of the beta, Microsoft did continue to tweak the product but what they released is more or less what I blogged about in April.

Network World has an article on the product which examines how Office 365 stacks up against Google’s Google Docs. It concludes that Office 365 “will likely attract a big audiencef, since a huge number of businesses already use Microsoft products already.

Office 365 is sold on a range of price points – or plans. The cost ranged from US$6 to US$27 per month per user, depending on what services you contract for.  This compares with Google App’s price point of US$50/year.

I like Office 365 and have enjoyed using it during the beta. I recently did a neat demo with it, talking from Luxembourg (at a client site) to two pals – one in Singapore the other in Thailand. All of us were on wireless LANs and the performance was darn good.

The Network World article notes that MS did not address any of the limitations of Offfice 365, but that said – the product as it stands is not bad! I look forward to seeing a lot more hard evidence about the overall quality of the product as we start to roll it out.

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