Tuesday, August 26, 2014

PowerShell V5 July 2014 Preview

As promised by Jeffrey Snover at TechEd US, Microsoft has released a new and updated pre-release version of PowerShell V5. Oddly, I can’t find too many references to it, but here is where you can get the preview:

Note that these versions only install on Windows 8.1 and Server 2012 R2. My main workstation runs Windows Server 2008 R2 and while I know it needs upgrading, I am dreading the upgrade. For now, I’m running this update on just my laptop. Sadly – as this update has a lot of new features.

The new features, described in more detail in the release notes, include:

  • Generation of Cmdlets based on an Odata Endpoint - Export-ODataEndpointProxy is a cmdlet that will generate a set of Windows PowerShell cmdlets based on the functionality exposed by a given OData Endpoint. This feature is still not quote complete as it’s still under development – but this looks a great idea to open up OData to wider use.
  • Manage .ZIP files with new cmdlets – finally two new cmdlets to manage zip files: Compress-Archive creates a new zip file while Expand-Archive allows un-zipping. At long last!
  • DSC authoring improvements in Windows PowerShell ISE. Several new features are added to the ISE to simplify authoring of DSC resources, including the ability to list all the DSC resources within a configuration block (use Ctrl+Space) and lots of improvements to autocomplete/tab complete.
  • Changes in how the DSC Local Configuration Manager is installed.
  • Partial DSC configurations – this, for me, was a missing piece to DSC. Partial DSC Configuration enables you to deliver configuration documents to a node in fragments. This is, for me, a great simplification in how you deploy DSC configurations.
  • Cross-Computer Synchronisation – this improves the built in WaitFor DSC resources. This is highly important for complex multi-node configuration scenarios where you need to sync several systems in order to properly configure them.
  • New DSC cmdlets – there are several new cmdlets, including Get-DSCConfigurationStatus, Compare-DNSConfiguration, Publish-DSCConfiguration and Update-DSCConfiguration.
  • The new Detailed Script Tracing feature enables detailed tracking and analysis of Windows PowerShell scripting use on a system. After you enable detailed script tracing, Windows PowerShell logs all script blocks to the ETW event log, Microsoft-Windows-PowerShell/Operational. If a script block creates another script block (for example, a script that calls the Invoke-Expression cmdlet on a string), that resulting script block is logged as well. I can see this being very, very useful!
  • The *-item cmdlets are extended to enable creation of symbolic links. Yet another cmd.exe feature now with PowerShell parity. YEAH!
  • And of course the latest WMF includes the cool features added to earlier versions, including OneGet, PowerShell Get, Network Switch management

PowerShell V5 is shaping up to be a pretty significant release, with a slew of really cool and, IMHO, important new features. I just hope there will be a version of PowerShell V5 for Windows 7/Server 2008 R2 so I can avoid the OS upgrade on my primary workstation.

Once I have this new update installed on my laptop, I’ll provide some additional feedback. I am looking forward already not only to playing with this new release, but in seeing what else Redmond and the PowerShell team have up their sleeves.

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Unknown said...

Avoiding the upgrade - why? Easiest one for many a year!

Thomas Lee said...

The main reason for avoiding the update is to avoid the time it will take. This is a big box with a lot loaded. I suspect I don't have enough free disk space on C: for the upgrade so it means quite a bit of faffing about. Also, this is a dual screen system and the thought of 8.1's UI leaves me kind of cold.