Windows PowerShell 3 has won InfoWorld’s 2013 Technology of the Year award. Finally, InfoWorld editors have discovered what IT pros have known for a long time – PowerShell is simply the most powerful yet easy-to-use management tool out there on any platform!
The third time is definitely the charm for PowerShell, which provides the engine behind the bulk of all management tools for Windows Server 2012. PowerShell 3.0 brings Windows Workflow Foundation support, time- and event-driven job scheduling, a much-improved Integrated Scripting Environment, and a remoting capability that’s fully integrated with Active Directory permissions, making it possible for administrators to execute commands on any machine (Windows 7 or later) on the network. PowerShell boasts an active user community with forums and contributed “cmdlets” available for download from the Microsoft Script Center. If you’re not already familiar with PowerShell, now is a great time to get started.
Microsoft Exchange Server 2007 was the first Microsoft product with built-in support for Windows PowerShell. Much of the management functionality of Exchange is built on Exchange’s PowerShell module, known as Exchange Management Shell, or just the shell. In fact, the GUI management tools included in Exchange use Exchange Management Shell cmdlets under the hood. Subsequently, other product groups, including Active Directory, Hyper-V, SharePoint and others have added PowerShell support.
For IT pros, the Shell provides a great automation & scripting platform that’s much easier to learn and use compared to scripting technologies like VBScript.
Exchange Server 2013 includes built-in support for PowerShell 3.0. Exchange 2010 and Exchange 2007 are not updated for PowerShell 3.0 at the time of writing – the Exchange product group advises against installing PS 3.0 on these versions of Exchange. See Windows Management Framework 3.0 on Exchange 2007 and Exchange 2010 for more info.