Managing VirtualBox with PowerShell

In my line of work I simply can’t afford not to use virtualization, and I use just about all the major tools from time to time. But most of the time I rely on the free VirtualBox program from Oracle. One of the reasons I like it is it’s relatively low footprint. It is not as full featured as a product like VMware and I don’t want to get into the merits of different virtualization products. Instead I want to show you how I’m managing my virtual machines. VirtualBox does not have any PowerShell cmdlets, but there is a COM object so I wrote a few PowerShell functions around it and bundled everything into a module. Continue reading

What Made the Scripting Games Easier

I can easily say that the quantity and caliber of script submissions in this year’s Scripting Games has been amazing. I congratulate all of you on your hard work and trust it will pay off. I’d say a primary goal is education. Not only will you pick up tips from the judges but also from looking at the other script submissions. Another area that I’m curious about is tools: what did you use primarily to develop or write your PowerShell scripts and functions? There are a number of scripting editors available to you and if you were still using Notepad I hope you’ll follow up on some of these products. Some are free and others have extensive features and corresponding benefits. I’m pretty sure all of the commercial products offer a free download and trial period so I always encourage people to try them all out and find one that meets your needs and budget.

[wpsqt_survey name=”PowerShell Editor”]
Final Results 5/2/2011 8:00AM EST
Here are the final results, which probably won’t surprise too many people.

Results 4/25/2011 8:00AM EST

Here are updated survey results.

Results as of 4/15/2011 11:00AM EST
Still not too many surprises. If you haven’t voted, please do.

If you haven’t voted, please do, but only once. No fair stacking the deck! Thanks for your participation.

NetPoint Pro Review

My first work for Windows IT Pro has been released. In the August 2010 issue I wrote a review on Netpoint Pro. In short, I think many small to midsized companies should take a look, but I hope you’ll take a moment to read the full review. It will only take a few minutes.

Get Your Free Scripting Toolkit

If you were at this year's TechEd event in New Orleans, I hoped you dropped by the SAPIEN Technologies booth and picked up your free Scripting Toolkit. What's that you say? Check it out on the SAPIEN blog and then download your free copy.

PrimalForms 2009 Script Editor

primalforms2009-scriptSAPIEN’s Primal Forms 2009 now has an integrated script editor that you can use as a standalone editor for PowerShell scripts. The app has integrated help, popup command help, a PowerShell browser, a .NET object browser. As you can see in the screen shot I’ve started a very basic PowerShell script.

Once saved, I can run the script and view the results in the output panel.  You can open and edit existing scripts as well. If you want a more full featured editing experience with code samples, snippets and more, or if you still need to work in other languages like VBScript, you’ll want PrimalScript 2009. But let’s say you only require an easy to use PowerShell script editor that provides a Windows Form feature, then PrimalForms 2009 is the ticket.

One thing I think you’ll like is the ability to package the script as an EXE. PowerShell still needs to be installed on any computer where you will be running the package. When you captured_Image.pngpackage the script, you define a package name, the platform, an icon and a manifest, if required. In the platform drop down select either 32 or 64 bit Windows. Depending on what your script is doing you may need to pick a commandline platform. Otherwise, any object written to the pipeline will be displayed in a dialog box which is probably not the experience you were expecting.

You can package your script with alternate credentials as well as digitally sign the file.


On the last page you can add metadata to your packaged script. This includes information such as version numbers, a description, file names and copyright.

When you are satisfied, click Build and your script will be packaged into an EXE. I love the idea of packaging my scripts. The content is protected and can’t be modified. Of course, the primary purpose for PrimalForms is to create a forms based PowerShell script which you can package captured_Image.png[7]following the same guidelines I just explained.

You can read more about the latest PrimalForms 2009 version on the SAPIEN blog.