GUI vs CLI

I often talk about using PowerShell GUIs vs the console experience. There is certainly a place for a GUI, but sometimes you need the raw power that comes with a console session. Here’s an example.

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Appending Property Values in PowerShell

This morning I helped out a fellow scripter in the PowerShell forum at ScriptingAnswers.com. He was trying to figure out an Exchange 2007 problem. He wanted to update a property value, but keep the existing property values. This seems a like a reasonable request and one that isn’t limited to Exchange. There are plenty of objects you might work with in PowerShell where you want to keep the existing property value and add to it. My solution is specific to the Exchange problem, but I think you could use it as a model for similar problems with other objects.

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Techmentor San Francisco 2008

I finished up my slide decks last week for the first Techmentor conference of the year in San Francisco (March 30 -April 3). If you’ve never been to a Techmentor conference you’re missing a great opportunity to hear and see your favorite IT speakers. Plus it’s a lot of fun to meet your peers, swap war stories and even some strategy and tips. I thought you might like to know what sessions I’m doing:

Automating Remote Systems Management with PowerShell v1.0 and WMI
Although PowerShell is an incredibly valuable administrative tool, a major feature is its support for Windows Management Instrumentation (WMI). In this session you’ll learn how to access remote system information, build management reports, monitor WMI events and more all with PowerShell. This will be a demo-rich session with many real-world and practical examples you can take home and use immediately.

Automating Exchange Server 2007 Management
Come see how easy it is to manage your Exchange 2007 servers from the PowerShell console. I’ll guide you through common Exchange management tasks including managing mailboxes, users, contacts, databases and more. Again, this will be a demo-heavy session with many real-world and practical examples.

Mr. Roboto’s Resource Kit
In this session I’ll open up my bag of tricks and tools for managing Windows servers and desktops. From mass password changes to event log management to security Mr. Roboto will show how to keep on top of your environment with free or low-cost alternatives. You’ll leave with plenty of tools you can begin using immediately to make your job easier and maybe even a little fun.

Logon Scripting Fundamentals
Do you have logon scripts for your users? Do you still need them? Do they do what you want them to do? What good are logon scripts anyway? You’ll learn the best way to leverage logon scripts and integrate them into Group Policy. You’ll also see how to create logon scripts with no scripting required. In fact, no scripting experience is required at all for this session.

Finally, if that’s not enough I’m also doing a half-day post-conference workshop. This is separate from the main conference.

Automating Active Directory Management with Windows PowerShell
I will teach you how to use PowerShell to manage Active Directory users, groups and computers. You’ll learn how to manage individual objects as well as bulk creation and management. You’ll learn how easy it is to import a CSV file with 1000 new users and create fully populated accounts in a matter seconds. We’ll explore the ADSI type adapters, the Active Directory PSDrive provider from the PowerShell Community Extensions and the free Quest Active Directory Management Console. This will be a demo-heavy session with many real-world and practical examples you can take home and use immediately. Much of the content will be live demonstrations of material from my forthcoming book, Managing Directory Services with Windows PowerShell. You may bring a laptop to follow along, but this is NOT instructor-led training with hands-on labs. If you come with a laptop, it should have a virtual machine running a Windows 2003/2008 domain controller. The virtual machine should be running PowerShell v1.0 and the current versions of the PowerShell Community Extensions and the Quest Active Directory Management console.

And this is just what I’m doing. Check out the full schedule and register today. You won’t be disappointed. I often hear at conferences from attendees that they often learn something or pickup some tip that more than justifies the conference expense. Something that solves a prickly problem and they leave happy and eager. I hope to see you there. If you haven’t already registered for TechMentor San Francisco, you can receive a $695 discount on the Gold Passport if you register using priority code TPHIC.

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ExchangeMonitorPlus 2.0

Version 2 of my popular ExchangeMonPlus monitoring and reporting tool for Exchange 2003 is now available. This HTA uses WMI and ADSI to monitor, manage and report on Exchange 2003 servers. The latest version provides greater detail on storage group and server utilization including quotas and mailbox reports. I’ve even included a few stand alone scripts for monitoring SMTP queues and generating a mailbox report. The latter would make a great scheduled task.

Here’s a short list of new features in version 2:

  • Search Administrative Groups for Exchange Servers
  • Manually enter Exchange Servers to query
  • Service Uptime
  • Quota information (note: exported quota graph is only viewable with Internet Explorer)
  • Mailbox utilization reports
  • Export and Print (tip: you can open exported HTML files in Excel for sorting and conversion)
  • Alternate Credential Support
  • System Manager integration
  • Enhanced disk utilization reporting
  • Access to Exchange 2003 online resources
  • Bonus scripts you can run for mailbox and queue reporting

Screen shots, a video demo and licensing information are available at http://www.jdhitsolutions.com/exchangemonplus/index.html

If you are a registered user of the original ExchangeMonPlus, you should have receieved an email from me about upgrading.

Finally, there is also a free “lite” version of the original tool you can get at http://www.jdhitsolutions.com/exchangemon/index.html

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