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Windows PowerShell in Action Paperback – February 5, 2007

ISBN-13: 978-1932394900 ISBN-10: 1932394907 Edition: 1st

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 576 pages
  • Publisher: Manning Publications; 1 edition (February 5, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1932394907
  • ISBN-13: 978-1932394900
  • Product Dimensions: 7.4 x 1.1 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (36 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #394,576 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

PowerShell in Action

Part I - Learning PowerShell This comprehensive tour of the PowerShell language and runtime introduces the language and offers a deep insight into how and why things are the way they are. Part I, covers the PowerShell language including the syntax, the type system with examples showing how each feature works.

Chapter 1-PowerShell history and a quick tour of the features of the environment.

Chapter 2-PowerShell concepts you'll need to put PowerShell to work.

Chapter 3-The PowerShell type system and its relationship to .NET.

Chapter 4-Operators and expressions including basic arithmetic, comparison and assignment, wildcard and regular expression pattern matching.

Chapter 5-Operations for working with arrays (indexing, slicing) and objects (properties and methods, output redirection, the formatting operator and PowerShell variables.

Chapter 6-PowerShell language constructs like if statement and loops.

Chapter 7-Programming in PowerShell, including functions and scripts and variable scoping.

Chapter 8-Object construction and extensions, Scriptblocks and how to extend the PowerShell language.

Chapter 9-Error handling and debugging.

Part II looks at applying PowerShell in specific technology areas and problem domains.

Chapter 10-Text processing such as basic string processing, file processing (including handling binary files) and working with XML documents.

Chapter 11-Locating, exploring and instantiating types in the .NET framework including generic types with applications including network programming and WinForms.

Chapter 12-Using the application automation models to script Microsoft Word, WMI from the command line and in scripts to inspect, update and manage a Windows system, and VBScript interaction.

Chapter 13-Security, security, security.

From the Author

Wow, I wrote a book. One moment you're a humble programming language designer and the next you're up until 2:00AM every night trying to figure out how to say "and in the next example" 500 times without being boring.

So why write it? Mostly because of PowerShell. Although PowerShell draws heavily from existing technologies, it combines them in some very novel ways. This kind of novelty leads to misunderstandings. As we showed our work to the world I found that there were a number of questions that were being asked over and over again. These questions would usually arise as a result of some prior language experience that the user had. There needed to be a way to gather this information altogether in one place.

It's astonishing was how much power comes out of the synergy of the various technologies underlying PowerShell. The PowerShell team would read people's blogs and be astonished by the creativity that was being demonstrated. This book tries to foster that creativity by conveying just how capable the PowerShell is.

And finally, this is the book I wanted to read. I love programming languages and the best books are the ones that explain not only "what" but also "why". These books give the reader something more that just technical detail. They convey a sense of the overall design and some element of the intent of the designer.

Learn PowerShell, be creative and above all, have fun.


Bruce Payette

More About the Author

Bruce Payette is a founding member of the Windows PowerShell team, the author of the Windows PowerShell language interpreter, and one of key designers of the Windows PowerShell language. He has been working on UNIX shell and utility tools for Windows for the past 15 years at companies like MKS and Softway Systems (now part of Microsoft Services for Unix).

Customer Reviews

Consider this book the Definitive Reference for PowerShell.
Jase T. Wolfe
This book is complete, well written Powershell book; no book written so far comes close in technicalities on the subject matter.
Obi Osagbue
There is a lot to powershell, and it presents a learning curve, but you will find that the time invested will bring a payoff.
Mark W Mitchell

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

60 of 60 people found the following review helpful By Jase T. Wolfe on July 9, 2007
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Consider this book the Definitive Reference for PowerShell. Written by one of the designers of the PowerShell environment, the author knows all the ins and outs, back-alleys, hidden rooms, and secret handshakes the language offers - and isn't afraid to grab you by the hand and drag you along (like it or not!) for the tour of your life.

Therein, however, is the reason I can't recommend this as your first PowerShell book. The book is very logically planned out, the information very well presented in relatively easy to understand language, there is an abundance of script snippets to demonstrate what is being talked about, and the writing style itself is entertaining to read. But the author knows too much on the subject, and like any proud parent, often "too much information" is given, delving too deep into the gears and cogs of PowerShell and the underlying .NET framework for the (often basic) building block component, which might overwhelm the new PowerShell user, especially if the user does not have programming, let alone scripting, experience.

So although I say don't make this your first purchase, make it your second - and probably your last. Start with an "Introduction" style book (like Microsoft Windows Powershell Programming for the Absolute Beginner) to get used to the complex environment (even if you've only had VBS/JS experience), get comfortable with the basics of the shell, then move up to this title. You'll soon find out that every aspect you thought you knew has much more to the story than you thought, and you'll walk away from this read able to do just about everything you want.
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29 of 32 people found the following review helpful By T. Kirby-Green on February 27, 2007
Format: Paperback
Where's the 6 stars option? I haven't enjoyed a software engineering book to the same extent for a long time. 'PowerShell in Action' works on two levels. Firstly it delivers immediately in getting you up to speed on PowerShell and being able to use it in-anger for simple tasks (and from there on it just gets better and better as it tackles more complex scenarios).

Secondly however it's not just a 'What' and 'How' tutorial, but also guide to 'Why'. Since Bruce was the design lead for the actual PowerShell language only he can tell you why they choose to implement features the way they did. On this level the book reads like one engineer talking to another. It gives you a fantastic insight into the thought processes behind the choices (what alternatives where considered, and discarded, and why).

The text is full of Bruce's entertaining and sly asides which make it clear that here's a guy that's quite possibly used every language on the planet. As a reader you get the clear impression that nothing in PowerShell is there out of whimsy. And when you start working through the book you'll get a real impression of how every feature of it hangs together and supports the whole. Get this book.
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful By G. Bundy on February 18, 2007
Format: Paperback
If you are looking for a good source of information to use the new Windows Powershell, this is the book for you! What is the old saying if you want the truth go to the source? Well Bruce is the source being one of the team leads has obviously given him some insight into the internal workings and he shares this with the reader.

Whether you are a scripting novice who needs help from start to finish, or you are an advanced scripter who just wants to dive right in, this book has something for everyone. It goes from start to finish covering everything from the basics of not only what Windows Powershell is but also scripting and even dabbles into object oriented programming. This book is truly the place to go for all your Windows Powershell needs, great job Bruce!
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16 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Wray Smallwood on January 6, 2008
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book is written by a self-admitted geek expressly for geeks. Being a geek myself I rate it highly for content. However, Administrators should bypass it. There are few administrators or programmers that need to know "Why" something was done. There is too much information in this world to absorb and reading this book contributes to that. Plus, practical things like profiles and snapins are not even mentioned (I didn't find them while reading it, but if they are there it emphasizes the following point).

I disagree that it can be used a a reference, except by an occaisonal geek. It would take too long to find anything related to your daily problem even though it is probably there. Few publishers know how to organize and display technical data so that after it is read it can be found again. There are silly things like showing the wrong way to do things. Who needs that in a reference book since you may copy it without checking if it works? A true reference book defines every (well at least the most useful) command/parameter nuances and tells you what you can't find in the normal documentation. Another book I own, Professional Windows PowerShell comes far closer to being a reference, and is a better book for a general programmer.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Craig Betteridge on July 27, 2007
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book gives you the goods and helps you become very productive very fast. As a service ... I'm pointing out that PowerShell is installed in a somewhat crippled state which allows for interactive scripting only. You know, security, security, security.

Most of us, of course want to put the script into a file and execute it and this won't work until you set an 'execution policy'. This information can be found starting on page 205 and further directions on page 451.

Just thought you'd like to know.

Besides that a very good book that stands on it's own. If you've been around the programming track a couple of times you won't need the 'for the absolute beginner' book ... this one will do the trick!

I wish all technical books were written this well.
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