Microsoft typically reserves its product Web pages for its flagship Windows operating system, Office applications, and high-profile business and server offerings. Now, a tool that many Windows administrators use in their day-to-day tasks is getting the same treatment.
The software giant has pulled PowerShell from the recesses of its Microsoft Developer Network Website and is giving it a new online home. PowerShell is the command line and scripting environment used by Windows and Windows Server administrators to configure and manage systems and automate tasks.
"It's been our intent for a while now to establish a single home of PowerShell that reflects the myriad of properties we have spread across the web," wrote Joey Aiello, program manager of Microsoft PowerShell, in a late-day July 20 blog post. "Between the Gallery, our blog, Connect, our GitHub repositories, and TechNet documentation, PowerShell is in a lot of places."
Now PowerShell is much more accessible via a homepage that consolidates all of those resources, found here. The site includes download links to the Windows Management Framework (WMF), a suite of tools that include PowerShell, Desired State Configuration (DSC), Windows Management Instrumentation (WMI) and Windows Remote Management (WinRM).
The PowerShell Gallery, currently in preview, houses PowerShell commands or DSC resources. After a year of curating the gallery, Microsoft opened it up to the general public on July 7, inviting any user to publish and share PowerShell modules. The site also provides a link to open-sourced PowerShell projects and modules hosted on GitHub, and of course, the PowerShell blog.
"We've worked hard to establish a new online home for PowerShell and our first release gives users a centralized portal for official PowerShell resources, content, and documentation," stated Aiello.
"The PowerShell homepage modernizes our online brand experience with simple navigation and a responsive, mobile-friendly design," he continued, suggesting that today's mobile enterprise extends as far as its IT operations. "We plan on growing it to be the one-stop shop for anything related to PowerShell and its community."
Meanwhile, the company is working to implement a highly requested PowerShell feature: Secure Shell (SSH) support.
Last month, Angel Calvo, group software engineering manager for Microsoft PowerShell, noted that the company had received feedback requesting use of "Secure Shell protocol and Shell session (aka SSH) to interoperate between Windows and Linux—both Linux connecting to and managing Windows via SSH and, vice versa, Windows connecting to and managing Linux via SSH," in a statement. "Thus, the combination of PowerShell and SSH will deliver a robust and secure solution to automate and to remotely manage Linux and Windows systems."
After two prior attempts to include SSH support in PowerShell versions 1 and 2, it is finally coming. "Given our changes in leadership and culture, we decided to give it another try and this time, because we are able to show the clear and compelling customer value, the company is very supportive," Calvo said. The project is in its earliest stages, but the company hopes to provide some availability dates in the near future.