PowerGUI Quick Tip: Create a PowerPack from start to finish in 10 minutes

This Sunday at midnight PST marks the closing of our second annual PowerPack Challenge contest.  The rules of this contest are very simple: create a new PowerPack or modify one of your existing PowerPacks and submit it to the contest folder in the PowerPack Library for a chance to win some cool prizes.  Now you might be thinking: "Sunday, but that’s  just three days away…I don’t have time to put together an entry between now and Sunday. Besides, I want my weekend to myself!"  Well, you’re in luck my friend because you don’t need three days…you only need 10 minutes (well, 10 minutes after you watch a screencast showing what you can do with PowerShell, the PowerGUI Admin Console, and 10 minutes of your time).  That’s not even going to take up your whole lunch hour on Friday, and if you plan to go out for lunch you could make your PowerPack during your afternoon break instead!

Here’s all you need to do:

1.  Bookmark the PowerPack section of the wiki.  I published a big update to our wiki earlier this week and it should be able to answer a lot of questions you might have.  Don’t read the whole thing right now though, that might take too long and what you really want to do right now is explained in the next step.

2.  Watch this screencast (also shown below on YouTube) that shows how I created a cool Windows Server Roles and Features PowerPack from scratch earlier today and published it to the PowerPack Library in only 10 minutes.  The PowerPack even has dynamic nodes generated from 4 script nodes, which used to be quite a lot of work but thanks to the AdminConsole module they are much, much easier now.  In fact, if you pay close attention to the screencast, you’ll see that all of the functionality in the PowerPack itself is done with only 7 lines of PowerShell script plus one basic node and two basic actions — that’s pretty amazing.  The entire screencast is longer than 10 minutes because I needed to explain a few things before and after the demonstration, but the creation and publishing of the PowerPack itself is done in only 10 minutes during the screencast.

Now that I’ve armed you with the wiki documentation and the screencast demo, I’ll be looking forward to seeing your PowerPacks in the PowerPack Library after your lunch or afternoon break! 😉

Good luck with your PowerPacks!

Kirk out.

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Enter the PowerPack Challenge!

Ok, I’m really excited about this one.  Quest Software (my employer and sponsor of all PowerGUI development) has created a PowerGUI contest!  Whether you are a newcomer to PowerShell, a seasoned PowerShell scripter or somewhere in between, why not experiment with all of the creative things you can do with PowerGUI and PowerShell and enter the PowerPack Challenge!  All you need to do to enter is create and/or update one or more PowerPacks during the contest period (between July 1, 2008 and September 30, 2008).  There are some great prizes to be won, as described on the PowerPack Challenge contest page!

So now that you know about the contest, what should you do next?  Since the contest period doesn’t start until July 1, 2008, you have some time to prepare yourself for the contest.  if you aren’t totally familiar with PowerPacks or how to create them, you can learn how to do that by watching the flash demo I created here.  If you want to browse existing PowerPacks to get an idea what is already available, you can look in the PowerPack library here.  Or if you are attending the IT Pro week of TechEd 2008, there are a lot of sessions, hands on labs, instructor led labs, and more with PowerShell content and you can learn more about PowerShell and PowerGUI by visiting the demo station in booth 1101.

And please, just like anything else I post on this blog, if you have questions don’t hesitate to ask.

Thanks and good luck with your contest entries!

Kirk out.

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