How to create a PowerPack

A little while back Marco Shaw invited me to present at one of the PowerShell Virtual User Group meetings he runs regularly.  I was quite looking forward to presenting, and I was going to demonstrate how you can extend the PowerGUI administration console as well as how you can share these extensions by exporting them in PowerPacks and making them available to the PowerShell community.  Creating PowerPacks is a large part of what I do at work every day, and I get a lot of questions about how to do it, so I was looking forward to being able to answer those questions in my demonstration.

Unfortunately I had some challenges in front of me at the time and I ended up cancelling my presentation (sorry Marco!).  Still, I really wanted to show how PowerGUI can be extended and how PowerPacks are made, so I recently recorded a screencast that contains pretty much everything I was hoping to show off in my presentation.  Are you interested in learning how you can extend PowerGUI and how you can create your own PowerPacks?  You can check out the screencast/tutorial I made here.

Are there other screencasts/tutorials you would like to see for PowerShell and/or PowerGUI?  Let me know.  If comments don’t work for you, you can find my contact information in my about page.

And lastly, are there things you would like to see in the PowerPacks that come with PowerGUI?  Are there PowerPacks that you would like to see that aren’t published yet?  Let me know that as well!

Kirk out.

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PowerGUI 1.0.13 is now available

Yesterday PowerGUI 1.0.13 was made available for download on the PowerGUI community site.  Aside from the many great new features in PowerGUI and the PowerGUI Script Editor (which you can read about here on Richard Siddaway’s blog), I wanted to share some of the details about the enhancements and additions that were made in the area that I am responsible for in this release — the PowerPacks.  Here is a list of the changes that were included:

Local System PowerPack:

  • added description, startup type and logon account to the output properties on the services node
  • replaced hard-coded event log tree with dynamic tree that shows all event logs on the system (note: this doesn’t support the custom views that can be created in the Vista event log viewer yet)
  • added actions to clear all events in an event log, set the maximum size and set the overflow policy
  • updated the Drives node so that drives are automatically grouped by provider type when there are multiple drives on a system
  • fixed issues preventing the browsing of certain drives from working properly
  • added support for viewing the security descriptor and the access control list for files, directories and registry keys
  • added take ownership support for security descriptors
  • added Values link to view the values associated with a registry key and Change Value action to change a registry value
  • added support for an expanded view of environment variables that contain multiple values delimited by semi-colons
  • added open file support
  • added support for signing files from a certificate provider drive

Active Directory PowerPack:

  • replaced Browse the Domain node with Browse Active Directory node; this supports browsing all of Active Directory within PowerGUI, not just the Domain Naming Context node
  • added action to delete a computer object from AD
  • added Member Of (Recursive) links for groups, and computers
  • added Member Of link for users

WMI Browser PowerPack (new!):

  • introduced brand new PowerPack for browsing WMI objects on the local computer or remote computers
  • exposed support for managing specific computers via WMI; you just use the Add Connection and Remove Connection actions that are exposed through the root WMI Browser node
  • exposed all WMI objects on a computer; you just browse through the WMI object tree to the one you are looking for and then use the Get WMI Objects link to view the WMI objects of that class type

There is still a lot more to do with the PowerPacks and this is only the beginning.  I’m completely focused on enhancing the PowerPacks that come with PowerGUI, so if you have suggestions, requests, or feedback to offer, I’d be more than happy to hear it — just leave me a comment on this blog.  Or if you are trying to make a PowerPack yourself and want home help or suggestions, you can comment about that here too or just post about it on the PowerGUI Forums.

And if you haven’t downloaded PowerGUI 1.0.13 yet, please give it a try and let me know what you think!

Kirk out.

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