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Windows PowerShell

Windows PowerShell
Screenshot of a sample PowerShell session
Software information
DeveloperMicrosoft Corporation
Initial releaseNovember 14, 2006(age 10)
Stable release2.0
Latest release dateJuly 22, 2009(age 7)
Development statusActive
Operating systemWindows XP
Windows Server 2003
Windows Vista
Windows Server 2008
Windows 7
Windows Server 2008 R2
Platform.NET Framework
TypeOperating system shell
LicenseProprietary software; a component of Microsoft Windows
Website 

Windows PowerShell

Programming language
NamePowerShell
ParadigmMulti-paradigm: Imperative, pipeline, object-oriented, functional and reflective
Appeared in2006
Designed byJeffrey Snover, Bruce Payette, James Truher (et al.)
Software developerMicrosoft Corporation
Typing disciplineStrong, safe, implicit and dynamic
Influenced byKsh, Perl, C#, CL, DCL, SQL, Tcl and Tk
Operating systemMicrosoft Windows

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Windows PowerShell is Microsoft's task automation framework, consisting of a command-line shell and associated scripting language built on top of, and integrated with the .NET Framework. PowerShell provides full access to COM and WMI, enabling administrators to perform administrative tasks on both local and remote Windows systems.

In PowerShell, administrative tasks are generally performed by cmdlets (pronounced command-lets), specialized .NET classes implementing a particular operation. Sets of cmdlets may be combined together in scripts, executables (which are standalone applications), or by instantiating regular .NET classes (or WMI/COM Objects). These work by accessing data in different data stores, like the filesystem or registry, which are made available to the PowerShell runtime via Windows PowerShell providers.

Windows PowerShell also provides a hosting mechanism with which the Windows PowerShell runtime can be embedded inside other applications. These applications then leverage Windows PowerShell functionality to implement certain operations, including those exposed via the graphical interface. This capability has been utilized by Microsoft Exchange Server 2007 to expose its management functionality as PowerShell cmdlets and providers and implement the graphical management tools as PowerShell hosts which invoke the necessary cmdlets. Other Microsoft applications including Microsoft SQL Server 2008 also expose their management interface via PowerShell cmdlets. With PowerShell, graphical interface-based management applications on Windows are layered on top of Windows PowerShell. A PowerShell scripting interface for Windows products is mandated by the Common Engineering Criteria.

Windows PowerShell includes its own extensive, console-based help, similar to man pages in Unix shells via the Get-Help cmdlet.


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