Convince My Manager! PowerShell Studio 2015 Killer Features

PowerShell scripters often send us requests for help and post them on our busy forums. None hits home with me like a request for help convincing a cash-strapped IT manager that they should buy professional tools, like PowerShell Studio, for their staff, because I’ve been in the same position. Importantly, this question almost always comes from IT pros, because development managers routinely spend thousands of dollars on professional tools for developers.

IT pros are professionals and they deserve professional development tools. Nonetheless, it’s important to make a clear and convincing case for your manager.

So, here’s a list of the major features of PowerShell Studio 2015. I’ve set the priority order to the things that are most likely to make you extremely efficient, productive, and accurate.

If your favorite feature is missing from this list, post a comment and I’ll add it.


· Fully-featured editor with configurable syntax coloring, syntax checking, enclosure matching, advanced navigation, auto-complete for commands, parameters, parameter values, enumerators, WMI classes and properties, .NET Framework classes and members, and help topics. Prompts and enters complete or mandatory elements of parameter sets.

· PowerShell Console in PowerShell Studio runs in an independent process, so you can experiment in the console without jeopardizing the scripts in progress in the editor. Let’s you test commands and scripts in the default console with a persistent session.

· Function Builder and Parameter Builder generate accurate, syntactically correct function and script parameter syntax, including cmdlet attributes, parameter sets, parameter types and attributes, including validation attributes.

· Build PowerShell modules automatically from functions in scripts. PowerShell Studio generates the module manifest for you, complete with GUID and default key settings.

· Automatic formatting insures that scripts are easy to read, debug, and maintain, including indentation, enclosures, and quotation marks. Formatting is fully customizable, including all elements and formatting triggers. The Format Script button reformats an entire script on demand.

· Customizable layouts place all PowerShell Studio tools within easy reach of the scripter, including an Object Browser, Toolbox, Properties page, Function navigator, Help pane, and the source control tool of your choice. Just right-click, submit to source control.

· Create projects and file groups that let you open and manage multiple files from multiple sources in a single operation without changing the source file types or content.


· Execution environment: PowerShell Studio runs each script in a new, clean execution environment free of preferences, profiles, non-core modules, and local variables. To run script commands sequentially in a persistent session with user-specific elements, like profiles, use the built-in PowerShell Console (Run in Console).

· PowerShell Studio debugger has features typically found only in professional development debuggers, including a variables window, watch window, stack trace, and a debug console that is independent of the default (run) console. PowerShell Studio test tools include a history of parameters and values from each script execution instance.

· Advanced remote scripting and debugging: Save remote computers (and credentials) and click once to run any script or to debug a script on a remote computer.

· Snippets: PowerShell Studio comes with an extensive library of reusable code snippets. It lets you save any text or code block as a snippet to automate code development and prevent errors.


· Create GUI applications from Windows PowerShell scripts. Excellent for delegating tasks to people who don’t know PowerShell and insuring uniform operations. Drag and drop the Windows Forms UI elements and insert PowerShell commands. PowerShell Studio handles all complex tasks, including loading assemblies, instantiating objects, and registering event handlers. It even inserts helper functions to simplify management of complex controls.

· Create executable files (.exe) from Windows PowerShell scripts. PowerShell Studio wraps any script in an executable file. Including digital signatures and runtime manifests that run the .exe file only on specified computer for specified users in specified environments.

· Create Microsoft Installers (.msi) from multiple files, then deploy or burn to a CD without changing your view.

Best Practices

· Digital signatures: PowerShell Studio signs your scripts, modules, executable files, and MSIs automatically or on-demand.

· Source control integration, including restore points for all scripts, configurable auto-save, and right-click submit file.

· Set execution policy and elevate session toggles help you keep your session more secure without restarting and interrupting your work.

· Generate PowerShell help for your scripts and functions with the correct syntax for comment-based help. For XML help, see PowerShell HelpWriter.

· Convert aliases to full names of cmdlets and parameters with a keystroke.

· Toggle quotation marks from single to double, using double quotes only when needed for variable resolution.


In summary:

— Cost of PowerShell Studio: $389
— Cost of not having users contact you every time they need a task performed: Priceless

I hope this helps in your discussions. Again, comment to add your favorite feature and feel free to edit for your environment and the features that you’re most likely to use.

If I was a manager, I’d be convinced!