Doug Finke

PowerShell Command Line Introduction

Effectively control Windows from the console

Here’s a slick PowerShell 3.0 one-liner. If you want to pull down an RSS feed from a blog, displaying only the title and publication date try:

Invoke-RestMethod "" | Select title, pubdate


It’s that simple. No looping, no checking end of stream, no XSLT to handle transforming the XML from the RSS feed, but wait, there’s more. This array of objects is now connected to the entire PowerShell ecosystem. PowerShell is based on .NET so you can use ADO.NET to insert it into a database, use Invoke-RestMethod again and post it to another REST endpoint or spin up Microsoft Excel and control it via its COM API. And that my friends, is the two foot dive into the PowerShell ocean.

PowerShell is Microsoft’s task automation framework, consisting of a command-line shell, an integrated scripting environment (ISE), a scripting language built on .NET Framework, an API allowing you to host PowerShell in your .NET applications, and it is a distributed automation platform. This means if you have PowerShell running on another box, you can remotely execute PowerShell there, if you have the credentials.

Getting started

What you need to do is launch the PowerShell console. On my Windows 8 box I press the Windows button, type “powers“, and hit enter.


Great! I’ve got a blank blue screen. Now what?
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