Articles tagged

14 September 2015
14 September 2015

Build Your Own Resource Monitor in a Jiffy

It's great to be able to monitor a counter or any other changing metric while engaged in development work. You'd think that the two alternatives would be using a third-party tool or hacking a PowerShell script. Well no, because there could be an existing open-source PowerShell module that would do it for you, and with a little customization could give you precisely what you need.… Read more
09 September 2015
09 September 2015

Writing Build vNext tasks for Visual Studio Online

Hosted TFS, now called Visual Studio Online (VSO), has a new way of writing build processes called Build vNext. Agent tasks are the building blocks of processes and you can supplement the built-in ones with custom build tasks defined in JSON that use targets written in node.js or PowerShell. Jason Crease shows how to develop custom build tasks for building, testing, publishing and synchronizing databases.… Read more
12 August 2015
12 August 2015

When to Quote in PowerShell

The one question about PowerShell that trips up almost everyone is about when and how to quote strings. Because PowerShell replaces the old command shell, it has to be able to work the way that it did with string parameters, but it also has to behave like a .NET scripting language to replace VBA. PowerShell grapples with this apparent contradiction, and manages to square the circle. Michael Sorens explains the how and when of PowerShell quoting.… Read more
01 July 2015
01 July 2015

PowerShell Day-to-Day Admin Tasks: Monitoring Performance

By reading performance counters from services such as SQL Server or Exchange, you can get a wealth of performance information. By automating the process of gathering and storing appropriate counters, you can routinely check a range of devices quickly using visual tools such as PerfMon. By then creating your own counters, you can add counter-based metrics to anything that can be measured programmatically, such as services, applications, processes such as ETL, or deployments. … Read more
25 June 2015
25 June 2015

The Poster of the Plethora of PowerShell Pitfalls

One of the downsides of learning a new computer language is that transfer of training doesn't always work to your advantage. In fact, the habits you picked up in the past may now cause confusion. In this poster or wall-chart for long walls, Michael Sorens selects the thirty-six most common causes of confusion for anyone getting to grips with PowerShell. Forewarned is forearmed.… Read more
28 May 2015
28 May 2015

PowerShell Day-to-Day Admin Tasks: WMI, CIM and PSWA

WMI (Windows Management Instrumentation) is the basic way of querying and changing basic information about any windows server, including SQL Server or Exchange Server. It provides a logical structure and representation of systems and services that are hosted on the server and is essential for anyone who is keen to automate routine monitoring and administration work via PowerShell, especially where many servers are involved in the task.… Read more
02 April 2015
02 April 2015

A Plethora of PowerShell Pitfalls

PowerShell has some very valuable features, but it is a mistake to believe that all those skills that you've derived from more conventional programming languages will transfer over to PowerShell. There are some pitfalls for the unwary. Michael Sorens warns abut the most common PowerShell pitfalls and explains how to avoid them.… Read more
16 January 2015
16 January 2015

A Start with Automating Database Configuration Management

For a number of reasons, it pays to have the up-to-date source of all the databases and servers that you're responsible for in a central archive, in version control, and this is a job that is best automated. If you enlist the help of SQL Compare Pro, you can create a Powershell-based system that can be extended to warn you of changes, roughly when they happened, with a report of exactly what changed and how.… Read more
04 November 2014
04 November 2014

Practical PowerShell Unit-Testing: Mock Objects

Pester allows you to automate the testing of PowerShell scripts. It can test the output of a function as you develop it by validating simple data (scalars) and arrays, Pester allows you to focus on the one function you want to test by using 'mocking' to fake all the other functions and Cmdlets, It also uses Parameterized tests save you from writing essentially the same test over and over with just a different input valu… Read more
03 November 2014
03 November 2014

Practical PowerShell Unit-Testing: Getting Started

By the time you're using PowerShell to automate an increasing amount of the system administration, database maintenance, or application-lifecycle work, you'll probably need to automate the unit-testing of the PowerShell scripts themselves. Michael Sorens introduces you to Pester, the leading test framework for PowerShell, and shows how it can make it easier to produce reliable scripts… Read more
10 September 2014
10 September 2014

Azure Diagnostics for Virtual Machines

Hosting a scalable application in Azure seems ideal, but what happens when things go wrong? Azure Cloud Services provide extensive disgnostics, and this feature has now been extended to Azure web sites and Azure Virtual Machines. You need to set up diagnostics on the VM, but once this is done, all your logs, traces and performance counters can be collected from many VMs in one place for easy management.… Read more
12 August 2014
12 August 2014

Quickly Investigating What’s in the Tables of SQL Server Databases

From SQL Server Management Studio it is difficult to look through the first few rows of a whole lot of tables in a database. This is odd, since it is a great way to get quickly familiar with a database. Phil was persuaded to tidy up a SQL routine he uses to investigate databases quickly in a browser. He explains how to use it, how it works, and how to use it from PowerShell.… Read more