Put Powershell and QAD cmdlets together to become a lazier (yet smarter) System Admin

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One of the exciting features of Windows Server 2008 is Powershell (command-line interactive shell and scripting language). Powershell allows Admins to achieve control over their Active Directory/Servers environment and accomplishes the remote management tasks which used to be done with VB, WMI and ADSI scripts. Where WMI and ADSI calls are still part of Powershell cmdlets pronounced command-lets (commands that trigger the call in the interactive PS shell), the number of lines and the need to know the ‘scripting’ has substanially been lowered.

Powershell v1.0 can be installed as a feature in Windows Server 2008 or can be individually installed on Windows XP SP2 or Windows Server 2003 SP1 from here as RTW. This provides 130 cmdlets that enable easier system administration and accelerated automation. On top of that Quest Software has released ActiveRoles Management Shell for Active Directory (for free) that provides another set QAD (Quest Active Directory) cmdlets that extend the AD specifics management tasks. You can get the Quest Management Shell and subsequent cmdlets from here (http://www.quest.com/powershell/activeroles-server.aspx)

While Quest cmdlets run in their own shell, the quest snap-in can also be registered in the Powershell by running the following command, after installing Quest Management Shell.

Add-PSSnapin Quest.ActiveRoles.ADManagement

You may run Get-PSsnapin to validate

Alternatively you can work directly within the Quest Management Shell where you will have all the native PS cmdlets available to you. To find out all the QAD related cmdlets, run get-commad *-qad*.

And lastly give one of the QAD cmdlets a test drive, for instance to create a new user in AD and to find out how the New-QADuser can be used, run the Get-Command New-QADuser -detail to learn the full syntax and available options.

Here are a couple of great resources to hit the ground running with Powershell and Quest Management Shell (a.k.a QAD Cmdlets).

PowershellPro Tutorials
PowerGUI and QAD Wiki
PowerGUI Forums
Windows Powershell Forums