How to: have nicer Active Directory management from PowerShell – without upgrading AD
One of the first books I read on PowerShell had a comment about using AD from the PowerShell V1 which amounted to “It’s too hard, don’t bother use VB Script instead”. I’d taken against the book in question (no names no pack drill) – in fact it reminded me of something Dorothy Parker is supposed to have said* "This is not a book to be cast aside lightly, it should be hurled with great force." When I was asked to contribute to the Windows Scripting Bible (out of stock at Amazon at the time of writing!) someone had put a chapter on AD into the outline, so I had to write one. This gives me enough expertise to say it can be done, and having written scripts in VBScript to work with AD it is easier in PowerShell, but it is ugly and not done in true PowerShell style.
All that changed when we took the covers off the Beta of Windows Server 2008 R2 , it has PowerShell V2 with Cmdlets for Active directory. A quick scratch of the surface revealed these work with a new Web Service which is (you guessed it) on in R2. This quickly led to questions about whether it would be back-ported... and I had to answer “I know customers are asking for it, but I don’t know if it will happen”. There is a post on the AD Powershell blog announcing the beta of a version for Windows Server 2003 and 2008 version for Windows Server 2003 and 2008.
(Quick tip of the hat to Jonanthan who tweeted this)
* If in doubt about attributing quotes which don’t sound like Shakespeare or the bible, Churchill, Mark Twain or Dorothy Parker are always good bets.