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PowerShell definition

PowerShell is an object-based automation engine and command-line shell for the Microsoft Windows operating system. It was introduced in 2006 and has replaced the Windows Command Prompt as the default command shell for File Explorer in later Windows versions.

See also: object-oriented programming, subtyping, ActiveX

PowerShell features

PowerShell functions are organized into modules, which you can load and unload as needed.

The core feature of PowerShell is its command-line interface (CLI), which allows you directly interact with the Windows operating system and software through text commands. For programmers, PowerShell offers an object-oriented (i.e. it treats data as objects with properties and methods) scripting language built on the .NET Framework.

Finally, one of PowerShell's most useful features is its pipeline, which lets you script out complex command sequences by using outputs of one command as inputs for another.

Powershell use cases

  • Performing server configuration and other system administration tasks.
  • Automating repetitive tasks through custom scripts.
  • Managing the Active Directory (including user accounts, group policies, and security settings).
  • Managing large-scale software deployments.
  • Monitoring system health and performance.
  • Auditing, detecting security breaches, and managing security policies.