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  1. #1
    Star Lounger
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    Question The Usefulness of PowerShell to Help/Service Desk people

    I'm part of a small team that acts as a Help/Service Desk supporting 500+ PCs and laptops, smart phones, scanning wands, printers, scanners, and an assortment of applications. The other half of our office consists of the Network Engineers - take care of the servers, SAN's, routers, etc. The lines are a little blurred between us, but they ARE there.

    My question is: Can Help/Service Desk people effectively use PowerShell to support the Users? Or is PowerShell more a System/Network Administrator tool?

    What are other medium-sized companies doing?
    Mike W.
    Location: A Great Plains State

  2. #2
    Super Moderator BATcher's Avatar
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    Us olde blokes still use BATch files, but if I was 40 years younger I'd be looking seriously at PowerShell.
    BATcher

    Time prevents everything happening all at once...

  3. #3
    Star Lounger
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    Most of us are VBS guys, and we're geared toward it for app deployment, etc. But with PowerShell becoming so prevalent, I gotta ask if it's (past) time that those of us on the lower end learn it, too, in order to prepare (if for no other reason) for better ways of supporting end-users in the future.
    Mike W.
    Location: A Great Plains State

  4. #4
    Super Moderator BATcher's Avatar
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    I'd say go for it! PowerShell is better than WMI, and quite probably VBS (something I have managed to avoid!)...
    BATcher

    Time prevents everything happening all at once...

  5. #5
    Super Moderator RetiredGeek's Avatar
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    Mike,

    I've been slowly learning PowerShell and think it is the wave of the future. It is natively designed to handle objects and just about everything today is object oriented. Through a little reading, a lot of googling, and looking at others code I've managed to put together a PS program that reports a lot of information about a machine. Yes, I know that there are many utilities out there that do that and more than mine does but mine doesn't need to be installed and I can change it to my hearts desire and easily pipe the results to a text file, etc.

    It is slow going, I don't learn as fast as I used to, but I'm getting there.
    May the Forces of good computing be with you!

    RG

    PowerShell & VBA Rule!

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  6. #6
    5 Star Lounger
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    Some of the people I work with have done wonderful things with PowerShell, automating all kinds of things mostly related to building and configuring virtual machines. It is definitely worth learning for automating all kinds of Windows tasks, even remote ones.

  7. #7
    5 Star Lounger
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    The only problem with PowerShell is when you have a mixed environment of Win7/Server 2008R2 and WinXP/Server 2003. Which is what my environment is. So I use VBScripts a lot. I haven't had time to learn PowerShell but its on my to do list. IMHO, if you have help desk personnel savvy enough to use PowerShell, they are ready to be promoted to PC support or higher. That, or they won't be with your company for very long. More important, a lot of what you would use PowerShell to administer requires elevated rights, which most help desk staff will not have. However, I should think you have at least admin rights on the local PCs, so you probably could do a lot with PowerShell if that's the case.

    Hey BATcher, WMI isn't a scripting language. Its Windows Management Instrumentation. Its what we hook into with VBScripts and PowerShell to make the really cool stuff happen. When you see the term WMI scripting, its really just referring to the code snippets that access WMI functions in VBScripts.
    Chuck

  8. #8
    Star Lounger
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    Thanks, everyone. Better just count on PowerShell 'creeping' into the HelpDesk/Service Desk environment and learn it. I'm guessing it will become useful in the (very) near future to do what is currently done via batch files and VBScript.
    Mike W.
    Location: A Great Plains State

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