PowerGUI is a graphical user interface and script editor for PowerShell. So, PowerGUI is actually two products:
- PowerGUI, a graphical user interface for executing predefined PowerShell scripts. You can define scripts yourself, or download “PowerPacks” for different technologies like Windows, Exchange, etc.
- The PowerShell Script Editor, an editor for creating and debugging scripts, providing Intellisense and a variable watch pane.
By now there is no PowerPack for SharePoint, so if you want to use PowerGUI you will need to create the scripts yourself (and maybe post them as a PowerPack!). The PowerGUI Script Editor on the other hand works great with SharePoint, and if you are willing to pay $199 you can get the Pro version, featuring version control integration and more. I have not tried the Pro version, so I don’t know how well it works.
But as the title indicates the focus of this posting will be on the newly released PowerGUI Visual Studio Extension. PowerGUI Visual Studio Extension is an integration of the PowerGUI Script Editor into Visual Studio. In my opinion this is a very good idea because it brings PowerShell development into a familiar environment, as we can now maintain the scripts in Visual Studio projects. Additionally we get version control integration “for free.”
As a “SharePoint developer-configurator-deployer“, I have been doing some testing to see if it can be used for working with scripts related to SharePoint. The conclusion is that it’s unfortunately not a good idea…yet! The biggest disadvantage is that is doesn’t support debugging…yet! And secondly it doesn’t support the SharePoint PowerShell snap-in…yet! Debugging is planned, so we just have to be patient. The question is whether is will support the SharePoint snap-in in the future. This may not seem like a big deal, but remember, Visual Studio (even version 2010) is 32-bit, while SharePoint is 64-bit. Adam Driscoll, the creator, indicates that he may be able to work around this. Let’s hope for a couple of rainy days in his neighborhood , so he can stay inside and look into it soon. In the meantime we’ll have to stick with the PowerGUI Script Editor.