PackT is an interesting place. It is not quite self-publishing and i am not sure how the publishing model works, but you can find a lot of work that is very specific – maybe too specific to a general publisher, but still very valuable. I recently got an opportunity to review PowerShell 3.0 Advanced Administration Handbook which is available on Packt.
Yup, another Powershell book and it does have the ‘required’ introduction to Powershell. It is not introductory in that you should not plan to learn Powershell from this book and the basics coverage is pretty light – but you get some details you might need later and i did pick up a few things i didn’t quite have under control.
The main part of the book involves chapters dealing with typical administrative tasks. I do a lot with Active Directory – and i learned nothing from this book on that. But other chapters where i don’t have extensive knowledge introduced me to how powershell can be used in those areas – and encouraged me to try it out. Areas covered include
There was one slightly odd chapter about snapins – which are language extensions that can be commercial or self-written. They involve using the C# compiler to create the library dlls and have pretty much been superceded by modules in PowerShell 2 and beyond. It was sort of like “i wrote this, haven’t published it, so here it comes”. That aside, the Quest (now Dell) Active Directory commandlets are provided as a snapin, and the chapter on snapins taught me more about them. And i use the Quest product frequently.
The next chapter in the book was a nice coverage of modules.
So the book is not a tutorial about Powershell, and not an exhaustive deep drive into any one area. It does give you a friendly more-than-overview of lots of administration areas with code that you can both use immediately and understand the value of. Certainly worth the price of admission if you want to break free of the administrator GUI – and Microsoft is clearly telling you to do so. This book will help you do that.