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PowerShell (including Windows PowerShell and PowerShell Core) is a task automation and configuration management framework from Microsoft, consisting of a command-line shell and associated scripting language built on the .NET Framework and .NET Core. Initially a Windows component only, PowerShell was made open-source and cross-platform on 18 August 2016.
In PowerShell, administrative tasks are generally performed by cmdlets (pronounced command-lets), which are specialized .NET classes implementing a particular operation. Sets of cmdlets may be combined into scripts, executables (which are standalone applications), or by instantiating regular .NET classes (or WMI/COM Objects). These work by accessing data in different data stores, like the file system or registry, which are made available to the PowerShell runtime via PowerShell providers.
Every released version of Microsoft DOS and Microsoft Windows for personal computers has included a command-line interface tool (shell). These are COMMAND.COM (in installations relying on MS-DOS, including Windows 9x) and cmd.exe (in the Windows NT family of operating systems). The shell is a command line interpreter that supports a few basic commands.
PowerShell’s developers based the core grammar of the tool on that of POSIX 1003.2.Windows PowerShell can execute four kinds of named commands:
- cmdlets (.NET Framework programs designed to interact with PowerShell)
- PowerShell scripts (files suffixed by .ps1)
- PowerShell functions
- standalone executable programs
Desired State Configuration
DSC allows for declaratively specifying how a software environment should be configured.
Upon running a configuration, DSC will ensure that the system gets the state described in the configuration. DSC configurations are idempotent. The Local Configuration Manager (LCM) periodically polls the system using the control flow described by resources (imperative pieces of DSC) to make sure that the state of a configuration is maintained.
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