Microsoft TechNet Gallery: TechNet's New IT Pro Scripting Center (Plus A Little More)

The Microsoft TechNet Gallery is a big improvement over previous incarnations of a scripting center on the TechNet site.

With the increasing importance of PowerShell to Windows management and automation, an easy to use and dynamic place to get scripts from is very important. Most IT pros have no interest in re-inventing the wheel; if they can use a script that someone else  has already written to get a task done, they’re all for it. Additionally, there was a need to provide other resources such as management packs, utilities, and extensions.

The Microsoft TechNet Gallery site is laid out very cleanly. Most prominent on the page is the search field; we’ve all been conditioned to search first and dig by category later, and Microsoft clearly gets this. Default search results are by popularity, also a wise choice. There’s a menu on the left that you can dig two layers deep into to display scripts that match the category you’ve chosen. And importantly, there’s an upload button where you can contribute your own favorite script. As far as I can tell, there’s no vetting of uploaded scripts, so there’s no promise it’ll work as you intend (or indeed at all). What’s the cmdlet for caveat emptor?

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But I have a few suggestions for improvement. First off, it’s impossible to tell that there’s anything besides scripts in this gallery; in fact there are 28 hits for “management pack” and 200 for “extension” (though all aren’t strictly extensions).

Second, it would be helpful if what’s available is mentioned in high-level description of what the site is for. Oh wait…there isn’t any high-level description of the site’s purpose.

Third, It’s mildly annoying to my inner wordsmith that this site is called the Gallery; as far as I can tell (I haven’t gone through all the 6000+ entries), there are no graphics…just scripts, management packs, extensions, and who knows what else. And if it’s a gallery, a gallery of what? To jump on the Metro theme, how about “Resource Hub”? Kind of vague, I know.

But if you’re using PowerShell – and if you aren’t, you will be – this is a location to bookmark. Check it out at http://gallery.technet.microsoft.com.

Follow Sean on Twitter at @shorinsean.

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