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Microsoft Script Explorer Beta for PowerShell Released

Microsoft on Monday released a new beta-test search tool for PowerShell users that's designed to help them find code across local and online repositories.

The "prerelease" or test version of Microsoft Script Explorer for Windows PowerShell can be downloaded here for x86 and x64 systems. Script Explorer finds PowerShell Scripts and snippets, as well as modules and help resources. Users can specify searching across local or network repositories. It also searches across PoshCode repositories, the TechNet Script Center Repository and Bing.

Microsoft took a semantic Web approach when it designed Script Explorer, according to Jason Hogg, a principal architect at Microsoft. For instance the tool will track down actual code rather than just finding the words "PowerShell script" when it searches, he explained in a blog post.

Over time, Scripts have gotten lodged in a number of repositories, so Microsoft set out to build a tool that can find them, as well as provide access to scripts housed within an organization. Script Explorer will show code organized by categories. Users can download and store the scripts after locating them, Hogg explained. A screenshot example of a Script Explorer search can be seen at this Microsoft blog post, where the source name is displayed alongside the search results.

Script Explorer works with the Windows 8 consumer preview beta, as well as Windows 7 Service Pack 1 and Vista SP2. It also runs on the Windows Server 8 beta, plus Windows Server 2008 R2 SP1 and Windows Server 2008 SP2.

Script Explorer also requires the installation of Windows PowerShell 2.0 or PowerShell 3.0. It runs as an add-on the Windows PowerShell integrated scripting environment (ISE) on the client computer.

The software is currently at the beta stage, so Microsoft is looking for testing feedback. A forum page for Script Explorer is already open. More resources can be found in this blog, and Microsoft recently launched a Webcast series on PowerShell tips for network administrators.

About the Author

Kurt Mackie is senior news producer for the 1105 Enterprise Computing Group.

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