What is PowerShell made from?

This topic contains 3 replies, has 4 voices, and was last updated by Profile photo of Steve Ayers Steve Ayers 1 year ago.

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  • #31171
    Profile photo of Steven Ayers
    Steven Ayers

    I decided to begin learning C# – I'm not a developer by trade, but I enjoy "coding" in PowerShell and making apps with it (I can imagine how hilarious our software development department would find that statement) so I wanted to explore programming and in turn, making powershell. I have made PowerShell modules with PowerShell, and I want to try making some Powershell Modules in C#.

    I wanted to have a nosey around the PowerShell folder, and see how Jeffrey Snover and the team have done it, but obviously everything is compiled. So, I wanted to know if the PowerShell source code is available anyway?

    I had another question.

    I have made GUI's in PowerShell, one of my packages is about 5,000 lines... which in PowerShell is a lot in my opinion! Tab controls, Progress bars etc, however, it's hard to develop it into much more, as Powershell is a single thread process. A Powershell studio trial helped me get a few of the basics in place, but I wanted to find out if there's a way I could incorporate a C# front end, so I could have an interactive application while processes run, while still using my PowerShell code?

    I can imagine that if I was to try rewriting all the functional code in the background in C#, it wouldn't be done until 2020!

    Really long post, and waffled a bit, but I'd love to see people's thoughts and knowledge on this 🙂

  • #31173
    Profile photo of Dave Wyatt
    Dave Wyatt

    PowerShell itself is not open-source, but you can easily decompile .NET DLLs into fairly readable C# code using ILSpy, dotPeek, or Reflector. (The first two are free.)

    There's also an SDK for PowerShell with some sample cmdlets and such. I don't think it's been updated in quite a while, but compiled cmdlets haven't changed all that much anyway. A lot of it will look very familiar if you've been writing Advanced Functions in PowerShell. (Same Parameter attributes on class properties, something very similar to CmdletBinding(), etc.)

  • #31178
    Profile photo of Don Jones
    Don Jones

    I'd say if your goal is to build a robust GUI, then C# is a better approach than PowerShell. You can still use PowerShell code from within C# – PowerShell is just a class that you instantiate and ask to run commands. That's exactly how the Exchange Management Console is built, and how the Active Directory Administration Center is written.

  • #31192
    Profile photo of Steve Ayers
    Steve Ayers

    Thanks for that Dave, I'll check it out.

    Don, do you know if you can use Powershell, like for like in C#? I use variables for storing all kinds of stuff in PowerShell, including scriptblocks. Am I right in thinking I'm going to have to follow C# syntax? In which case I think I'll need more practise first, but thanks for letting me know.

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