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Script Explorer for Windows PowerShell

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Microsoft has released a beta of a new tool called Script Explorer for Windows PowerShell. This tool is essentially a specialized search engine for PowerShell scripts. By default it allows administrators to browse and search for scripts in TechNet Script Center and PoshCode.

PoshCode is a community run PowerShell Code Repository designed to server the same role as Perl’s CPAN or the Python Package Index. Scripts on PoshCode are offered under the Creative Commons “No Rights Reserved” license unless otherwise specified. According to their terms of use:

Don't get us wrong: we love open source, and we aren't opposed to reciprocal open source licenses, but we strongly believe they are the wrong model for a script community. Here we must not only reuse, but more importantly, we must be able to remix, and so we require the use of licenses which are easy to remix and re-use. We strongly encourage you to use the public domain dedication for your scripts, but we request that if you choose to provide license terms, you choose a non-reciprocal open source license.

Script Explorer does not allow you to directly run the scripts that you find. Instead you are expected to either copy it to the clipboard or save it to your own repository. In addition to a local directory, the tool lets you use network file shares as repositories. These network shares must be indexed for the search functionality to work.

Since Microsoft is offering third-party scripts, Jonathan Nobel of the TechNet UK IT Professional Community Council warns,

Please, please, please always be careful about running any code that you find online, even through Script Explorer. Make sure that you understand what impact it's going to have on your environment before you run it. If you can't be quite sure, try dropping a few -whatif and -confirm parameters on any cmdlet that looks like it might alter/create/delete anything and if possible, run it on a test system before it goes anywhere near anything that's in production.

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