PowerShell tools or why Steroids not only for BodyBuilders!

Once you will fall in love with PowerShell, for me it mean you will really start writing scripts on daily basis, you will quickly understand that just PowerShell ISE or a NotePad  does not make you happy with this.

As I have started working with PowerShell a long time ago, I have quickly moved from the simple ISE to PowerGUI Script Editor.

At that time it was like a locomotive of the PowerShell, delivering not only a super user friendly interface, but also lot of tools, shortcuts,  and modules!

I was really enjoying this tool for about 4-5 years, but nothing good last forever.. 🙁 It was bought by Dell and abandoned. So no more updates arrived, while some issues does.

First issue that come specifically to me – was .NET compatibility. It was possible to deal with that with some config changes, so it was ok.

While later, I have got some problems with Azure PowerShell. I think the major one was that some cmdlets, like for Azure storage, where just hanging. And from the other side, PG had lack of dynamic module loading feature. This was forcing to load all modules at start  to memory, or taking care in process…

At some point – I have started looking on something else…

What the alternatives are…?

If you are an individual and especially you are from eastern Europe – you will try to find something free!!!free


So the first thing I have looked, was the ISE from the PowerShell 5.0. My hope was that Microsoft has upgraded it from the 3.0, but they didn’t! 🙁

PowerShell Plus

Than I have found PowerShell Plus from Idera is now free. WOW It was looking good!

Initially – my first though was – WOW! I have found it.

It has had almost all features I was looking for, like:

  • Auto Formatting
  • Variable Explorer
  • Double-click was selecting variable with “$”
  • Version Control integration (I gave up configuring this….)
  • Shortcuts for different actions.

Unfortunatly after using it for a few days –  I have realised the I’m going to delete it. The main reasons for that were the following:

  1. Console bug, that was “eating” the half of the last line. So you can’t really see where the cursor is, or what is really written there.
  2. Cross Script Debugging, that you can’t really turn off! It is really annoying when you got a new tab opened once you are trying to execute selection and it has failed. The new tab will partially (only selected part) contain your script.
  3. Modules Analysing ?! I’m not sure what it was doing with them, but it was killing my I7 CPU every 30-45 mins after start.
I was hoping that may be a new version will come soon, but looking on the release date and what is the date today… I have gone to “Programs and features”…..

ISESteroids – PowerTheShell

While I was working with the magical DSC and looking into the modules in the PowerShell Gallery, I have found a funny one called “Steroids”.

Hm, lets check what’s that. I have realised that it is addon for the ISE and as I have already removed PowerShell Plus – I have decided to see what’s inside!

Once you have WMF 5.0 – to get this, as any other module, you just need to run “Install-Module ISESteroids”. !!!Not only, but in ADMINISTRATOR context! “Run as administrator”

Once some magic has happened and you magic book (module) has been downloaded, you need to try it. Running “Start-Steroids” and… wow wow wow! Everything has changed!





There are lot of resources that will describe all the benefits of this ad-don, but what you will find straight away is:

  • Versioning. Simple enough – but perfectly does the job for 90% of people. More details here.
  • Code formatting. Now not only will be able to read your code). Take a look here for more details.
  • Script Analyzer. This will help you to make it more efficient and look more professional.

I would really suggest to take a look on this if you are looking for something simple, light, but effective.

Powershell PoshTools for the Visual Studio.

If you have an MSDN subscription or your company does – then Visual Studio might be your choice.

Visual Studio is a great tool for development. You will get the integration with the Source Control (Git or TFS), but without awesome PoshTools it is useless for people who need to right scripts.

After spending some time or talking to you colleagues developers (second approach is better, especially with the pint of beer 😉 ) you will organize you scripts in Projects and Solutions. Versioning will transform to proper Source Control with several branches and lots of other improvements will happen.

To have all this fun – just select  PowerShell Tools during VSO installation


or download the extension from the Gallery

Once done – just add your new windows


And enjoy your new type of projects and files:

vso_3 vso_4