Powershell Community Extensions and Carbon

What makes Powershell so useful is not only the excellent built-in capabilities, but the various extension modules developed for it by third parties. Last time I talked about some Google Apps extensions, which I am currently testing and look very promising. Today I am going to take a quick look at Powershell Community Extensions and Carbon.
Powershell Community Extensions, according to the ScriptingGuy blog, fills in some gaps in the general purpose cmdlets in Powershell, because Powershell is a relatively new scripting environment. To wit: 
“PowerShell Community Extensions is a PowerShell module that provides a number of widely useful cmdlets.  PSCX is not affiliated with Microsoft or the Windows PowerShell team at Microsoft.  We are a few (at the moment) passionate PowerShell users who wanted more cmdlets than Microsoft was able to deliver in v1 and v2.  So we have taken it upon ourselves to create some of those cmdlets and make them available to the community.”

 There are quite a number of cmdlets added by the current release of PSCX (v3.2) which encompass quite a number of useful functions. Some of the ones that I found interesting include 7-zip archive management, file junction management, email send, terminal services sessions management and VHD mounting.

Here is the description of Carbon from their website:

Carbon is a DevOps PowerShell module for automating the configuration of Windows 2008, Windows 2008 R2, 7, 2012, and 2012 R2 computers. Carbon can configure and manage:

  • Local users and groups
  • IIS websites, virtual directories, and applications
  • Certificates
  • .NET connection strings and app settings
  • Junctions
  • File system permissions
  • Hosts file
  • INI files
  • Performance counters
  • Services
  • Shares
  • Windows features/components

And much more!

 Again you will notice junctions are featured – and that one of my current scripting project uses junctions. I got to hear about these two projects because of the junction extensions. It will be interesting to see how useful these extensions are as I develop and test my script.