Microsoft released PowerShell Script Browser and Script Analyzer, two free tools that integrate into Windows PowerShell ISE. Script Browser allows you to search in nearly 10,000 scripts, and Script Analyzer checks whether your script complies with best-practice rules.

Michael Pietroforte

Michael Pietroforte is the founder and editor in chief of 4sysops. He has more than 35 years of experience in IT management and system administration.

Script Browser and Script Analyzer

Script Browser and Script Analyzer

I know, scripting is fun, but why reinvent the wheel and waste the money of your company when someone already wrote the script you need to automate a task? Your PowerShell skills still come into play because you can adapt the script to your environment. Even though Script Browser integrates into PowerShell ISE, you can also use the tool to search for scripts in other languages such as VBScript, SQL, JavaScript, or VB.Net. All in all, I counted 14 different scripting languages.

Installing Script Browser ^

Script Browser and Script Analyzer come as one setup file, which you can download here. After you install the program, you can start it by typing “Script Browser…” until you see “Script Browser for Windows PowerShell ISE.”

Start Script Browser

Start Script Browser

If Windows PowerShell ISE is configured with the default settings, you will receive the following error message:

File C:\Users\test\Documents\WindowsPowerShell\Microsoft.PowerShellISE_profile.ps1 cannot be loaded because running scripts is disabled onthis system. For more information, see about_Execution_Policies at http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkID=135170.
At line:0 char:0

You have to set the script execution policy to “unrestricted” before PowerShell ISE can launch Script Browser. For this, you have to launch PowerShell ISE as an administrator and then run this command:

Note that if you already configured the execution policy for the Windows PowerShell CLI, you have to do that again for PowerShell ISE because its policy configuration is independent from the CLI.

If you now launch Script Browser for Windows PowerShell ISE, you should see Script Browser and Script Analyzer in the right sidebar.

Using Script Browser ^

Script Browser is easy to use, but some functions might not work as you expect. You can run a full text search in the TechNet script database. Script Browser will search in the script code and in the description. If you get too many hits, you can set the search term in quotes to search for the exact phrase. Note that if you select the Favorites tab or the Download tab, Script Browser will only search in the scripts you already downloaded.

Search in Script Browser

Search in Script Browser

The Script Browser filter allows you to limit your search to specific scripting languages or contributors (community, Microsoft, Exchange team), and you can choose among a variety of categories such as Active Directory, Exchange, and Group Policy. Search results can be sorted according to relevance, popularity, release date, downloads, ratings, title, and author.

Script Browser filter

Script Browser filter

Double-clicking the title of a script will display more details. You can display a script preview and a description. The Downloads tab allows you to download all files of the script or only particular files. Some of the scripts come with quite a few different files, such as executable binaries, images, and documentation.

 View files contained in a downloadFiles contained in a download

Open script in Script Browser

Once the script is downloaded, you can open its folder in Windows Explorer by clicking Open Folder. Alternatively, you can access all files from PowerShell ISE by clicking the arrow to the left of the script name. From there, you can directly start a script by clicking the prompt symbol to the right of the script name. Double-clicking the script name will load the script into a PowerShell ISE tab.

Start script in Script Browser

Start script in Script Browser

If you like a script, you might want to add it to your Favorites tab. To do so, right-click the script in the list view (not in the detail view).

Using Script Analyzer ^

Script Analyzer allows you to verify if your scripts follow best-practice rules. The tool can help you improve the readability and quality of your scripts.

PowerShell Script Analyzer

PowerShell Script Analyzer

All you have to do is load the script in a PowerShell ISE tab, and then click Scan in the Script Analyzer tab in the right sidebar. Script Analyzer will then display a list of problems. Double-clicking a problem enables you to jump directly to the corresponding line. Hovering the mouse pointer over the problem gives you a detailed description.

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5 Comments
  1. Scott Ge 6 years ago

    Thank you for sharing the tools!

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  2. Javier Lleo 6 years ago

    From Spain, I send you a great thanks, really helpfuly. I was doing something like this in the manual way. I was creating folders with all the scripts and this kind of old way thinks. With this tool I will get all the scripts inside powershell, great!!!. Many thanks for post it.

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  3. Michael Pietroforte 6 years ago

    Scott, you are welcome and greetings to Spain 🙂

    1+

  4. Wally Crooze 2 years ago

    Michael, your download link appears to be dead.

    1+

    • Author
      Michael Pietroforte 2 years ago

      Thanks for the tip. I updated the links. Note that I wrote the article in 2014 and that many things here don't apply to the new releases.

      1+

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