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Windows 7 Management Tools: An Overview

Windows 7 has many good features, but for some reason its management tools haven’t gotten the attention they deserve. That’s a shame, because Windows 7 offers a superior collection of built-in administration tools.

Many of Windows 7’s new management tools are bundled together in the Windows Management Framework. The Framework is made up of three components: Windows Remote Management 2.0 (WinRM); Windows PowerShell 2.0; and Background Intelligent Transfer Service 4.0 (BITS).

WinRM is Microsoft’s implementation of WS-Management Protocol, based on Simple Object Access Protocol (SOAP). Essentially, WinRM enables you to run PowerShell shells, scripts, and commands on remote Windows 7 PCs.

PowerShell, the Windows equivalent to the Unix/Linux shell, has always been handy for administrators who like using scripts for fine-tuned control of their client systems. The new version of PowerShell includes several features which expands on this functionality.

For my money, there are three important changes. PowerShell 2.0 now lets you run commands on one or more remote computers from a single PC. Another real win is the PowerShell Integrated Scripting Environment (ISE), a graphical development and debugging environment for PowerShell scripts. Last, but not least, PowerShell now has several new debugging features, making it much easier to develop scripts.

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