Quick Learn – Get Some Help for Later Reading

I’m just starting to get my hands wet with Microsoft Lync. As I often do, I use the Windows PowerShell cmdlets to help learn more about a product; I did this same thing with Hyper-V. The unfortunate thing about the GUI (think, an MMC snap-in for instance), is that the menu options don’t always tell you exactly what that option is going to do, or its exact purpose. While the GUI can be unclear, PowerShell tells you exactly what a cmdlet does. With that knowledge, I’ve often been able to relate a cmdlet, and it’s purpose, to its respective menu option in the GUI.

I wanted to read though the Lync cmdlet’s help files, but only the cmdlet name and its synopsis. Here’s the command I ran to extract this information for later reading.

PS C:> Get-Command -Module Lync | Get-Help | Select-Object Name,Synopsis | Export-Csv -Path C:\LyncCmdlets.csv -NoTypeInfomation

The command above works this way: it returns all the cmdlets included in the Lync Module and sends (pipes) those to the Get-Help cmdlet. The Get-Help cmdlet pipes it’s results to Select-Object which filters the returned properties to just the Name and Synopsis from each cmdlets’ help file. At the end, those filtered results are sent to Export-Csv which creates a file I can read at my leisure.

Although there’s over 500 cmdlets, its safe to say that many of the nouns (the part after the dash (-)) will be the same across some of the cmdlets. That means that many of the Get-* cmdlets will have a partnering Set-* cmdlet. Get reads information and Set changes it. These nouns may also have a matching New-*, Remove-*, and possibly even a Test-* cmdlet. Now off to do some reading…

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