What is Azure PowerShell
Updated on 30th Sep, 22 12 Views

PowerShell is a framework, or interface, developed by the Azure team that allows users to automate and control Windows Azure services. It is a command line utility that uses scripts or cmdlets to do operations like creating and managing storage accounts or Virtual Machines.

This tutorial walks you through the basics of Azure PowerShell.

Table of contents:

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Overview

Microsoft launched the Azure PowerShell Az module (previously AzureRM) for interacting with Azure in December 2018. It is compatible with PowerShell 5.1 on Windows and PowerShell 6. x and higher on all platforms, and it is also available in Azure Cloud Shell.

Azure PowerShell is a Windows PowerShell extension. It gives Windows PowerShell users access to Azure’s extensive features. Azure PowerShell programmers utilize predefined scripts known as cmdlets from the command line to conduct complex operations such as deploying virtual machines (VMs) or developing cloud services.

APS can also be used programmatically to automate processes. While some users claim that the terminal is “unfinished” and that assistance is inadequate, proponents argue that the ease of use facilitates traditionally time-consuming operations.

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Operating systems supporting Azure PowerShell

  • Azure PowerShell is compatible with all OS systems.
  • It is supported by Windows starting with version 7.
  • In operating systems that lack PowerShell, such as Linux and Mac OS, we must install PowerShell Core, a cross-platform edition of PowerShell.

Why use PowerShell?

  • It is a programming language as well as a command-line shell.
  • It can communicate with a variety of technologies.
  • Windows PowerShell provides complete access to all.NET framework types.
  • PowerShell is object-oriented.
  • Many of the graphical user interfaces (GUIs) built by Microsoft for its many products serve as front-end interfaces to PowerShell.
  • It’s safer than using VBScript or other scripting languages.
  • It enables more effective execution of repeated operations by combining several instructions and building scripts. If a system administrator wishes to create hundreds of active directory users, he can do so with just a few PowerShell cmdlets in a script.
  • Many complex and time-consuming configurations and operations can be completed in a split second using simple PowerShell cmdlets.

Advantages of PowerShell

The few advantages of a PowerShell are as follows:

  • Easy to implement and learn.
  • An object-based scripting language.
  • It offers more functionality than VBScript or cmd.exe.
  • PowerShell supports an automation platform, which is another important factor.
  • You can also run .NET code in PowerShell.
  • In PowerShell, you don’t have to specify the “type” of a variable.
  • It’s also interactive. This allows programmers to try their hands at the console first before working with more complex scripts.
  • PowerShell scripts have the concepts of background jobs.
  • Provides reusability features. Scripts created to perform specific tasks can be saved for later use. It can also be merged with other scripts to perform various tasks. So you can repeat the task to execute the task. It saves administrators time and money when configuring machines.

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How does Azure PowerShell work?

Working of Azure PowerShell

The SDK is immediately installed as part of the Azure PowerShell module when you install it – one of the many wonderful aspects of dealing with modules in PowerShell.

Every connection to Azure passes through a single administration interface known as the Azure Resource Manager. This interface authenticates and approves whatever action you wish to take. To connect to Azure Resource Manager and perform activities, Azure PowerShell as well as the Azure Command Line Interface employs a Software Development Kit or SDK.

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Getting started with Azure PowerShell

Let’s look at how you can install Azure PowerShell, access it, and utilize it to monitor your Azure resources.

Installing Azure PowerShell

Installing Azure PowerShell only requires two steps:

  1. Open Windows PowerShell by Right-clicking the Start menu.
  2. Launch the Install-Module cmdlet from the command line. Use Az for the Name parameter and finish with a Force switch.

Install-Module -Name Az -Force

How to access Azure PowerShell

Once installation is complete, you will have three options for connecting with PowerShell:

  • Locally: Use the Connect-AzAccount cmdlet to connect to your Azure account. Sign in to your Azure account once you see the Microsoft Azure pop-up. You have successfully logged into Azure.
  • CloudShell: Navigate to shell.azure.com. Log in to your Azure account when the Microsoft Azure pop-up appears. If this is your first time signing in, it will state there is no storage mounted, thus you will need to build for storage. There are two environments to choose from: PowerShell and Bash. Make sure PowerShell is being used.
  • Azure Portal: Navigate to the Microsoft Azure portal. A command-prompt icon can be found in the menu in the upper right-hand corner (see image below). It will launch a shell at the bottom of the screen. Once again, you have the option of using PowerShell or Bash. This window can be resized as well.

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Azure CLI vs PowerShell

Azure PowerShell and Azure CLI are both command-line tools for creating and managing Azure resources. Both of them are compatible with a variety of platforms, including Windows, Linux, and macOS.

Azure PowerShellAzure CLI
A PowerShell module or group of PowerShell cmdlets that may be used on several platforms such as Windows, Linux, and macOS.    A command-line interface and collection of commands that may be used on many systems such as Windows, Linux, and macOS.
Azure PowerShell requires PowerShell or Windows PowerShell to function.You can use Azure CLI in bash, PowerShell, and cmd, etc.
Not supportedThis supports the Cmd shell environment.
Not supportedIt supports the Bash Shell environment.
You can create an Azure Function using Azure PowerShell.NA
You can sign in using the Connect-AzAccount cmdlet.To sign in or connect, you must use the az login cmdlet.
You can use the Acquire-AzVM cmdlet to get a list of Virtual Machines.To obtain a list of Virtual Machines, use the az vm list cmdlet.
In the same way, you may use Azure PowerShell’s Seek-Help cmdlet to get assistance.For the same thing in this case, you must use the az -help cmdlet.

Conclusion

PowerShell is a Microsoft task automation and configuration management framework that includes a command-line shell and a scripting language built on the.NET framework. It is highly powerful than other forms of shells. It is ideally simply a Windows component and is open source. During the project planning phase, custom software development businesses should examine project needs, as well as the pros and drawbacks of PowerShell scripts.

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