WMF 5.0 September Preview: Windows PowerShell Transcription (Start-Transcript) for the ISE!

I was reading through the readme file that came with the Windows Management Framework 5.0 September Preview. My favorite addition in this preview full of significant updates was a very basic change. Windows PowerShell transcription has been improved to apply to all hosting applications (such as PowerShell ISE) rather than just the console host (PowerShell.exe). Stated more simply, you can run Start-Transcript in a PowerShell ISE session and it works!



In addition to extending for transcripting, the transcripting functionality itself has been updated to support arbitrary nesting of transcripts, additional metadata in the resulting transcript header, and the ability to set a transcription output directory (to support centralized log collection). Transcription options (including enabling a system-wide transcript) can be configured by configuring the Turn on PowerShell Transcription Group Policy setting (in Administrative Templates -> Windows Components -> Windows PowerShell).

Script tracing and logging

While Windows PowerShell already has the LogPipelineExecutionDetails Group Policy setting to log the invocation of cmdlets, Windows PowerShell’s scripting language has plenty of features that you might want to log and/or audit. The new Detailed Script Tracing feature lets you enable detailed tracking and analysis of Windows PowerShell scripting use on a system. After you enable detailed script tracing, Windows PowerShell logs all script blocks to the ETW event log, Microsoft-Windows-PowerShell/Operational. If a script block creates another script block (for example, a script that calls the Invoke-Expression cmdlet on a string), that resulting script block is logged as well.

Logging of these events can be enabled through the Turn on PowerShell Script Block Logging Group Policy setting (in Administrative Templates -> Windows Components -> Windows PowerShell).

Where to get it

You should have a look at the Windows Management Framework 5.0 Preview September 2014, which includes some interesting updates to PowerShell DSC as well.


Additional Reading

As I was about to publish this, I wanted to see if anyone else noticed the change. The folks over at PowerShell Magazine have written a full review of the WMF 5.0 September Preview you should check out at http://www.powershellmagazine.com/2014/09/12/new-features-introduced-in-windows-management-framework-5-0-preview-september-2014/

If you have not already seen it, you should have a look at our “100 Days of DevOps with PowerShell” series at http://systemcentercentral.com/100DaysOfDevOps

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