get-help and remote PowerShell

I’ve been meaning to blog about this for a while, but lately I’ve been doing a lot more work with the Exchange 2010 management shell, and this has really been getting on my nerves.
In Exchange 2007, you could use tab completion to figure out which cmdlets existed for a given task. Need to do something with public folders, but not sure what cmdlets are there? Just type “get-pu” and hit Tab, and voila! you start seeing public folder-related commands.
Exchange 2010 breaks this!
The reason is simple: tab completion doesn’t work in remote PowerShell. Every time you launch EMS, you’re making a remote PS connection, even on the same machine. Therefore: no tab completion for you.
Worse, the get-help cmdlet won’t accept wildcards any longer. The same issue is to blame.
There’s a partial workaround for this issue, which is to use get-command (or just “gcm”) instead of get-help. gcm will give you the list of cmdlets, and then you can use get-help to get help on an individual cmdlet.
I don’t think this is a great situation. In fact, it stinks. I learned PowerShell in large measure by trying to tab-complete various things to figure out what existed, and as I’m now trying to train a few other folks on basic PowerShell, the lack of this feature is a big pain in the butt.
However, complaining to the Exchange team won’t help much because this is a PowerShell issue. So, if you find this bug annoying, you can let the PowerShell team know on their blog (or here; I’ll forward a link to them). Maybe this will be fixed in a future release… hopefully not a far-future one.

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One response to “get-help and remote PowerShell

  1. Thomas