Open Source SQLPS

I first saw PowerShell in 2007 or 2008 at TechEd. I was both fascinated and excited, finding the idea of using command line tools both nostalgic as well as handy. Certainly there have been a number of file based operations I’ve wanted to do in SQL Server in the past that weren’t easy to accomplish in DOS-style programming and even less easy in T-SQL. VBScript worked, but it was a very cumbersome, error prone method of developing scripts.

PowerShell (PoSh) seemed elegant, and I was excited to have it come to SQL Server and integrate with SMO. SQLPS was released as a first step, but it was again cumbersome and poorly integrated into SQL Server. I found it to be more of a pain than a help, and abandoned using it. Since then I’ve tended to build my own scripts using techniques from our Powershell Tool Time series to help.

However plenty of PoSh experts I know like the SQLPS module, but they want it improved. Apart from asking for a few changes in SQL Server 2016, there is a Connect item to open source the module. It’s an interesting idea, and certainly it does appear the Microsoft is unwilling to put many resources into SQLPS. If that’s the case, why not open source the tools? Is there any revenue impact?

I’d argue that this is one of those areas that starts to exceed the scope of what MS can accomplish when it’s not a priority. Just like the opening of Windows Live Writer, allowing the community, including MS employees, to donate their own time to fixing and expanding the tool could allow this to flourish and grow, perhaps even helping SQL Server adoption.

I’m certainly not a PoSh expert, but I’m curious. If you use PoSh, would you want a SQLPS module maintained as an Open Source product? Whether you do or not, what do you think about opening up ideas like this for public viewing and pull requests to integrate changes back into the product?

Steve Jones

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