PowerShell + R = Statistical Goodness

by Todd Ogasawara

Although the launches of Windows Vista and Office 2007 got all the attention during the Winter 2006-2007 period, I think that when people look back on this period in a few years, the standout Microsoft release will be PowerShell. I've mentioned a couple of Port 25 interviews and comments on PowerShell in the past. Here are some of the pertinent ones to refresh your memory.

Watching a community grow - Powershell

Powershell Released: An interview with Architect Jeffrey Snover

Powershell in Action! Hank interviews Bruce Payette

PowerShell is currently a free downlaod add-on product for Windows XP, Windows Vista, and Windows Server 2003 (I couldn't get it to install under Longhorn Server Beta-2). This week, however, Microsoft's Jeffrey Snover (PowerShell Architect) Announced: PowerShell to Ship in Windows Server (Longhorn)!!!! This is good news indeed. Having spent the last couple of decades working on UNIX/Linux servers (mostly from the command line), I find managing Windows Servers from the GUI often slows me down and makes remote management a chore. Having PowerShell built into the future version of Windows Server makes life easier for those of us with mixed server environments.

Here's a PowerShell goodie I found on Microsoft's CodePlex site that is an example of the power PowerShell brings to Windows.

PowerShell R Interop

This brings together the Windows data objects that PowerShell has access to with the statistical analysis power of the Open Source R statistical package. The oldsters among you (if you remember the late 20th century, you are old :-), will find that your old S statistical package books mostly applies to help you use the powerful R statistical package.