First, there was project number one. I called it “WWA”, which was a clever short name for “Windows Web Admin”. Even though I kept hearing it sounded like a name for a wrestling tournament. Anyhow, it fell over and sank into a swamp.
Then there was project number two, or “AppAdmin”, which almost fell over and sank, but it was built inside a big shipyard, and they don’t let things sink there, so it floated for a while (I’m told it’s still afloat somehow).
Then, there was project number three, but I can’t state it’s name for legal reasons, or because I promised it might result in me delivering a flaming box of dog poo to a certain someone’s porch, after they ruined that project just as it was maturing, but that’s for another time and place.
Then there was project four, but I can’t talk about that one either, so I’ll skip to project five, CMWT. But nobody cares about that one, so number six, was putting a hand-rubbed wax finish on someone else’s PowerShell script, and tossing it up on GitHub and PowerShell Gallery, along with projects seven, eight and nine. And I’m surprised I still remember how to spell the number 8. So anyhow…
(imagine Morgan Freeman narrating from here on)
What is it?
Skatterbrainz Tools. A really clever name.
It’s a portable web console app thing, for viewing and modifying things in your Active Directory and Configuration Manager environments, from the comfort of your beer-stained laptop. Think of it like CMWT if it were (A) trying to copy the concept from Microsoft Windows Admin Center, and (B) didn’t require using a separate “server” or anything special**. Yes, those are double-asterisks. That means there’s some hidden footnote down below, but don’t look yet, I have to finish boring the shit out of you with this part first.
Why is it?
Because I needed a break from other things, like family matters during the holidays, a dog that loves chewing on furniture, and a 20 year old cat that wanders the house at 3am making really weird sounds. And I just wanted to see if it was possible to…
- Build a 100% web console UX to interface with AD and ConfigMgr using PowerShell
- Not have to touch IIS or any web hosting mess
- Make it customize-able, free, and open-source
- Make it through the holidays once again
Where is it?
- Like a lot of my stuff, it’s up on GitHub
What can it do?
- View and cross-link:
- AD users, computers, groups, sites, sitelinks, domain controllers, OUs
- ConfigMgr users, devices, collections, applications, packages, boot images, task sequences, updates, and scripts
- ConfigMgr site status, queries, discovery methods, certificates, Forest publishing, boundary groups and boundaries
- Software inventory, software files
- Add/remove AD group members
- View computers by AD user profile paths
- Add/remove ConfigMgr collection members **
- Those damned double-asterisks again, hmm.
Installation and Setup
- Download PoSH Server here and install it (don’t worry, I checked it and it seems safe, you can trust me, I worked for the government once, sort of)
- Download the GitHub repo (big green button – top right – zip option)
- Extract the “poshserver” folder from the GitHub download into a local path like C:\ThisIsTheDumbestShitEver
- Open the “config.txt” file and edit the settings to suit your needs
- It is now ready to blow your mind, almost
Starting it Up
- Add some gasoline and finely-crushed road flares, oh, wait, wrong stuff…
- Create a desktop shortcut named “Start SkatterTools”…
Target: powershell.exe Start-PoshServer -HomeDirectory "c:\ThisIsTheDumbestShitEver" -CustomConfig "c:\ThisIsTheDumbestShitEver\sktools.ps1"
- Create another desktop shortcut, named “Open SkatterTools” or “Coolest Shit Ever!”…
- Right-click the first shortcut, select “Run as Administrator”, and wait for it to open and say something like this…
- Double-click the second shortcut and have your Kleenex box nearby
- Click on one of the sidebar headings and watch the slick CSS stylings ooze all over your eyeballs and onto the floor. Compliments of some sample code I found on W3Schools. What a great site.
If you need to shut it down, just close the browser and close the PowerShell console. There’s instructions on the PoSH Server site for how to configure it like a service, so it runs as a background job. You don’t have to do that though.
Is there any official support?
- Are you kidding?
- You can submit bug reports and enhancement requests using the “Issues” link on the GitHub repo.
- Work comes first. I have to keep my customers happy and my bills paid
- I’m still adding things to it frequently, but work may cause some delays getting around to it
- You can submit your own changes via GitHub (pull requests, etc.) or just submit Issues if you prefer
Is there a roadmap? Where is it going next?
- Real (stupid) men don’t use maps! The journey is the dream, man.
- Where are any of us really going? You ever ask that question?
- Don’t ask that question, it’s depressing. Enjoy the now.
- Seriously, yes, I have a metric butt-ton of things I plan to add or improve
- Double-asterisks denote two things here:
- Features are not yet complete. Things will change. Oceans dry up. Mountains wear down. Regimes are toppled. Keith Richards is forever.
- This is free stuff, and it comes without any strings attached. No warranties, or guarantees. No promises (other than it might possibly entertain you if you’re bored), and poor you gets to assume any and all liability, risk and responsibility for anything bad if you use it improperly or in a production environment of some kind, or any environment where alleged (love that word) damages may have occurred or been coerced by tertiary incidental hereinafters forthwith and notwithstanding, that are void where prohibited, taxed or regulated. Batteries not included.
- Whatever that means