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Managing Windows with VBScript and WMI

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Managing Windows with VBScript and WMI


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The definitive guide to scripting for all Windows administrators, helping them to simplify their work and make their network more secure.

° Demystifies scripting for administrators, showing how VBScript and WMI can help ease repetitive or complex tasks

° Organized around tasks, and heavily cross-referenced, allowing quick access to information of immediate value

° Based on the author's years of experience teaching and training

° Most other books on scripting focus on developers, not administrators


  • Copyright 2004
  • Edition: 1st
  • Book
  • ISBN-10: 0-321-21334-3
  • ISBN-13: 978-0-321-21334-1

"Finally, a step-by-step VBScripting book to make you look like a programmer without the time and sweat! Don't waste your time searching the Internet for examples--this book does it for you!"

--Greg A. Marino, Senior Systems Engineer/Consultant, Westtown Consulting Group, Inc.

Visual Basic Scripting (VBScript) and Windows Management Instrumentation (WMI) are vital tools for systems administrators grappling with the increasing complexity of Windows technologies. However, busy admins have been without a straightforward guide to scripting...until now.

Managing Windows® with VBScript and WMI explains how Windows administrators can effectively use VBScript to automate common administrative tasks and simplify complex ones. Detailed coverage of security concerns provides admins with the means for safely using VBScript in Windows environments. The book is organized around the problems you face daily, with reusable examples and coverage of Windows NT, Windows 2000, Windows XP, and Windows 2003.

This user-friendly reference demystifies scripting and then shows you how to produce new scripts from scratch. You will be producing useful scripts right away as you study the VBScript language and learn how to control nearly every aspect of the Windows operating system with WMI and the Active Directory Services Interface (ASDI). You will be able to build your own administrative Web pages and use advanced scripting technologies such as script encryption, scripting components, and script security. The book closes with still more ready-made example scripts accompanied by complete line-by-line explanations. The CD includes all the code from the book and trial versions of PrimalScript 3.0 and VbsEdit. A companion Web site provides updates and errata.

Inside you will find answers to such questions as:

  • How do you write effective logon scripts? Chapter 11
  • How do you write scripts that query and modify user and group information? Chapter 16
  • How can you query the IP addresses from multiple network adapters in multiple remote computers? Chapter 19
  • How can you design, write, run, test, and debug your own administrative Web pages? Chapter 24
  • How can you reuse code between various scripts? Chapter 25


Related Article

Using WSH Scripts with the Windows Management Interface

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Sample Content

Online Sample Chapter

Putting It All Together: Your First WMI/ADSI Script

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Table of Contents

Preface xxi
Acknowledgments xxxv
About the Author xxxvii


Chapter 1 Scripting Concepts and Terminology 3

What Is Scripting? 3
Script Hosts 4
ActiveX Scripting Languages 6
The Component Object Model (COM) 9
Critical Scripting Security Issues 9
Review 10

Chapter 2 Running Scripts 11

Windows Script Host 11
Command-Line Scripts 13
Notepad and Script Editors 16
Bare Bones: Notepad 16
A Step Up: Programmer's File Editor 17
Script-Specific: VBScript Editors 18
Writing Your First Script 23
Running Your First Script 25
Debugging Your First Script 25
Review 26

Chapter 3 The Components of a Script 29

A Typical VBScript 29
Functions 32
Subroutines 33
Main Script 34
Using Custom Functions and Subroutines 36
Using Intrinsic Functions and Statements 38
Making Decisions in a Script 40
Comments and Documentation 40
Review 45

Chapter 4 Designing a Script 47

Creating a Task List 48
Selecting the Appropriate Tools 50
Displaying a Message 51
Mapping a Drive 53
Checking Group Membership 54
Mapping a Printer 54
Getting the Local IP Address 54
Getting the Third Octet from the IP Address 56
All Tasks Accounted For 56
Creating Modules to Perform Tasks 57
Validating User Input 63
Planning for Errors 63
Creating Script Libraries 66
Review 66


Chapter 5 Functions, Objects, Variables, and More 71

What Are Variables? 72
Declaring Variables 76
Understanding Data Types 78
Assigning Data to Variables 79
Data Coercion 80
What Are Functions? 82
Input Parameters 82
Output Values 84
Intrinsic versus Custom Functions 85
What Are Statements and Subroutines? 89
Functions, without the Output 89
What Are Objects? 92
Properties 92
Methods 93
Collections 93
A Sample Object 94
Scripting with Objects 95
Review 97

Chapter 6 Input and Output 99

Displaying Messages 99
The MsgBox Statement and Function 100
More Complex Messages 104
MsgBox Best Practices 105
Go Generic with WScript.Echo 106
Asking for Input 107
Graphical Input 107
Command-Line Input 109
Command-Line Parameters as Input 110
Running Command-Line Scripts 110
Parsing Parameters 110
Review 114

Chapter 7 Manipulating Numbers 117

Numbers in VBScript 117
Basic Arithmetic 118
Advanced Arithmetic 121
Boolean Math 124
Converting Numeric Data Types 129
Converting Other Data Types to Numeric Data 130
Review 130

Chapter 8 Manipulating Strings 133

Strings in VBScript 133
Working with Substrings 135
Concatenating Strings 139
Changing Strings 141
Formatting Strings 143
Converting Other Data Types to String Data 144
Review 145

Chapter 9 Manipulating Other Types of Data 147

Working with Dates and Times 147
Dates and Times in VBScript 148
Getting the Date or Time 148
Converting Date and Time Data 149
Working with Past and Future Dates 150
Working with Arrays 150
Arrays in VBScript 151
Creating and Manipulating Arrays 152
Working with Array Data 154
Working with Bytes 155
Bytes in VBScript 155
Converting Byte Data 156
Review 156

Chapter 10 Controlling the Flow of Execution 157

Conditional Execution 158
If...Then 158
Select...Case 163
Loops 164
Do While...Loop and Do...Loop While 164
Do Until...Loop and Do...Loop Until 166
For...Next 166
For Each...Next 167
Exiting Loops 169
Putting It All Together 170
Review 173

Chapter 11 Built-in Scripting Objects 175

The WScript Object 175
The Net


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