Over at the PowerGUI website Adam Murray posted a new PowerPack for PowerGui last week as part of the PowerGUI Challenge. So what is a PowerPack? The wiki as part of the powergui.org website states the following:
A PowerPack is an add-in for the PowerGUI platform. It is a document (.powerpack file) that defines extensions to one or more of the PowerGUI products. … read on at the powergui wiki
The Powerpack for HP’s Virtual Connect uses “plink” of the putty program collection to connect and authorize against the Virtual Connect manager.
I a previous project I used the Virtual Connect a lot and a main downside of virtual connect is the interface being slow when you want to do a couple of configuration tasks in a row. The interface is slow because of the java engine and the refresh every time you change a setting, or change in focus. Using the command line interface of Virtual Connect helps a bit, because you can prepare the commands and copy/paste them into the terminal window (being putty in this particular case). But it only helps to a certain extent. If you prepare an environment from scratch you typically will use a configuration you already prepared and preferably script it to rule out any typo’s.
Unfortunately there is no API – at least not a public one – available for Virtual Connect, so if you want to run a couple of subsequent commands you’ll have to use the CLI to do so. To put a complete configuration in through the command line you will be using a copy/paste scenario where you prepare the commands in notepad, chunk them into pieces in order not to overload the buffer and paste these chunks one after one in the console window.
Don’t get me wrong, I absolutely encourage people to write powerpacks, but I would have liked it even more if there was a proper API available and this API was used to create this PowerPack to get a more robust solution.
The first that came into my mind when I read about the use of the plink program, was the screenscrape technology used in combination with tn3270 (mainframe) and 5250 (as400) terminal windows. This screenscraping technology reads the info on the screen and puts the info in a graphical window. Not sure if that’s good or bad…