Idera, a major player in the SQL Server market with such products as SQL diagnostic manager, SQLsafe, and SQLschedule, is branching out. Idera is now entering the PowerShell tools market with the release of PowerShellPlus Professional Edition, an interactive scripting environment for Windows PowerShell.

Given PowerShell's increased presence in SQL Server 2008, Idera's entrance into this market is understandable and maybe even anticipated. What is a bit surprising, though, is that Idera is targeting PowerShellPlus for not only SQL Server administrators and developers but also Windows administrators and other Windows IT professionals.

The PowerShell editor market is growing quickly, so what will make PowerShellPlus stand out from the other editors, especially those targeted specifically at Windows IT administrators? According to PowerShellPlus product manager Richard Giles, PowerShellPlus offers three tools in one—a learning and help center, an interactive PowerShell console, and an advanced code editor and debugger—that any administrator can use, no matter the type of systems they manage or how well-versed they are in PowerShell.

The learning and help center is where administrators can learn how to use not only the product but also PowerShell itself. The center includes tutorials on PowerShell concepts and cmdlet basics for PowerShell novices as well as documentation on PowerShell snap-ins and Windows Management Instrumentation (WMI) for more PowerShell-savvy users.

The PowerShell console is where administrators can write and run PowerShell commands and scripts. The console can be run in full mode or in minimized mode. In the latter mode, the console functions the same, but items such as menus and toolbars are minimized. IntelliSense-style code completion is available in either mode.

The advanced code editor and debugger is where administrators can write, test, and debug code. You can set up the code editor with an embedded console window, so you don't need to switch between two separate windows when cutting and pasting code.

"Unlike most of the basic script editors on the market today, Idera's PowerShellPlus provides a comprehensive and integrated scripting environment so users can significantly amplify their efforts as they deliver automated solutions through PowerShell scripting," said Rick Pleczko, Idera president and CEO. "The addition of PowerShellPlus to Idera's award-winning product portfolio demonstrates our continued commitment to offering our customers solutions that reduce the complexity of systems administration so they can direct their efforts to higher value activities."

PowerShellPlus Professional Edition, which costs $145 per user, will be available starting on September 25, 2008. Until then, you can download a free public beta version for testing or purchase PowerShellPlus Professional Edition for a discounted price of $79 per user. For more information, go to the PowerShellPlus web page.