New to Scripting? Check Out These Series

If you want to learn about PowerShell, Windows shell (.bat and .cmd) scripting, or T-SQL, check out these series:

PowerShell 101 Series
The first lesson in this series is open to the public. To view the remaining lessons, you need to be a Windows IT Pro subscriber.

  • "PowerShell 101, Lesson 1" introduces you to the concept of cmdlets, then walks you through how to run the most basic PowerShell commands with and without aliases. It also covers how to use PowerShell's online Help files if you run into problems.
  • "PowerShell 101, Lesson 2" shows you how to use a pipeline to create PowerShell statements. This lesson also shows you how to format and sort the output from those statements.
  • "PowerShell 101, Lesson 3" introduces you to PowerShell's commonly used comparison operators, logical operators, arithmetic operators, and wildcards. You'll learn how to use PowerShell's operators and wildcards to create expressions for use in statements.
  • "PowerShell 101, Lesson 4" shows you how to handle strings in PowerShell cmdlets. You'll learn when you need to enclose strings in quotes and whether to use single or double quotes. You'll also learn how to flag, or escape, special characters embedded in quoted strings.
  • "PowerShell 101, Lesson 5" covers variables. You'll learn about PowerShell's built-in variables, Windows environment variables, and user-defined variables.
  • "PowerShell 101, Lesson 6" discusses PowerShell providers and drives you use to access the providers.

PowerShell 201 series
The first lesson in this series is open to the public. To view the remaining lessons, you need to be a Windows IT Pro subscriber.

Shell Scripting 101 Series
All the lessons in this series are open to the public.

  • "Shell Scripting 101, Lesson 1" discusses how to set up your scripting environment and how to use the Echo and Rem commands.
  • "Shell Scripting 101, Lesson 2" shows you how to use system-provided environment variables such as USERNAME and COMPUTERNAME to retrieve information about currently logged-on users and their computers.
  • "Shell Scripting 101, Lesson 3" explains how to create an environment variable that represents a specified value. You'll also learn how to use an environment variable to temporarily hold a value so that you can pass information to a script as an argument.
  • "Shell Scripting 101, Lesson 4" shows you how to redirect a command's output to different types of files and to NUL.
  • "Shell Scripting 101, Lesson 5" covers how to use the Set and If commands to perform simple math calculations.
  • "Shell Scripting 101, Lesson 6" discusses how to use the If command to test for a false statement, test for the existence of folders and files, test whether the last command completed successfully, and test whether two strings are the same.
  • "Shell Scripting 101, Lesson 7" explains how to join commands with the pipe (|), ampersand (&), double ampersand (&&), and double pipe (||).
  • "Shell Scripting 101, Lesson 8" introduces you to the For command. You'll learn how to use the /d switch to iterate through directories and the /f switch to parse a file’s contents. Also learn about the Ping command.
  • "Shell Scripting 101, Lesson 9" shows you how to change a script's flow with the Goto, Call, and Exit commands.
  • "Shell Scripting 101, Lesson 10" discusses how to use commands such as Pause, Sleep, Timeout, Waitfor, and Start to control the timing in scripts.

T-SQL 101 Series
The first lesson in this series is open to the public. To view the remaining lessons, you need to be a SQL Server Magazine subscriber.

  • "T-SQL 101, Lesson 1" looks at what T-SQL is, the query tools you use with it, and how to use the SELECT statement.
  • "T-SQL 101, Lesson 2" explores how to use the INSERT, UPDATE, and DELETE statements to create queries that add, change, and delete data from tables.
  • "T-SQL 101, Lesson 3" delves into how to use SELECT statements to aggregate data. Specifically, you'll learn how to use five aggregate functions—COUNT, MIN, MAX, AVG, and SUM—in SELECT queries.
  • "T-SQL 101, Lesson 4" gives you the scoop on how to use the GROUP BY clause in SELECT statements so that you can you produce detailed and informative reports.
  • "T-SQL 101, Lesson 5" discusses how to use JOIN clauses to build queries that retrieve data from two related tables. You'll learn about the differences between the five types of JOIN clauses (INNER JOIN, LEFT OUTER JOIN, RIGHT OUTER JOIN, FULL OUTER JOIN, and CROSS JOIN) and when to use each one.
  • "T-SQL 101, Lesson 6" shows you two techniques you can use to create your own tables. The first technique uses the CREATE TABLE command. The second technique uses the SELECT INTO command.
  • "T-SQL 101, Lesson 7" demonstrates how to create and query views.
  • "T-SQL 101, Lesson 8" explores T-SQL's built-in scalar functions. You'll learn how to use the GETDATE, DATENAME, and DATEADD functions to work with dates as well as how to use the LEFT, RIGHT, SUBSTRING, and REPLACE functions to manipulate strings.
  • "T-SQL 101, Lesson 9" introduces you to the CASE function, which lets you quickly transform data from one format to another. You'll learn about the differences in the CASE function's two varieties (simple and searched) and see examples of how to use each one.
  • "T-SQL 101, Lesson 10" shows you how to tuck all the T-SQL statements you learned about in Lessons 1 through 9 inside a stored procedure. You'll learn not only how to create and execute stored procedures but also why you'd want to.
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