Four-Project Series

Automate IT Tasks with PowerShell you own this product

basic PowerShell (ability to open the PowerShell prompt and run basic commands) • administer Windows PCs (ability to set up users, work with files, install software using technical documentation, and use the command prompt)
skills learned
integrate your development environment with source control • solve challenges using various PowerShell features • gather information about a computer using the CIM • access remote computers without having to be on them using remoting with PowerShell • automate tasks using Windows Task Scheduler
William Wade
4 weeks · 4-6 hours per week average · BEGINNER

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You have just been hired by RetroToy, an online retailer, as an entry-level IT professional. The company sells replacement parts to hobbyists who restore toys and games that are no longer in production. YouTube videos featuring their products have been driving business. As the company has grown, the complexity of managing and troubleshooting IT issues has increased.

In the past, most of the IT work has been manual, but the IT manager is no longer able to handle it all, which is why the company hired you. You are tasked with creating ways to reduce the IT workload by using scripting to automate tasks. The company is a Windows shop, so you will use PowerShell. Happy automating!

This series is for Windows only.

These projects are designed for learning purposes and are not complete, production-ready applications or solutions.

The author does well to build the knowledge incrementally in byte-sized chunks and learner’s will thoroughly enjoy working on this project.

Prashant Dwivedi, Senior Systems Analyst

liveProject mentor Chris Parsonson shares what he likes about the Manning liveproject platform.

here's what's included

Project 1 File Processing

You’ve recently been hired by RetroToy, an online retailer that sells replacement parts to hobbyists who restore out-of-production toys and games. RetroToy’s business is steadily growing, and so is its collection of product images. Your task is to ease the process of finding images by standardizing the naming convention. As an IT professional, you know PowerShell is a powerful language for automating repetitive IT tasks, and you decide it’s the perfect tool for this project. You’ll set up your development environment by installing Visual Studio Code, an IDE with a PowerShell extension. You’ll make this hefty project more manageable by breaking it into smaller tasks. To automate the process of renaming the large inventory of product images, you’ll write PowerShell code that takes advantage of the pattern-matching ability of regular expressions.

This project is for Windows only.

Project 2 Format Data

You’re an IT professional who’s been hired by RetroToy, an online retailer that sells replacement parts to hobbyists who restore out-of-production toys and games. To help support RetroToy’s growing success, you’ve been tasked with reducing the company’s IT workload by eliminating manual tasks using automation. Using PowerShell’s Common Information Model (CIM) commands, you’ll capture information from different PCs. Then, you’ll format the data you’ve gathered into a user-friendly CSV format and output these values into a single source. With the CIM commands you’ll learn in this project, you’ll be automating tasks—like adding and removing Windows features, updating software, and setting up network drives—with ease.

This project is for Windows only.

Project 3 Schedule Scripts for Periodic Jobs

Your manager at RetroToy, an online retailer that sells replacement parts to toy and game hobbyists, needs product data downloaded from a vendor’s API. As an IT professional for the company, this task falls to you. You’ll connect to the data using Invoke-RestMethod, which will automatically parse the JSON result as PSCustomObjects. You’ll handle errors with PowerShell’s Try/Catch/Finally statement, ensuring your code behaves as expected. You’ll also save yourself time and effort by taking advantage of PowerShell Gallery, a central repository for PowerShell content, to find and install a third-party script for logging errors. With Task Scheduler, you’ll automate your daily tasks, giving yourself the freedom to focus on more productive endeavors.

This project is for Windows only.

Project 4 Connect to a SQL Server

As the star IT professional at RetroToy, an online retailer that sells replacement parts to toy and game hobbyists, you’ve been tapped by the IT director to resume work on a previously started project for generating reports from RetroToy’s e-commerce website and emailing them to the management team. Using PowerShell and existing SQL Code, you’ll connect to the site’s SQL Express Database and query data from it, and you’ll protect sensitive information using the SecretManagement and SecretStore modules. You’ll export data to a visually appealing, email-friendly format using CSS and HTML, then send the report in an email using SendGrid, a popular tool among PowerShell users.

This project is for Windows only.

book resources

When you start each of the projects in this series, you'll get full access to the following book for 90 days.

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I really enjoyed this course and felt that it had several strengths and a great practical basis.

Chris Parsonson, Helpdesk Team Leader, Agile ICT

project author

William Wade

William Wade is a freelance developer specializing in software automation. As the founder of Dirigo Software Solutions, he pursues his passion for helping businesses leverage technology to improve their productivity. He speaks to local IT user groups about PowerShell and automation.


This liveProject is for beginning IT professionals who are looking for ways to improve their PowerShell skills. You must have some practical experience with IT administration as well to help with understanding some of the technologies you will be working with. To begin these liveProjects you’ll need to be familiar with the following:

  • PowerShell (5.1 or higher)
  • Basic IT administration
  • Basic PowerShell

you will learn

In this liveProject series, you’ll learn to use PowerShell to automate common IT tasks, reducing IT workload and freeing you up for more productive tasks.

  • Integrate your development environment with source control.
  • Solve challenges using various PowerShell features, such as regular expressions, error handling, and the Common Information Model (CIM)
  • Take advantage of PowerShell Gallery to find third-party modules to use with your scripts
  • Set up SQL Express and interact with it


You choose the schedule and decide how much time to invest as you build your project.
Project roadmap
Each project is divided into several achievable steps.
Get Help
While within the liveProject platform, get help from other participants and our expert mentors.
Compare with others
For each step, compare your deliverable to the solutions by the author and other participants.
book resources
Get full access to select books for 90 days. Permanent access to excerpts from Manning products are also included, as well as references to other resources.