People like to work in different ways. Some prefer graphical user interfaces (GUI) while others like command-line interfaces (CLI). And experienced system administrators like to automate tasks using scripts. Since people prefer different methods, and no one method is necessarily better than another, we decided to write solutions to recipes using as many of each as is available. That means instead of just a single solution per recipe, we include several using GUI, CLI, and scripting examples. That said, some recipes cannot be accomplished with one of the three methods or it may be very difficult to do with a particular method. In that case, we cover only the applicable methods.
In the GUI and CLI solutions, we use standard tools that are either provided with the operating system or available for download from Microsoft's web site. But because there is a lot of good freeware and shareware out there, we also include a section on applicable tools you can download that can help you accomplish the task.
We took a similar approach with the scripting solutions. While one of the authors prefers Perl, we focus on VBScript due to its widespread use among Windows administrators. It is also the most straightforward from a coding perspective when using Windows Management Instrumentation (WMI) and Windows Script Host (WSH). For those familiar with other languages such as Visual Basic, Perl, and JScript, it is very easy to convert code from VBScript. For those of you who wish that all of the solutions were written with Perl instead of VBScript, you are in luck. On the book web site we've posted companion Perl scripts for each VBScript example. Go to http://www.rallenhome.com/books/ to download the code.