Windows Scripting: VBScript, DOS, JS, Python,

Say you were mainly a C-syntax like programmer and Linux systems administrator, and you were tasked with creating some simple automation tasks on Windows (monitoring of back-up files, process monitoring, ...). Which language would you prefer to write your scripts in? There's a large collection of VBS-scripts out there (using VB syntax), but I'd prefer anything more C-related.

What are your best experiences in using scripts for Windows? Any obvious down- or upside to a certain language?



I would use Powershell.

  • It has a vaguely C-like syntaxt.
  • It has an integrated shell.
  • The newest version (currently in CTP) includes a builtin IDE (Although it is limited compared to other 3rd party ones).
  • It has easy access to something like 90% of the functionality in the .Net framework.
  • Going forward, MS products will explicitly provide Powershell integration.
  • It supports pipes.

Pretty much every script in VBS can be converted to an equivalent in JScript.

There are a few gotchas to watch out for. Read up on the enumerator and remember that in VBS is case insensitive so when translating a script, certain methods may have the wrong casing.


Try to do what you want to do in a CMD-file, it that doesn't cut it, use Windows Scripting Host to call a wsh-file with JScript and/or VBScript in it. If you prefer the JScript-look, use that as your primary language, and use VBScript for things you copy from the net or cannot find a JScript solution to. You can call VBScript from JScript and the other way around.


Check out the Microsoft Scriptomatic tool too.

It can generate lots of admin scripts in VBScript, Perl, JavaScript (JScript) and Python. Makes navigating WMI much easier too.


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