Last week at TechEd Developers, I gave a talk on PowerShell and SQL Server. I mentioned some upcoming changes in RC0, and have just had a chance to check them out.

The PowerShell provider for SQL Server has been expanded to handle not only a "SQL" subdirectory (which enumerates database objects) and "SQLPolicy" (which enumerates the policy-based management objects) but also two new "directories": SQLRegistration and DataCollection.

SQLRegistration covers the groups and members of "Registered Servers" and before you ask, yes this is the same Registered Servers that show up in SQL Server Management Studio. So if you're managing hundreds of servers, you can easier script against any server or group of "Registered Servers". You don't have to navigate to a different machine and instance by referencing the name, as I described in an earlier blog entry. Be aware that the registration service takes a while to refresh registrations. If you define a new registered server in SSMS, it won't show up in the PowerShell list immediately. Just wait a minute or so…

The DataCollection "subdirectory" allows you to enumerate the database objects and properties for the data collection feature that is used to populate and control the performance data warehouse in SQL Server 2008. You navigate through these collections/values the same way you'd navigate SQL and SQLPolicy. This one isn't doc'd as being part of the PowerShell provider in  BOL yet.

A couple of other miscellanous changes I noticed:
1. There are no longer separate custom drives for SQL and SQLPolicy as in previous versions. If you liked these custom drives its easy to add them:
New-PSDrive -Name SQL -Root SQLSERVER:\SQL
New-PSDrive -Name SQLPolicy -Root SQLSERVER:\SQLPolicy
..etc

2. Collection Names are no longer case-sensitive. So:

dir SQLServer:\SQL\{Computer}\{Instance}\databases

(where you replace {Computer} and {Instance} with real names) works now with "databases" being case insensitive.