vSphere PowerCLI is based on Microsoft PowerShell and uses the PowerShell basic syntax and concepts.

Microsoft PowerShell is both a command-line and scripting environment, designed for Windows. It uses the .NET object model and provides administrators with system administration and automation capabilities. To work with PowerShell, you run commands, named cmdlets.

PowerShell cmdlets use a consistent verb-noun structure, where the verb represents the action and the noun represents the object to operate on.

A pipeline is a series of commands separated by the pipe operator |.

PowerShell has a number of pattern-matching operators named wildcards that you can use to substitute one or more characters in a string, or substitute the complete string.

The Windows PowerShell engine retains a set of parameter names, referred to as common parameters. All PowerShell cmdlets, including the vSphere PowerCLI cmdlets, support them.