Tag Archives: Authoring

SCOM: Sample Maintenance Mode MP works on SCOM 2016

With all the great changes related to Maintenance Mode in SCOM 2016 you probably only miss the possibility to easily set Maintenance Mode on the agent without the need of knowing the PowerShell script details.

My old Sample Maintenance Mode management pack can help you with this also on SCOM 2016. I have imported it into my SCOM 2016 test environment and set a server into maintenance mode through it without any problem.

It was required in the past, that you deploy the files separately to the agents to have the Splash Screen available. Now I have added the files to the Visual Studio solution and deploy them to c:\it\mom\mm. The solution also adds a shortcut to the default user desktop and to the public startup folder on Windows Server 2012 and above (also applies to the corresponding client versions). I have used the examples from David Allen’s blog post.

I have posted the sample sealed mpb file on github including also the whole solution.

To adjust the solution to your needs I recommend to change the text in the file OpsMgrMM.ps1 which runs the Splash Screen.
Also you can change the target directory in the DeployableFile.ps1:

$TargetDirectory = “C:\IT\MOM\MM”

You will find both files in the Resources folder.

When you have done your adjustments, then build the solution (seal the mps) and import the mpb file into your SCOM environment. If you had a previous version installed, then you will need to remove that first.

Have fun with it!


SCSM 2012: Asset Management Part 4 – Authoring Forms

This is the fourth part of the blog series about my Asset Management solution for SCSM 2012 R2.

Part 1: General overview
Part 2: Authoring – Classes and Relationships
Part 3: Folders and Views
Part 5: Reports
Part 6: Runbook/Automation details

This part of the series covers the forms created with Visual Studio 2015 Community Edition (incl. VSAE).

Each object which has a view in the solution also needs a form to enter values and a preview form (OneWay).

The forms are based on the WPF User Control library (requires .Net 3.5).

All forms and resources required for the forms are defined in the AssetManagementForms Assembly, which is referenced in the AssetManagement management pack in the References area and in the Forms.mpx.

Each form needs to be listed here (standard and preview). The targeted TypeProjection defines which classes will be referenced in the form.

<Form ID=”AssetManagementForms.Computer” Assembly=”AssetManagementForms.Assembly” Accessibility=”Public” Target=”ComputerAsset.Form.TypeProjection” TypeName=”AssetManagementForms.Computer”>
<Form ID=”AssetManagementForms.Computer.Preview” Assembly=”AssetManagementForms.Assembly” Accessibility=”Public” Target=”ComputerAsset.Form.TypeProjection” TypeName=”AssetManagementForms.ComputerPreview”>

A ResourceDictionary is used to give all EnumClass Guids a meaningful name (Resources.xaml):

This dictionary is referenced in each form before the Grid definition:
<ResourceDictionary Source=”Resources.xaml“/>

All required libraries need to be referenced at the beginning of the forms:

ComputerAsset Form:

Order Form:

The forms contain a Grid with two columns and a lot of rows.
Each Panel contains a label and a field – of different types: TextBox, ListPicker, DatePicker or UserPicker. You can also only reference an image.

Here are examples of the different types:
<Label Name=”AssetID” Content=”{Binding AssetID, Mode=OneWay}” Height=”31″ FontWeight=”Bold” FontSize=”16″/>

<TextBox x:Name=”AssetTag” Text=”{Binding AssetTag, Mode=TwoWay}” />

<Image x:Name=”Logo” Height=”40″ Source=”/AssetManagementForms;component/Logo_NoTag_150px.png”/>

<scwpf:ListPicker x:Name=”AssetLifecycleStatus” HorizontalAlignment=”Stretch” Width=”Auto” ParentCategoryId=”{Binding Mode=OneWay, Source={x:Static local:Resources.guidAssetStatusTypeEnumRoot}}” SelectedItem=”{Binding AssetStatus, Mode=TwoWay, UpdateSourceTrigger=PropertyChanged}”/>

The ListPicker is used everywhere where we want to show the predefined values of the selected EnumType.

<wpfToolKit:DatePicker Text=”{Binding GoodsReceivedDate, Mode=TwoWay, UpdateSourceTrigger=PropertyChanged}” SelectedDateFormat=”FullDateTime” />

<scwpf:UserPicker x:Name=”AssetCustodian” User=”{Binding Path=ComponentAlias_d5fb8379_ba30_4351_9e9a_ec9fbd9a3b65, Mode=TwoWay}” />

If we also want to show the Related Items and History information, then we need to add the required tabs:
     <TabItem Header=”Related Items” x:Name=”tabItemRelItems”/>
            <TabItem Header=”History” x:Name=”tabItemHistory”>

All Preview forms only have TextBoxes no Pickers and also no Related Items or History tab.

ComputerAsset PreviewForm:

Here are some links which helped me to create these forms:






SCSM 2012: Asset Management Part 3 – Folders and Views

This is the third part of the blog series about my Asset Management solution for SCSM 2012 R2.

Part 1: General overview
Part 2: Authoring – Classes and Relationships
Part 4: Authoring – Forms
Part 5: Reports
Part 6: Runbook/Automation details

This part of the series covers the folders and views created with Visual Studio 2015 Community Edition (incl. VSAE).


The following details can be found in the AssetManagementViews.mp.

Folders: (Folders.mpx)

This entry creates the AssetManagement Workspace:
<Folder ID=”Folder.AssetManagementWorkspace” Accessibility=”Public” ParentFolder=”EnterpriseManagement!ServiceManager.Console.RootFolder” />

Then we have the AssetManagement Root Folder:
<FolderItem ElementID=”EnterpriseManagement!Microsoft.EnterpriseManagement.ServiceManager.UI.Console.Task.CreateFolder” ID=”FolderItem.AssetManagementRootFolder.CreateFolder” Folder=”Folder.AssetManagementWorkspace.RootFolder” />

This entry displays the view in the folder:
<FolderItem ElementID=”EnterpriseManagement!Microsoft.EnterpriseManagement.ServiceManager.UI.Console.Task.CreateGridView” ID=”FolderItem.AssetManagementRootFolder.CreateView” Folder=”Folder.AssetManagementWorkspace.RootFolder” />     

And below the root folder are all class related folders:

Each folder has an icon defined through the ImageReference:

Views: (Views.mpx)

Each class has its own view, and I also created views for WindowsComputer objects, Users and Groups.

Here are two examples how the views are assigned to the folders:
<FolderItem ElementID=”View.ComputerAssets” ID=”FolderItem.AllComputerAssets.View” Folder=”Folder.ComputerAssets” />
<FolderItem ElementID=”View.AllWindowsComputers” ID=”FolderItem.AllWindowsComputers.View” Folder=”Folder.AssetManagementWorkspace.RootFolder” />

The views use all the same icon as the folders. Here is an example of the default config item image, which is used for the groups:
<ImageReference ElementID=”View.AllUsersandGroups” ImageID=”ConfigurationManagement!ConfigItemImage16x16″ />

For each view we also need to create two categories:

  1. To display the create class object task: (Here “Create Computer Asset”)
    <Category ID=”View.ComputerAssets.CreateAsset.Category” Target=”View.ComputerAssets” Value=”MESUA!Microsoft.EnterpriseManagement.ServiceManager.UI.Authoring.CreateTypeCategory”/>
  2. To display tasks in general:
    <Category ID=”View.ComputerAssets.ViewTasks” Target=”View.ComputerAssets” Value=”EnterpriseManagement!Microsoft.EnterpriseManagement.ServiceManager.UI.Console.ViewTasks” />

Each view needs to have a TypeProjection defined to display fields from other classes in the same view. The TypeProjection represents the reference between the two classes. TypeProjections only work, if corresponding relationships are defined.

<TypeProjection ID=”ComputerAsset.TypeProjection” Accessibility=”Public” Type=”ComputerAsset”>
<Component Path=”$Context/Path[Relationship=’AssetToCustodianRelationShip’]$” Alias=”ComponentAlias_d5fb8379_ba30_4351_9e9a_ec9fbd9a3b65” />

In the views you use the Alias of the TypeProjection to guide Service Manager (through the relationship) to the other class fields.
The second sample TypeProjection shows the GeneralAssets view, which is the longest one, because it references all classes.


View details:

Each view needs targets a class whose objects get displayed. For the GeneralAssets view it is the AssetManagementBaseClass.

<View ID=”View.GeneralAssets” Accessibility=”Public” Enabled=”true” Target=”AssetManagementMP!AssetManagementBaseClass” TypeID=”EnterpriseManagement!GridViewType” …

Then the TypeProjection needs to be referenced:

<QueryParameter Parameter=”TypeProjectionId” Value=”$MPElement[Name=’AssetManagementMP!GeneralAsset_TypeProjection’]$” />

The <Criteria> area defines which objects will be displayed. We do not want to see objects with the status inactive.


The next section in the view handles the <Presentation> of the data, i.e. which columns are displayed.

If there are assemblies which need to be referenced to display data, then they are listed in front of the columns. In our case we reference the AssetManagementForms assembly:

Each column which should be displayed needs an entry with a binding to the class parameter.  All are only for viewing therefore the mode is OneWay.

Some string examples:
<mux:Column Name=”SerialNumber” DisplayMemberBinding=”{Binding Path=SerialNumber, Mode=OneWay}” Width=”100″ DisplayName=”SerialNumber.View.GeneralAssets” Property=”SerialNumber” DataType=”s:String” />

Binding to the DisplayName of the Enum value:
<mux:Column Name=”Country.DisplayName” DisplayMemberBinding=”{Binding Path=Country.DisplayName, Mode=OneWay}” Width=”100″ DisplayName=”Country.View.GeneralAssets” Property=”Country.DisplayName” DataType=”s:String” />

And if the data comes from another class than the targeted one then you need to use the alias of the reference in the TypeProjection:
<mux:Column Name=”AssetCustodian” DisplayMemberBinding=”{Binding Path=ComponentAlias_b1f46e16_e9a0_49af_b9f5_1c9d4bb532d1.DisplayName, Mode=OneWay}” Width=”100″ DisplayName=”AssetCustodian.View.GeneralAssets” Property=”ComponentAlias_b527cd23_9043_48a2_a3c8_111ab26f0a95.DisplayName” DataType=”s:String” />

Date example:
<mux:Column Name=”GoodsReceivedDate” DisplayMemberBinding=”{datebinding:DateBinding Path=GoodsReceivedDate, Mode=OneWay}” Width=”100″ DisplayName=”GoodsReceivedDate.View.GeneralAssets” Property=”GoodsReceivedDate” DataType=”s:DateTime” />

There are also some internal fields which could be useful to be displayed: $TimeAdded$, $LastModified$.

The last part of the presentation area is <ViewStrings>. Each DisplayName of a column needs to have an entry there also:

<ViewString ID=”AssetCustodian.View.GeneralAssets“>$MPElement[Name=”AssetCustodian.View.GeneralAssets”]$</ViewString>

So, all views are build relatively the same as they are all grid views targeted to one class. The main difference are the TypeProjections and columns which are displayed.

Here are some additional links which help to understand the Presentation area:

I will publish the whole Visual Studio Project at the end of my series.








SCSM 2012: Asset Management Part 2 – Classes and Relationships

This is the second part of the blog series about my Asset Management solution for SCSM 2012 R2.

Part 1: General overview
Part 3: Authoring – Folders and Views
Part 4: Authoring – Forms
Part 5: Reports
Part 6: Runbook/Automation details

This part of the series covers the classes and relationships created with Visual Studio 2015 Community Edition (incl. VSAE).

The solution has two base classes

  • AssetManagementBaseClass (DisplayName: Asset)assetclass
    The AssetID is automatically filled and auto-increments.
    Some fields reference lists (EnumType), so that the user can select the entries from predefined values.
  • OrderBaseClass (DisplayName: Order)

Four sub-classes (based on AssetManagementBaseClass):

  • ComputerAsset (DisplayName: Computer Asset)
  • Peripheral (DisplayName: Peripheral)Peripheral
  • ServerInfrastructureAsset (DisplayName: Server Infrastructure Asset)
  • NetworkInfrastructureAsset (DisplayName: Network Infrastructure Asset)

ServerInfrastructureAsset and NetworkInfrastructureAsset are similar to Peripheral, that is the reason why I did not add a picture. Because of the inheritance the sub-classes get all properties from the AssetManagementBaseClass.

And 8 Groups to be able to give permissions to these objects. They all look like this:
There are separated Groups for Assets, Computer Assets, Peripherals, NetworkInfrastructureAssets, ServerInfrastructureAssets, Orders, Windows Computers and AD Users.

Each group needs to be discovered. So the solution also has 8 discoveries like this:

Each property which should use a list needs an enumtype defined. I also created three additional entries for the AssetStatus list


Categories need to be defined, to be able to see and edit the lists in the console.

The Category  Category.ManagementPackName is required to define that this a SCSM Management Pack:Category

Here is an example how the other categories look like: SiteCategory
The categories with Value=”System!VisibleToUser” enables the user to view the list in the list view.
The categories with the Value=”Authoring!Microsoft.EnterpriseManagement.ServiceManager.UI.Authoring.EnumerationViewTasks
lets the edit task appear in the list view.

Relationships are required to be able to reference the different class objects with each other. All relationships are from the type System.Reference.

  • Asset To Order Relationship:AssetToOrderRel
  • Asset To Custodian Relationship:
    With that an AD User can be linked to the Asset as Custodian.
  • Asset To Computer Asset Relationship:
    The same type of relationship is also created for Asset To Peripheral, Asset To NetworkInfrastructureAsset and Asset To ServerInfrastructureAsset.

Remember these relationships as you need to create them when you want to view fields from different related classes in the same view/form. This means when an ComputerAsset object gets created then you also need to create relationship object for the AssetToComputerAsset relationship. Otherwise you cannot show field values from both classes in the same view/form.

You can also create new classes i.e. for mobile devices or software assets. Use these classes here as an example and create all required objects (EnumTypes, Groups, Discoveries, Relationships, Categories).

Here are some additional links:





SCOM: MP Author from Bridgeways/Silect

Everyone who creates custom management packs for System Center Operations Manager needs an authoring tool. With SCOM 2007 there was the old Authoring console, which cannot be used anymore with SCOM 2012 MPs.

Then there was the Visual Studio Authoring Extension solution for SCOM: http://social.technet.microsoft.com/wiki/contents/articles/5236.visual-studio-authoring-extensions-for-system-center-2012-operations-manager.aspx.

I must admit that I never felt comfortable with it.

Now there is a new free tool called MP Author from Bridgeways/Silect. It is the small brother of MP Studio. You can find the details here: https://bridgeways.com/products/mp-author.

I was very interested about it and installed it right away.

Here are some things I found.


  • .Net Framework 3.5 and 4.0
  • SCOM Console
  • Admin Permissions to install and run

I also saw that it rapidly increases used memory if you work within a management pack. It quickly uses over 1GB RAM or  more if available. That also depends on how many management packs you have opened in parallel with MP Author.

Things I am missing:

If you look at the tree view of the objects in a management pack, I am missing some object types:


I do not see Tasks and Recovery Tasks.

The list of available tools also includes the MPBPA (Management Pack Best Practice Analyzer), what was always helpful with the 2007 Authoring console:


But when I run it, I get the following error:


When I check the logs I see this:
Attempt to run MPBPA against mp timed out. C:\Program Files\Silect\MP Author\MPBPA\MPBPAv2.exe “C:\IT\Test.xml” /I:”C:\Program Files\Silect\MP Author\ManagementPacks” /Report:”C:\Users\xxx\Documents\Silect\ManagementPacks\Reports\MPBPA.Report.Celanese.Win32Services.2007.xml”

HtmlMessageBox: Error running MPBPAV2.EXE, error code was -1 StdOut: StdError: Caption: Error analyzing management pack Icon: Hand

So it calls another program. I found that if you call that directly through Command Prompt then it works without an error. Also I searched for the report file and found it on my machine. So it works even with the error.

Anyhow. It looks like a nice tool for creating management packs, which do not have Tasks or Recovery Tasks. It has some good wizards and still a lot which can be improved.

Update: If you change the referenced management pack folder (Tools:Set Reference Management Pack Folder), then do not forget to copy the MPs from the old folder (C:\Program Files\Silect\MP Author\ManagementPacks) to the new one. Otherwise it will not work.

Also the tool is very slow, so if there is no update in the future which increases performance then no one will use it really.