Archive | June, 2012

VSAE the download is there!!!!

30 Jun

No words can say whats on this link hit me

Happy Scomming!!

10 reasons NOT to use the Visual Studio Authoring Extensions VSAE

17 Jun

Hi this weekly post will be a short one all about the yet to be released VSAE.

Have you seen the title ?… Hmm what are you thinking now ? Not really something he would write … And you are correct its nonsense .. But I have your attention now , haven’t I…

Reason 1: SourceSafe integration

If you have read my previous post you know I really prio using SourceSafe for managing your management pack developments. And good news since the VSAE is a Visual studio project template is can be integrated out of the box with all VS supported SourceSafe systems. Just put the Solution to your SourceSafe system and every thing will be versioned. I use the good old VSS 2005 for this. But TSFS will also do the job.


Reason 2: MP object viewer

Yea! this feature is super. Normally you had to browse your MP by XML to view your project content. Or you use external tools for it. Now you will get it out of the box.In the View menu of the main VS window. Press Management Pack browser.


And you will see all the MPs in your solution/projects. Now you can browse it by type. You can even now browse SEALED mps at ease.


Also when double clicking on the type. For example the discovery rule. You will be jumping directly to it in your MP.
BE AWARE THAT IF YOU DO THIS AT A SEALED MP YOU WILL BE REDIRECTED TO A READONLY VERSION OF THE MP FILE. YOU CAN’T EDIT IN THIS WINDOW. Sounds logical since it’s a sealed MP. But I had this confusion situation one’s when I clicked on my own sealed MP that I use as reference in a other MP. And was wondering why I couldn’t edit it since it was checked out by VSS…

Reason 3: Find references

You can now find at ease where you MP object is used. Just use the find references find feature. Select the MP object and right click “Find all references”


And you will get:


And of course you can double click to go to MP object ‘code’. ; – )

If you don’t see the window. Just press in the VS main menu: View –> Find MP Element Reference Results.


Reason 4: Simulating your workflows

Of course you will never used this , because your MPs are faultless. ;- ) The mine aren’t so I use this a lot. The Workflow simulator is integrated in VS now. Just select in the Management Pack Browser the , for example discovery , and right click “MP Simulator”. And that all.!!


In a separate windows the already known workflow simulator will popup.


Reason 5: Jump to referenced MP objects.

Very powerful feature. When you are working in your MP project at a MP object and are using for example a MP TYPE you can easily jump to this type by right click on the name and select “Go to Definition” (F12).


Reason 6: intellisense

If you have read my post on how to enable intellisense for OM07 MPs in VS this isn’t so new. But now it even does intellisense on references also.. this really speeds up the development time. cool


Remember: This intellisense is not always automatically showing up. Most of the time you must press SHIFT+Space. Example above, press the keys at the ! sign and you will prompted a dropdown list with the possible choices.  Notice that only the valid modules of type datasource are displayed. Well done Microsoft product team( s ) !

Reason 7: Build and deploy.

At the end we all have to import the MP into our dev environment to test it. Normally you will do a MP verify and then import it. You can use tasks for this in VS. I already blogged about this earlier. However in VSAE the MP is build of MP fragments and has to be compiled and build. Now the great time safer is that you can now specify the OM MNG group were this MP has to be imported after a successful build. You can even configure that the MP has to be sealed before import. And yes the version number is also incremented at build.


Even when the build gives errors back you will see it in the Error list window. And you can click on it to jump to the MP object. Wow never have to use CTRL+G again ; – ) 
Notice that this jump does not apply for target typo’s . I hope this will be fixed in the RTM release.


Reason 8: Management objects templates

You can now create/insert at ease new KPIs. Just press NEW-> Add existing Item and you can choose several KPI to create. I already blogged about this. The nice part is that you can even automate this so that you can create 100x rule at ones. I have to amid that I don’t use this templates a lot. I prefer to type it manually but sometimes I use this to get a sort of snap in fragments. Just create the KPI using the template and the look at the generated code behind and copy it. Be aware that if you change the code behind you will loose it at next build… I personally would liked if this generated code was also reflexed back against the template.


Reason 9: Convert your ‘old’ OM07 MPs.

Using the VSAE you can convert your OM07 MPs to the new VSAE project types. It very easy just use the “Project from existing Management Pack” , select the om07 MP and the references and a new project will be created in your solution. If you select multiply om07 MPs there will be created a new project for every MP. Very handy. The down site is however that it will put all the MP objects into one big MP fragment. I personally would liked to have seen this split-up by type or maybe converted to templates.


Tip: If you converted MP has images it will extract this images to resources and put them in the root of the project directory. You can create a new folder and drag them into here. Be aware that there is a little bug: The resource MP objects haven’t the images file extensions. So a build will fail. Just add the file extensions .jpg ect.. to it and it will run.



Reason 10: It just a must have.

I could continue to write about the tons of great features that are build in the VSAE but over 30min the soccer Europe 2012 game Netherlands->Portugal is going to start so I will warp it up and say:
use it use it use it use it . its no question why , just use the VSAE !

Happy scomming and till next week.

Michel Kamp

Part 2 : Get more value using Visio drill trough

3 Jun

Hi Quick Update. In part 1 I promised when I had time I would make a prototype of a OM 12 Widget that would show a Visio document and update the health states on it.

So , not that I had time but the coolness factor was to high , so I offered some hours on Sunday to get this working… yes you have read it correctly. I have it working !


Make a OM 2012 widget and load a Visio document in it. Then refresh the shape data according to the OM target health states. Just the way the official Microsoft Visio SCOM plug in it does.


So far I have it working as a prototype. Yes its stable but as every prototype not fool proof. See screen shots below.


The prototype works based on Visio documents you have made with the official Visio SCOM plugin. Just create the Visio document and drag the OM targets on it and save it. Then load it in to the widget , for now with File –> open. There is one rule: You must have Visio installed on the machine running the OM console.

You don’t have to have the official Visio SCOM plugin installed when you only view the Visio sheets in the Widgets. I have made a refresh feature that connects to the OM group and gets the health state data and refreshes the Visio shapes based on the outcome. But when you have the official Visio SCOM plugin installed you get a bonus. It works also in the widget with official refreshing. See screenshot below:


After getting a try timeout it shows the login form. Better would be that it takes the credentials you are using running the OM console . But … Again prototype facts.



Sorry I really love being a nerd! (that’s what my wife says anyway) If you are honest you must admit this is really cool stuff!!. Since it will cost me for now to much time to finish a build I can share and because the VSAE is still under NDA and I maybe have plans with this. I will not share it for now. However I will try to convince the MS OM guys ( Dale , Marcin, Baelson hope you read this) to deliver this widget out of the box..

Happy Scomming and till next week!

Michel Kamp