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

7 Responses to “10 reasons NOT to use the Visual Studio Authoring Extensions VSAE”

  1. Igor October 22, 2013 at 11:20 #

    Can you say the reason i CANT EDIT properties even on unsealed MP`s, cant see any temples in add item menu ?

    • Michel Kamp November 6, 2013 at 21:02 #

      hi, dont know. can you send some details aka screenshots ?

  2. Lavonne April 22, 2014 at 20:42 #

    Can I just say what a relief to find a person that genuinely understands what they’re discussing over
    the internet. You definitely understand how to bring a problem to light and make it important.
    More and more people should read this and understand this side of your story.
    I was surprised that you aren’t more popular since you definitely have the gift.

  3. escuela de musica December 5, 2014 at 10:45 #

    I do agree with all of the ideas you have offered in your
    post. They are really convincing and will certainly work.
    Still, the posts are too brief for beginners. Could you please prolong them a bit from subsequent time?
    Thank you for the post.


  1. System Center 2012 Operations Manager Authoring Options | code4ward.net - February 26, 2015

    […] For me personally this is the holy grail of MP authoring and I’m very happy what the awesome SCOM product team created here! Working with the VSAE (Visual Studio Authoring Extension) has the same requirements in terms of skillset and MP authoring knowledge as working with the Authoring Console or XML Editor but it has some really nice features and concepts which is more than helpful in most authoring scenarios. Have a look at Michel Kamp’s blog post about the top 10 reasons why the VSAE is awesome:https://michelkamp.wordpress.com/2012/06/17/10-reasons-not-to-use-the-visual-studio-authoring-extensi… […]

  2. System Center 2012 Operations Manager Authoring Options | code4ward.net - February 26, 2015

    […] Have a look at Michel Kamp’s blog post about the top 10 reasons why the VSAE is awesome:https://michelkamp.wordpress.com/2012/06/17/10-reasons-not-to-use-the-visual-studio-authoring-extensi…Before you install the VSAE you need to have Visual Studio 2010 installed. Note that the Express […]

  3. Management Pack Authoring Options – code4ward.net - September 10, 2016

    […] Have a look at Michel Kamp’s blog post about the top 10 reasons why the VSAE is awesome:https://michelkamp.wordpress.com/2012/06/17/10-reasons-not-to-use-the-visual-studio-authoring-extensi…Before you install the VSAE you need to have Visual Studio 2010 installed. Note that the Express […]

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