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Management Packs RRS feed

  • Question

  • Hi, 

    On my path to get to know the Service Manager, I've met the concept: Management Pack several times. I'm aware that Managements Packs are used to extend functionality to the SCSM, but I miss a low level explanation on the basics of this, to me, new concept.

    Is it possible that we start a discussion about Management Packs in general. This discussion could contain:

     - Basics about MP's
         - What are they used for?
         - What are they capable of?
         - What are the limitations?

     - Technology behind MP's 
         - What kind of background do you need to have to build MP's

     - Getting started developing

    ... and so on...

    These are just ideas!

    I hope that this initiative will be well met!

    Best Regards,

    Henrik

    IT-Architect, VENZO
    Wednesday, February 18, 2009 10:54 AM

Answers

  • Hello everyone,

    Indeed we will provide more detailed information about authoring for Service Manager using Management Packs. Blog posts are a good start.

    However I also wanted to point out there is a Service Manager Authoring Guide available with the Beta 1 release (on Connect). It contains a chapter on "Creating a Service Manager Management Pack" which walks you through creating a simple Management Pack that extends Service Manager functionality to track a new type of object in your CMDB. The example in this document :

    * Defines a new class to represent an "Overhead Projector" new type of object to be tracked in the system

    * Declares a form to be used in the SM Console to enter/view the information about these overhead projectors. Note that the form itself is a WPF form, so it is authored separately in something like Expression Blend or Visual Studio. You then declare it in the Management Pack, target it to the class and point out the binary that implements it (assembly/classname)

    * Defines console tasks (actions that appear in the right pane of the SM Console) for "Create Projector" and "Edit Projector"

    * Defines a view to display a node in the navigation pane for "All Projectors" and display the list of exisiting projectros in the middle results pane.

    * It then shows how to take this XML file and import it into Service Manager.


    This should give you a general idea of the types of things that can be done through a Management Pack. We certainly need to provide more details and a complete description of Management Pack content. This will be available in upcoming documentation, as well as online presentations etc. within the next few months.

    If you have a specific scenario in mind which you are thinking of implementing in Service Manager and are trying to determine how you would implement it using Management Packs, I would be glad to assist with figuring that out if you can provide more details on what you are thinking of building.

    Thanks,

    Cori


    This posting is provided "AS IS" with no warranties, and confers no rights. Use of attachments are subject to the terms specified at
    http://www.microsoft.com/info/cpyright.htm

    Wednesday, February 18, 2009 9:24 PM
  • Hi Henrik,
    Sorry about the delay in responding to your questions. Educating partners and customers will continue happening through documentation, SDK examples, scenario walk-throughs, forums, blog posts etc.

    As always if you have any suggestions, we would be more than happy to entertain any ideas.

    Thanks,
    Meghal
    This posting is provided "AS IS" with no warranties, and confers no rights. Use of attachments are subject to the terms specified at http://www.microsoft.com/info/cpyright.htm
    Wednesday, February 25, 2009 4:50 PM
    Answerer

All replies

  • Hi,

    I have been working some with management packs in Operations Manager 2007. SM2010 and Ops Mgr are both built on the same core platform, so I think management packs are pretty close to each others.

    In Ops Mgr management packs provides all the knowledge about how a product is monitored. They include rules, monitors, knowledge articles, reports, views and so on. Everything that you need to monitor one technology, like Exchange 2007 or Sharepoint. They are build in XML. You can use notepad.exe to build them, if you are hardcore, but there is also a authoring console that you can use to build them. For operations manager there is a authoring guide both for management packs and for reports. When building MP I think the most important thing to know, it what you want to do, what the purpose is. You dont need a dev background.

    If you look in the SM_Glossary document that comes with SM2010 beta 1 you can read:

    management pack

    A grouping of classes, workflows, views, forms, reports, and knowledge, which are stored in a file, and that extends Service Manager with the information necessary to implement all or part of a service management process. For example, the Incident process management pack provides the necessary information to enable Service Manager to implement the incident management process. See “sealed management pack” and “unsealed management pack” in the glossary.

     



    Anders Bengtsson | Microsoft MVP - Operations Manager | http://www.contoso.se
    Wednesday, February 18, 2009 12:04 PM
    Answerer
  • Hi Anders,

    Thank you for your reply. I have seen the Glossary and also searched the Internet for further information regarding Management Packs.

    However the concept is still a bit blurred to me!

    As I see it, I would be able to create a new module (i.e. Service Requests), define forms, attributes/fields and workflow. Then create a Management Pack for this new module and move it to an other environment...? - Correct or?

    What I'm after, is a general discussion on this issue. Perhaps a statement/document from developers saying you can do this and that with MP's.

    BR

    Henrik
    Wednesday, February 18, 2009 2:36 PM
  • Hi Henrik,
    I am a test lead in the Service Manager team responsible for the testing of Management Pack infrastructure. This is an excellent idea for a blog post. Let me put together something and I will reply back with a link to the blog post. Please give me a day or two to put this together.

    In the meantime, for a short answer - at a high level:

    Management packs are XML based artifacts in Service Manager providing one of the major ways of extending the product. In a management pack you can provide definition for modeling new classes. For example, Incidents or Configuration Items are classes in Service Manager that are defined through a Management Pack. In the same way you can define relationship between classes, User Roles, Forms, Tasks and much more. Using Windows Workflows that can be packaged with a Management Pack, you can also define business processes. The UI for Service Manager can also be extended via the Management Pack.

    As Anders mentioned, in Operations Manager, they do have a Authoring Console that will help you create a management pack. For Service Manager, there are plans to do a similar Authoring tool in the future. Today in order to create most of the advanced Management Pack items you will need to do it in a XML editor. But the Analyst Console in Service Manager does give you capability to create simpler items like groups, queues, tasks, templates, user roles etc. in the Authoring wunderbar.

    And as you mentioned in your second post, you are on the correct lines as management pack does provide you with the mechanism to not only create the various things I mentioned earlier, but also move it from one installation (for instance a pre-production) to another (production). It is also the vehicle for customers and partners to package functionality or customizations.

    Hope that is helpful in shedding some light on what a management pack is and what you can do with it. As I said before this is an excellent idea for a blog post or series. In addition to what you mentioned in your first post, please continue letting us know what else you would like to know and we will try to answer it as best as we can.

    Thanks,
    Meghal
    This posting is provided "AS IS" with no warranties, and confers no rights. Use of attachments are subject to the terms specified at http://www.microsoft.com/info/cpyright.htm
    Wednesday, February 18, 2009 4:41 PM
    Answerer
  • Hello everyone,

    Indeed we will provide more detailed information about authoring for Service Manager using Management Packs. Blog posts are a good start.

    However I also wanted to point out there is a Service Manager Authoring Guide available with the Beta 1 release (on Connect). It contains a chapter on "Creating a Service Manager Management Pack" which walks you through creating a simple Management Pack that extends Service Manager functionality to track a new type of object in your CMDB. The example in this document :

    * Defines a new class to represent an "Overhead Projector" new type of object to be tracked in the system

    * Declares a form to be used in the SM Console to enter/view the information about these overhead projectors. Note that the form itself is a WPF form, so it is authored separately in something like Expression Blend or Visual Studio. You then declare it in the Management Pack, target it to the class and point out the binary that implements it (assembly/classname)

    * Defines console tasks (actions that appear in the right pane of the SM Console) for "Create Projector" and "Edit Projector"

    * Defines a view to display a node in the navigation pane for "All Projectors" and display the list of exisiting projectros in the middle results pane.

    * It then shows how to take this XML file and import it into Service Manager.


    This should give you a general idea of the types of things that can be done through a Management Pack. We certainly need to provide more details and a complete description of Management Pack content. This will be available in upcoming documentation, as well as online presentations etc. within the next few months.

    If you have a specific scenario in mind which you are thinking of implementing in Service Manager and are trying to determine how you would implement it using Management Packs, I would be glad to assist with figuring that out if you can provide more details on what you are thinking of building.

    Thanks,

    Cori


    This posting is provided "AS IS" with no warranties, and confers no rights. Use of attachments are subject to the terms specified at
    http://www.microsoft.com/info/cpyright.htm

    Wednesday, February 18, 2009 9:24 PM
  • Hello everyone,

    I am very glad that you are taking my request this seriously!
    Thank you for your replies, which indeed are very helpful in order to give a basic idea of the concept behind Management Packs.
    I look forward to further information, and hope for a good set of Blog posts in the future.

    Another question in relation to this:
    How are the plans regarding educating partners and customers when the product is released? 

    Thanks
    Henrik 
    Thursday, February 19, 2009 7:57 AM
  • Hi Henrik,
    Sorry about the delay in responding to your questions. Educating partners and customers will continue happening through documentation, SDK examples, scenario walk-throughs, forums, blog posts etc.

    As always if you have any suggestions, we would be more than happy to entertain any ideas.

    Thanks,
    Meghal
    This posting is provided "AS IS" with no warranties, and confers no rights. Use of attachments are subject to the terms specified at http://www.microsoft.com/info/cpyright.htm
    Wednesday, February 25, 2009 4:50 PM
    Answerer
  • I am putting together a survey to vote on the most useful and use System Center management packs.

    Please include your vote here:

    https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/CM6RJYF

    Once I have the results I will post them to share the most useful ones that are out there for new users

    Wednesday, September 9, 2015 1:24 PM
  • In Service Manager>Administration>Management Packs, there are over 140 Management Packs listed out of the box. Some of the descriptions are vague, some have no descriptions. Is there a blog, list, or other reference where I can find a more detailed description of each management pack and its intended use?

    Monday, January 4, 2016 9:19 PM