I realize I haven’t posted anything in awhile – mainly due to my recent change of job within Microsoft (more information on that later). I had to get off my lazy butt to write this post though because the MP Author Resource Kit was just released today. I’ve had the opportunity to play with a beta of these tools, and they are absolutely outstanding. Some of the tools might be classified under the “nice to have” category but others absolutely change the entire authoring experience. Oh the time that these could have save me over the past couple of years…..
The rundown of tools in the new resource kit is as follows:
Just to show how cool the Workflow Simulator is, let me show a couple of screenshots. This is the StoreApp management pack that I’ve used at a couple of conferences for a sample. This particular monitor runs a script that collects a file count from several folders – simulating queues in the sample application.
All I have to do is right click on the monitor and select Simulate.
Then I get a dialog box showing me all of the overrideable parameters in case I want to change any for this simulation. I also get any target variables that are being passed to the monitor. When actually running, these are values that we would get from the properties of the target object. In the simulation though we have no target object, so I get the opportunity to provide my own values.
When I’m ready, I hit Start Simulation, and the monitor runs - listing each module and it’s output! Have a look at the screenshot below. I have a timestamp next to each module as it is loaded. You can see that the first data source is the scheduler. Once it fires, the script runs outputting three different property bags – one for each folder that my script finds. I then filter that to a single data source matching the particular folder I’m interested in, and then we see each of the expressions for the health states of the monitor. Right next to each module in the Data column, I can see the values in the resulting property bag. If I want to see the actual XML, it’s in the right pane.
For anyone who is used to only being able to test workflows by installing them and then waiting for them to deploy to the agent this is huge. An authoring experience not requiring a connection to a running environment, a quick means of testing workflows, and complete exposure into the execution and resulting data from each module in the workflow. What more could you possibly ask for?
Bottom line – go get the MP Resource Kit now. I’ve only been using it for a couple of weeks, and I already can’t imagine trying to write an MP without it.
Hi Brian Wren,
I have one issue regarding the debugging. I have instaleld the debugger and so able to select the 'Debug Script' option. My management pack is having script discovery and I want to debug it. When I choose 'Debug Script' option and simulate the discovery, it it not launching the debugger and so i am not able to debug the script.
Can you put your views on the same.