[Today's post comes from Min Yang]
In System Center Configuration Manager 2012, the Configuration Manager console has been greatly improved to enhance its usability. In addition to improvements in performance and layout, there are also a couple of new features to address the “how to find objects quickly” problem. This blog posts introduces the following useful features:
If you are familiar with Configuration Manager 2007, you know that organizational folders are not a new concept. They provide a similar experience to folders in the Windows file system, where they can be used to organize objects.
Typically, you can create a folder structure before you generate content, and then create or import content to be stored inside these folders. This makes it easier to organize content. There are many approaches you can use to set up a hierarchy of folders. For example, you can create folders that align with functional organizations, or folders by work flow, or whatever you like.
To create a folder, right-click the node or existing folder under which you want to place that folder, click Folder, and then click Create Folder - as shown in the following picture.
You can select multiple objects and move these to a folder at the same time. Select all the objects that you want to move, right-click an object, and then click Move - as shown in the following picture.
Note that any folder hierarchy that you have created is also shown when you use the Browse option to select objects in Wizards and dialog boxes, as shown in the next picture.
Benefits of using organizational folders:
Limitations of using organizational folders include the following:
Object types that support organizational folders:
Administrative categories provide an alternative solution to organizational folders. Instead of using a hierarchical structure, administrative categories allow you to classify an object with tags of your choosing. Unlike organizational folders, you can keep all objects in one list view and sort them by category to make them easier to find.
You might also use administrative categories when an administrative user does not have security permissions to move objects into a particular organizational folder. In this scenario, the administrative user could add objects to an administrative category, which a higher-level administrative user can then use later to locate the objects.
You can assign an object to an administrative category by using a number of different methods:
You can assign the object when you create an object:
Or you can add and remove administrative categories to objects with a single click:
Benefits of using administrative categories:
Limitations of using administrative categories:
Objects that support administrative categories:
In Configuration Manager 2012, search is completely redesigned to be more powerful: Similarly to how search works in Outlook 2012, you can now use free-text searches or criteria search, and set the search scope to the current node or folder, subfolders, or all objects.
This is the simplest form of search. Type in any keyword in the filter bar at the top of the list view. The result will be filtered to objects that have the keyword in any property. Note that the property column with the matched text might not be shown in the list view, but you can right-click any column header at the top of the list view to add this property column. Also note, that if the default scope for the operation is set to “Current Node”, then objects from other nodes, or subfolders will not be searched.
You can fine-tune searches by adding other known values as criteria for your search. When you click Add Criteria, new boxes are displayed for you to provide these values. Criteria for the same property are combined by “OR” logic, and criteria for different properties are combined by “AND” logic. For example, an application administrator can search for an application that is associated with the administrative categories “Productivity” or “Finance”, which have been deployed less than twice.
By default, a search is scoped to the current node. Because folders have their own nodes in the Configuration Manager console, you can also scope a search on the current folder and all its subfolders. Both free text search and criteria search can use these scopes.
Use the Folder and all subfolder scope to search for all objects in a selected tree.
If you are looking for specific content but are not sure in which node to look, use a global search. Select All Objects on the Search ribbon tab to set the search scope to be global, and then enter free text in the search text box. This returns matches across all applicable object types and all properties. The result list is interactive, and the workspace information is shown to help you find them in the console.
Benefits of using search:
Limitations of using search:
This blog post compared three new features of the Configuration Manager console – organizational folders, administrative categories and search. Use the following table as a summary comparison.
Individual nodes, tree-like view
An attribute of object
In list view result
Replication through Hierarchy
Yes except for saved global search
Object can belong to one folder only
Objects can be associated with multiple categories
Any object that satisfies the criteria is shown in the results
You can create objects in the folder and you can move multiple objects
You can create objects with associated categories and you can modify multiple categories
Saved search automatically applies
Folders visible to all administrative users; objects and actions are secured by permissions
Objects and actions are secured by permissions
Saved criteria is visible to all administrative users; result objects are secured by permissions
When you use one or more of these features, you can more efficiently use the Configuration Manager console to manage your environment with Configuration Manager 2012.
This posting is provided "AS IS" with no warranties and confers no rights.
How do we save search criteria for future use?