Words and Software

Technical writing/user assistance in Microsoft.Azure Intelligent Systems Service (ISS). (old: Data Protection Manager and Operations Manager)

June, 2009

  • R2: check for MP updates

    There hasn't been an easy way to check for management pack updates in Operations Manager 2007 until the R2 release. Once you're running R2, you can use the Import Management Packs wizard to determine if any of the MPs you are running have had an update released. Just follow the instructions on How to Import a Management Pack, and in step 4, be sure to select Updates available for management packs that are already imported on this computer.

  • Submit questions for the Operator's Manual

    There are two ways to approach content on using the Operations console and Web console for Operations Manager:

    1. Explain what information is available in each section of the consoles.
    2. Take examples of information that an operator would want to locate, and tell them how to find it in the consoles.

    I've decided to do it both ways, in a guide that I'm putting together for new Ops Mgr operators. Here are a few questions for #2 that I harvested from an email discussion:

    • I have added a Management Group in the console and I also added few computers, how do I know if these computers belong to the management group that I added?
    • How do I know if a management pack is applied or connected to the servers that I added in the console?

    What other questions might an operator want to answer in the console? Submit your suggestions to jdecker AT microsoft DOT com!

  • Is your IE8 slow to open a new tab?

    Whenever I would open a new tab in IE8, whether by control-clicking a link or simply clicking the New Tab tab, everything would go dead for a good 10-20 seconds until IE8would finally show a new tab and then begin trying to open something in it. (Yeah, it always feels like longer.) It finally began bothering me enough that I started searching for a fix.

    The first suggestion I came upon had to do with the restricted sites list. Checked -- didn't have one.

    The second suggestion was to run regsvr32 actxprxy.dll. Tried it -- no improvement.

    (That doesn't mean that either of those fixes are wrong, it just means I have some other issue.)

    I finally came across the fix that I needed in the comments to a post criticizing that second fix above. Add-ons! Clicked Tools -> Manage Add-Ons and there it was: ZuneIEPlugin.ZuneBHO, with a load time of 7.62 seconds. I disabled it and voilà! My tabs work nicely again.

    If you too suffer from sluggish tabs, try those three suggestions and hopefully one of them will work for you as well!

  • MP Guide for Operations Manager 2007 R2

    The management pack guide for the Operations Manager Management Pack (Operations Manager 2007 R2 only) is available for download.

    Usually, the guide is in the download with the management pack, but since the new Operations Manager Management Pack is included in the R2 product, we published the guide separately. We'll also be adding a link to the guide download to the System Center Pack Catalog, to make it easier for customer to find.

    Note that if you are not running Ops Mgr R2, you do not want this guide!

  • What goes in product knowledge?

    When you create a component in a management pack, you have to provide a display name. You can also include a description and product knowledge. All three of those items are pretty much free-form, meaning you can put what you want in those fields (subject to character limitations, of course). That means that every MP developer has had to make decisions about when to use those fields and what to put in them.

    That's just not a good use of a developer's time, and it also results in an inconsistent experience for customers using MPs from different developers. To help reduce that problem internally, we came up with guidelines for text in MPs: specifically, display names, descriptions, and product knowledge. One of our program managers suggested we provide similar guidance for developers and authors outside of Microsoft, so I cleaned it up (removed resources and links that are internal) and it's now available on OpsManJam: Guidelines for MP Text.

    (edit: fixed typo)

  • Where did "Key Concepts" go?

    Back when Operations Manager 2007 was released, the content team posted an online version of a Key Concepts Guide and a download version. When you look at our documentation download page for Ops Mgr 2007 R2, Key Concepts isn't listed. Where did it go?

    When the product was new, we wanted to highlight Key Concepts to clarify the differences between MOM 2005 and Ops Mgr 2007. With R2, we're not really a "new" product anymore. The explanations of model-based design, service modeling, and health modeling are primarily of value to the authoring experience. So, when we reorganized the content library in the R2 release, the Key Concepts content was added to the Management Pack Authoring Guide.



    P.S. The links to the original content (first paragraph) still pull up the original content, but notice that the left navigation pane fails to resolve to a table of contents. Whenever you hit TechNet content and the navigation pane goes generic, you know you've reached deprecated content.