In this article, I’m going to highlight some of the cool features that the Visio 2010 Add-In tool provides for OpsMgr admins. Most of these features are also available in the Visio 2007 Add-In tool as well (minus the SharePoint integration piece).
Here is an overview of the functionality this tool offers us:
The ability to create brand new Visio documents and link any shapes to any of the managed objects within the OpsMgr environment to show the current health state of that object. In other words, we don’t necessarily have to create a Distributed Application within the OpsMgr console to show all of the components of an application in a dashboard-type view. We can just start adding any combination of objects to a Visio document manually and as a result show each of their respective health states. However, there are still benefits to using Distributed Applications as they provide us with the health roll-up for the application as a whole.
Hopefully, this gives you some good ideas on how you can begin to leverage this Add-In tool to create your own dashboards for your own environment. Whether it be just for IT viewing only or even published to SharePoint as a way of letting Senior Management know how the health of your systems are doing.
I encourage anybody who is interested in creating OpsMgr dashboards to check out the 12 minute Visio Integration video from TechNet Edge for OpsMgr 2007 R2. That’s where the screenshot above originated and it really gives the viewer a feel for the potential of this tool.
Of course there is also the TechNet documentation as well if you just want to get started by installing it and seeing how far you can go!