.\Matthew Long

{An unsorted collection of thoughts}

Posts Tagged ‘Visual Studio’

SCOM – Updated Visual Studio Authoring Extensions released

Posted by Matthew on October 21, 2013

Hi Guys,

A new version of the System Center Visual Studio Authoring Extensions has now been released, featuring many bugfixes, improvements and enhancements.  One of these that I’ve long been awaiting is..

Visual Studio 2012 and 2013 are now supported!

This means all of the new VS 2012/3 features that you’ve been waiting to use are now go.  I know items such as previewing files and source control enhancements

Download link : http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/details.aspx?id=30169

You’ll need to uninstall the previous version if you’ve already got it installed, as the installer won’t perform an upgrade (at this time, I also uninstalled Visual Studio 2010, as I only had that version installed for MP Authoring, everything else I’m doing has since moved on to more recent versions of VS).

Some of the notable changes are (in no particular order):

  • Support for Visual Studio 2012 and 2013
  • Language packs other than ENU are now built correctly,
  • Picker dialog boxes now traverse Project references properly, as does the Find All references tool.
  • No more access denied error messages when trying to build a 2012 MP that has been auto deployed to a management group.
  • Import wizard can now resolve MP references inside MP bundles
  • Snippet Editor no longer displays duplicate columns when an ID has been used multiple times in the snippet template.
  • Monitor templates now set Auto resolve to “True” by default and Severity to “MatchMonitorHealth”
  • MP Context Parameter replacements can now be used in Module parameters that have non-string data types.
  • MP Simulator can now simulate Agent Task workflows
  • MPBA “Resolve” option now works correctly with generated fragment files

They’ve also changed the Project templates to make it a bit more explicit which versions of Operations Manager each project type supports, and added 2012 SP1 and 2012 R2 explicitly as new project types.  Sadly still no xml  templates provided for datasource, monitortype, probe or condition detection modules.

VSAE Project Types

Full change list: http://social.technet.microsoft.com/wiki/contents/articles/20357.whats-new-in-visual-studio-authoring-extensions-2013.aspx

Remaining Issues:

  • MPBA Tool still doesn’t resolve Alert Strings where the default Language is not the workstation language (switch your machines language and all the missing alert string messages will disappear)
  • No intellisense support when configuring module parameters outside of Template groups (painful when creating custom modules).
  • Go To Definition doesn’t function if you are already previewing an existing item (essentially only works when called from fragments in your projects).
  • Informational schema errors are still logged when you configure module parameters outside of a template group.
  • When creating template snippets, intellisense still only provides snippet specific options, which can make authoring snippets challenging.

Happy Authoring!


Posted in Computing | Tagged: , , , , , , | 5 Comments »

Switch a Visual Studio Authoring Extension MP project between SCOM 2007 and SCOM 2012

Posted by Matthew on February 8, 2013

A couple of times now I’ve started a new MP project in Visual Studio using the Operations Manager Visual Studio Authoring Extensions, and about 45 minutes into my development realized I’ve created the wrong project type.  There have also been a few occasions where requirements change and it makes more sense to change the project from a Core Monitoring (2007) management pack into a 2012 “add-on” pack.

It’s actually quite a simple change to make, providing you know which files to edit.

Project File

  1. Open the .mpproj file that represents your management pack project (NOT the solution file).
  2. Locate the MPFrameworkVersion element in the first PropertyGroup section, and modify it according to the version you want the project to build:
    1. For 2012, use <MpFrameworkVersion>v7.0</MpFrameworkVersion>
    2. For 2007, use <MpFrameworkVersion>v6.1</MpFrameworkVersion>
  3. If downgrading from 2012 to 2007, under the ItemGroup element containing the MP Reference elements, remove any references to MPs that don’t exist in 2007.
  4. Save the file.

Management Pack Fragments

Next, you’ll need to update the SchemaVersion attribute of the ManagementPackFragment element at the start of every .mpx file in your project.  The good news is that you can just use Visual Studio’s find and replace option to replace this in all files in the solution simultaneously!

  1. Open the Project/solution in visual studio.
  2. Open one of the .mpx files, and hit Ctrl+H to open the “Find and Replace” window.
  3. To go from 2007 to 2012, in the “find what” box, enter <ManagementPackFragment SchemaVersion=”1.0″ and in “replace with” enter <ManagementPackFragment SchemaVersion=”2.0″
  4. Otherwise, do the reverse and in the “find what” box, enter <ManagementPackFragment SchemaVersion=”2.0″and in “replace with” enter <ManagementPackFragment SchemaVersion=”1.0″
  5. Make sure “Look in” is set to Current Project.
  6. You can now either click “Find Next” and “Replace” repeatedly if you aren’t comfortable letting VS just replace everything, or hit “Replace All

Save all files in your project, and attempt a build.  If you get any build errors relating to Management pack references or Schema Versions, just look for the reference/file that you missed and update the values.

Needless to say, you should always think carefully before you do this, and thoroughly test the MP to ensure that there aren’t any side effects from now using earlier/later versions of the default SCOM management packs.  Going from 2007 -> 2012 is safer as 2012 is backwards compatible and will support your previous module configurations.

Hope that helps!

Posted in Computing | Tagged: , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Referencing MPBs and other SCOM 2012 Management Packs using Visual Studio Authoring Extensions

Posted by Matthew on January 29, 2013

One of the great features of the SCOM Visual Studio Authoring Extension is the ability to easily view the definitions of content in sealed management packs you are referencing.  Sometimes (especially if you are exporting a MP from the SCOM management group for further customization) you’ll need to reference an MP that is installed in your SCOM management group but that isn’t included in the VSAE package, or isn’t available online.  Most likely this is a system MP or a MP that’s only available as part of a bundle (If your MP contains 2012 dashboards, it’s probably got a reference to Microsoft.SystemCenter.Visualization.Library or Microsoft.SystemCenter.Visualization.Internal).  How can you reference these?

Well if you’ve still got your SCOM installation media to hand you can find all of the MPs imported at installation in the ManagementPacks folder.  This can be great if you’ve got a required reference, or even just want to have a look at how the product group implemented some piece of functionality!

Note however that some of the MPs are wrapped up in MPBs (Management pack bundles).  It’s still perfectly possible to reference these in your project:

  1. Make sure you’re editing a 2012 MP project.  If you’ve chosen an Operations Manager Core MP, you’ll be unable to add a reference to MPBs as they didn’t exist at that time.
  2. In Solution Explorer (by default on the right panel) right click on “References”  and choose “Add References from Management Pack bundle…”
  3. Browse to and select your file (Lets say Microsoft.SystemCenter.Visualization.Internal.mpb from the SCOM 2012 install media)
  4. You’ll be then given a dialog detailing the MP(s) that were added from the bundle into the project.
  5. Now you can view the definition of any module you need from that MP via the Management Pack browser (View -> Management Pack Browser) or by selecting the module in-code and hitting F12 (go to definition hotkey).

Pretty simple procedure!  If you have accidentally created your MP project as a Operations Manager Core (2007) MP, you can modify your solution files to upgrade it.  Think carefully about doing this however – would you be better off including the extra functionality you need in an additional “feature” pack?  If you decide to go ahead and upgrade/downgrade, you can follow the steps in this blogpost.

Oh and one final tip: If you don’t want to find yourself having to constantly keep hold of the 2012 install media, you can just copy the MPs into the VSAE installation folder (they will now automatically be resolved when referenced).  You’ll find them in Program Files (x86)\System Center 2012 Visual Studio Authoring Extensions\References\OM2012.  I’d advise not to overwrite any of the existing MPs (you’ll get some conflicts) to be safe.  Also, be careful about copying updated versions of MPs that come from CU’s/SPs into this location, unless you don’t mind all the MPs you create requiring that updated version of the MP in future.  Not all customers have/can install the latest patches..

Hope that helps!

Posted in Computing | Tagged: , , , | Leave a Comment »