• Wed, Mar 25 2015

    Roll your own MSI for testing with the ConfigMgr 2012 Application Model

    Do you have Visual Studio 2013 installed? Want to roll your own MSI? All you need to do is download the free Visual Studio Installer extension and create a new Visual Studio Installer Project. It’s incredibly simple using the Setup Wizard. If you need an MSI with no licensing restrictions, for demoing the Application Model in ConfigMgr then this is a perfect way to go about it. A step by step guide in the form of a KB...
    • Sun, Feb 22 2015

    Guide to creating your own ConfigMgr tools – Part 3

    In the following series of blog posts I will introduce you to C#, Visual Studio and the ConfigMgr SDK, and show you how to produce your own custom tooling easily. The motivation behind this series of postings is to enable you to create community tools or bespoke tooling to assist you in your day-to-day ConfigMgr role, and thus to enhance the Community overall, as hopefully you’ll produce the very next best tool and we...
    • Mon, Feb 9 2015

    Creating a tool on the weekend and using it at a customer site the next day

    I didn’t actually have a strong-use case for developing the Content Location Request Generator tool, I only wrote it as I was helping a guy along the way with his C# and ConfigMgr 2012 R2 CCM Messaging SDK learning, turns out I actually had a great use-case on the first customer I visit after coding the tool! Customer complained that updated package source does not arrive at ConfigMgr Clients … time to check things out...
    • Sat, Feb 7 2015

    ConfigMgr Tool: Content Location Request Generator Console Edition

    I just finished writing a Console based edition of CLRGen for Windows. You provide command line arguments, an MP name, PackageID and Package Version and get a response, useful for automation via Orchestra etc to test if the Management Point is responding, the XML response could be parsed or detected. Usage Example: Let me know if you find a use for it, give me a shout on Twitter @RobMVP !
    • Sat, Feb 7 2015

    Automating ConfigMgr – Merging a DLL into your Executable

    The last tool I wrote, CLRGen , is based on the ConfigMgr 2012 R2 CCM SDK DLL , and communicating with a Management Point using a HTTP Sender, which is not the same as a ConfigMgr Sender. All very fancy and new stuff, very easily approachable if you have the time, patience and a web browser :-) I thought I’d share a technique I just learnt for compiling an executable that includes an embedded resource, the CCM SDK DLL...
    • Fri, Feb 6 2015

    ConfigMgr Report: Resources that have not requested Policy in the last day

    A customer asked me to write what seemed like a simple report to render health and IP address information for resources within a chosen limiting collection. The two tasks here are to limit by Collection, that’s pretty simple, but to also...
    • Fri, Feb 6 2015

    ConfigMgr Tool – Content Location Request Generator

    Recently Gabriel Alicea @ConfigMgrGeek asked me on a Twitter PM if I could help him get a handle on using the ConfigMgr 2012 Client Messaging SDK in C# that is available in the ConfigMgr 2012 R2 SDK , and use it to generate a Content Location Request....
    • Wed, Feb 4 2015

    ConfigMgr 2012 SP1 and R2 CU4 released

    Microsoft released Cumulative Update 4 for ConfigMgr 2012 R2 on the 3rd of February 2015, aligning with the SP1 current Cumulative Update revision number. If you didn’t know, SP1 and R2 are two entirely different code-forks in the System Center 2012 Configuration Manager product and each get their own unique update, with R2 going beyond SP1 in terms of features and functionality, here’s the highlight of the areas that...
    • Tue, Jan 20 2015

    WMUG Clinic - ConfigMgr and Book Authoring – 27 Jan 2015

    Look out, the Windows Management User Group (WMUG) have another Clinic set for the 27th of January 2015 between 8:30PM and 9:30PM GMT. I’m looking forward to this one, as usual we’ll have a fun bunch of guest speakers attending, and the session starts with the subject authoring books , with guest speaker Martyn Coupland answering questions and talking about his experience of writing his own book System Center Configuration...
    • Thu, Jan 1 2015

    Re-awarded MVP for 2015!

    This turned up in my mailbox today, Enterprise Client Management MVP participation renewal email! The year behind us, what a blast, with so much action in the ConfigMgr space, the ECM MVP programme losing Wally Mead but gaining Cathy Moya, the onset of our journey towards Cloud technologies, which Microsoft is upping the Ante on big time, I was busy with custom tooling for ConfigMgr, even found time to write a commercial...
    • Sat, Nov 22 2014

    ConfigMgr Inbox Monitor Updated (1.4.1)

    I’ve only gone and blown the bloody doors off! Well that’s a quote famously uttered by Michael Caine from one of my favourite movies, aging a tad now, like the actor, the Italian Job, which has nothing to do with this posting at all, Saturday humour :-) So, what did I do, well Inbox Monitor got some dev loving, it is now at Version 1.4.1 and includes the following: Ability to connect to a Primary, Secondary or Management...
    • Fri, Nov 21 2014

    Book review – Advanced Deployment by Martyn Coupland

    The problem with reviewing a book is that you, if you’re fair, you need to commit to reviewing all related ones otherwise you’re at risk of being selective and possibly looking a bit biased. I’m guilty of this because to date all I’ve reviewed is Kent Agerlunds master piece “Mastering the Fundamentals”, which, I consider to be the go to book for tooling up on ConfigMgr quickly, a benchmark for all books to aspire to be...
    • Sat, Nov 15 2014

    User State Migration – Preventing Recovery Key loss

    Last night I was nearly out of my famous luck, I’d accidently deleted the wrong Computer Association for an OSD build that had successfully completed on a VIP’s laptop, only to find that some software (Non-MS Disk Encryption) was installe...
    • Sat, Nov 8 2014

    Guide to creating your own ConfigMgr tools – Part 2 Extended

    In the following series of blog posts I will introduce you to C#, Visual Studio and the ConfigMgr SDK, and show you how to produce your own custom tooling easily. The motivation behind this series of postings is to enable you to create community tools or bespoke tooling to assist you in your day-to-day ConfigMgr role, and thus to enhance the Community overall, as hopefully you’ll produce the very next best tool and we...
    • Fri, Oct 31 2014

    Guide to creating your own ConfigMgr tools – Part 2

    In the following series of blog posts I will introduce you to C#, Visual Studio and the ConfigMgr SDK, and show you how to produce your own custom tooling easily. The motivation behind this series of postings is to enable you to create communi...
    • Thu, Oct 30 2014

    SQL Query – Get the last registered IP Address for each Device in a Collection

    I’ve been trying to get this SQL query working for a while now, and only recently managed to put the query together fully, essentially I wanted a list of Devices with their last IP address that are members of a Collection, like this: Device...
    • Sun, Oct 26 2014

    Androidify

    Was so bored last night, spotted Androidify on the App Store and made this! Check it out (if you’re running Android) here Make one yourself, tweet me and WMUG on @RobMVP / @WMUG to share! Disclaimer: Nothing like me!
    • Tue, Oct 21 2014

    Midwest Management Summit – Win a free ticket!

    This is so cool. We've teamed up with the guys from MMS Minnesota to offer a giveaway exclusively to all registered WMUG members. I'm sure you'll already know about the MMS Minnesota event but just in case you haven't, go and check it out here - mms.mnscug.org. It promises to be an awesome event for all System Center enthusiasts with over 100 sessions from some of the best speakers around diving deep on...
    • Fri, Oct 17 2014

    Guide to creating your own ConfigMgr tools – Part 1

    In the following series of blog posts I will introduce you to C#, Visual Studio and the ConfigMgr SDK, and show you how to produce your own custom tooling easily. The motivation behind this series of postings is to enable you to create communi...
    • Wed, Oct 8 2014

    Handling ConfigMgr related embedded objects in WMI with C#

    Recently, I had to write some C# code to access a bunch of properties that are in an array of embedded objects stored in objects coming back from a WMI query against a ConfigMgr Site server (the SMS Provider really). Isn’t particularly tricky once you figure it out, harder to explain just then, but this did take me a bit of time to crack, and I thought I’d share it with you in case you stumble into the same...
    • Tue, Sep 23 2014

    Simple Install Guide ConfigMgr 2012 R2 CU3

    The System Center 2012 Configuration Manager R2 Cumulative Update 3 has just released (September 2014), and I wanted to put up a quick guide on installing it. This isn’t really a comprehensive guide, there’s a stack out there for CU2 that are just as applicable, and that carry a ton of useful tips for preparing, implementing, monitoring a Cumulative Update and defining the tasks an administrator needs...
    • Tue, Sep 23 2014

    Justin Chalfant - Management Point Affinity Added in ConfigMgr 2012 R2 CU3

    Justin Chalfant from the Microsoft Premier Field Engineering Group blogged about the new Management Point control registry key here . The great thing about this new key is that LocationAware controls it completely, it was its destiny to do so, and thus it controls which Management Points a ConfigMgr Client will use via a dynamic end-to-end solution. Static solutions such as what you’d find with a complex Compliance Settings...
    • Tue, Sep 23 2014

    ConfigMgr 2012 Cumulative Update 3 and LocationAware from SMSMarshall Ltd

    Myself and another ECM MVP Jason Sandy's applied a lot of pressure over the last few months to the ConfigMgr product group, pressure maybe the wrong word, partial-begging and hand-wringing may fit better, anyway we don’t know if we ...
    • Wed, Sep 10 2014

    Branding devices using Collection Variables, Task Sequences and PowerShell

    Customer asked me to figure out a way to make it easy for them to create\manage a Machine based Environment Variable en-mass, so I came up with something that uses PowerShell, Task Sequences and Collection Variables. Save this script as SysEnvVarBranding.ps1 to a new Package Source Folder location: # Get the Task Sequence Variables $tsenv = New-Object -COMObject Microsoft.SMS.TSEnvironment # Set the Machine Environment...
    • Mon, Aug 18 2014

    WMUG Clinic–Orchestrator-20-August-2014

    WMUG has another Clinic days away, 20th of August 2014 , this time covering System Center Orchestrator, with a great bunch of knowledgeable guys, with Peter Egerton hosting, and with guest speakers Sam Erskine, Steve Beaumont (MVP), Dieter Gasser, Steve Buchanan (MVP) and Andreas Baumgarten (MVP) Check out the Clinic page for Orchestrator here . If you want to attend, check out the events landing page above for further...