Authoring Tools

Applies To: System Center Operations Manager 2007

This guide focuses on how to create and edit management packs by using the System Center Operations Manager Authoring Console which is part of the System Center Operations Manager 2007 R2 Authoring Resource Kit (, but there are multiple tools to create and change management packs. The particular choice of tool depends on the requirements and skill level of the user. A single management pack might be changed by using multiple different tools at different times and by different users. This section provides details about the different editing options and when to use each option.

Operations Console

The Operations console is primarily intended for users of Operations Manager 2007 who have minimal knowledge of management pack authoring and have basic customization requirements. Management packs can be created and modified from the Authoring pane in the Operations console as long as the user has Author user rights.

Specific characteristics of the Operations console include the following:

  • Create or change a management pack in an existing management group. Changes are committed and deployed to agents immediately.

  • Create predefined monitoring scenarios by using templates and wizards. Cannot create custom monitoring scenarios.

  • Cannot create custom classes or discoveries outside specific cases that templates provide.

  • Automatically generate names for management pack elements. Cannot implement standard naming scheme.

The primary advantage of the Operations console is the ability to create custom monitoring scenarios with minimal complexity. The Operations console provides the following approaches for creating monitoring scenarios.


Wizards in the Operations console let you create monitors, rules, and tasks by using a simplified user interface. These wizards require you to have a basic understanding of the monitoring scenario that they are implementing, but does not require knowledge of the structure or underlying details of the actual element that is created.

Management Pack Templates

Management Pack Templates provide functionality that is not accessed from wizards in the Operations console. Each template provides a particular monitoring scenario and creates one or several management pack elements based on input from the user. You are not exposed to the underlying elements, but you provide required information through simplified wizards.

Distributed Application Designer

The Distributed Application Designer lets you create relationships between existing managed objects that participate in the same application. The relationships lets you create an overall health measurement of the application as measured by its individual components. The Distributed Application Designer does not allow for any new monitoring scenarios to be created, but relies on the health of managed objects measured through monitors created by using other tools such as wizards and templates.

Authoring Console

The System Center Operations Manager Authoring Console is primarily intended for management pack authors with significant knowledge of the structure of management pack elements and enables them to create and modify all elements in a management pack. It is not limited to a specific set of scenarios, although it does require deeper technical knowledge than the Operations console.

The Authoring console provides many of the same wizards as the Operations console, except that the Authoring console wizards can specify the ID of the management pack element and can provide access to additional options. The console provides custom dialog boxes similar to the Operations console to help you configure management pack elements where they are available. For those elements where no dialog box is available, you must edit the XML code of the management pack directly. To help edit, the Authoring console starts an external editor. You use the editor to edit the XML code of the specific element and, when it is closed, the editor returns the completed element back to the management pack. You can specify the editor that the Authoring console starts.

Specific characteristics of the Operations console include the following:

  • Create or change a management pack on disk without requiring access to the management group. Optionally, load management packs from a management group and install them after modification.

  • Provide custom ID for each management pack element.

  • Create all management pack elements including custom classes, relationships, and discoveries that cannot be created in the Operations console.

  • Create predefined monitoring scenarios by using wizards. Create custom monitoring scenarios with the assistance of the user interface.

XML Editor

Except for requiring the XML editor for configuring particular modules, the Authoring console can create and configure all elements in a management pack. Because management packs are .xml files, any XML editor can create and modify them. This is significantly more complex than using the Authoring console because for this activity, you must know the details of the management pack schema. It is also less efficient for most scenarios because a single element might require multiple entries in the XML file. By contrast, in the Authoring console, you can configure the elements in a single dialog box or in wizards.

An XML editor is required for the following scenarios that cannot be performed in the Authoring console:

  • The ID of a management pack element cannot be changed with the Authoring console after it has been created. You must perform this task with an XML editor. The ID of the element cannot just be changed, but you must search for the old ID and replace it with the new ID across the management pack because the element’s ID might be used multiple times in the XML code.

  • Management pack elements cannot be copied by using the Authoring console. For example, you might want to create a management pack element by copying a similar element in the same management pack, or you might want to copy an element from another management pack into the current one. This functionality can only be performed with an XML editor.

  • The Authoring console does not let an existing management pack element be modified if it affects the configuration of another element. For example, a rule might use a custom module that requires values for one or more parameters. You might want to modify this module and add an additional parameter to it. Because the rule would not provide a value for this required parameter after the module was modified, the changed module cannot be saved. To make this change in the Authoring console, you must delete the rule and create it again after changing the module. By using an XML editor, you can change the module and rule at the same time.

See Also


Configuring the Authoring Console