I’ve been getting this question quite a bit, so I thought I’d give a quick answer to it. The question is whether we can use the R2 Authoring Console to create management packs for SP1. The answer is that you absolutely can – with a minor caveat. There is nothing different about the structure of a management pack for SP1 or R2, and the Authoring Console just creates management packs in XML. There are R2 specific modules, and using those will make your MP unusable in SP1, but you could use those with any version of the Authoring Console or even editing XML directly.
But what about that one caveat? When you create a new management pack in the Authoring Console, it will automatically add references to the library MPs – System.Library, System.Health.Library, Microsoft.Windows.Library, and Microsoft.SystemCenter.Library. The R2 Authoring Console will create those references to the latest versions of those MPs (6.1.7043.0 as of RC version of R2). You probably aren’t going to use any specific features of those new versions, but if you leave those references, your management pack won’t load in a management group with pre-R2 libraries.
To fix this, you should be able to just go to the References tab in Management Pack Properties and change the versions of those references. The Key Token won’t change since the same certificate was used for sealing the different MP versions. For reference, the SP1 libraries are version 6.0.6278.0, and the RTM libraries are version 6.0.5000.0.
Bottom line is definitely use the R2 Authoring Console regardless of which version of OpsMgr you’re working with. Several improvements over the SP1 version including the ability to create elements that we used to have to drop out to XML for.