After 13 years of consulting, I joined the UA team in Redmond last August as a technical writer focusing on management pack authoring. My initial focus is a new version of the Management Pack Authoring Guide which will provide background concepts, processes, and specific walkthrough examples on creating management packs for Operations Manager 2007.
The first section of the new Authoring Guide went live last Friday. This is the section on Service Model which describes classes, relationships, and discoveries. We have already made significant progress on the Composition section which will be the next to be published. This will give details on custom modules and workflows and hopefully make everyone confident to select menu items with the word Custom in the Authoring Console. This will be followed by sections on Health Model and Presentation (which will primarily talk about Views). We are also going to get some good reference information in there to help with forming variables and dealing with different data types.
It’s not common to publish section by section like this. We would typically complete the entire guide before going live. It didn’t seem to make any sense to hold back content that people could use immediately though while other sections were being written. That might have been our only solution back in the days of bound paper manuals, but it certainly doesn’t make any sense in today’s world.
We’re trying to select the order of publication in terms of demand. The most common questions that I get are related to the Service Model – what classes to create for an application, what base classes to use, the difference between a base class and a hosting relationship, when to use a containment relationship, etc, etc. That in addition to the fact that building a model is the first step in building a management pack made it pretty obvious that we needed to get that section published first.
Please share any feedback you have on the guide – whether it be positive, negative, corrections, suggestions, etc. If any of the existing content isn’t clear I want to make sure that we make appropriate modifications. You provide comments on TechNet, on this blog, or by mailing MOM Documentation Feedback.