Update or rewrite: how do you decide?

This is a common scenario for technical writers: there is existing content, let’s say for V1 of a product, and the same content needs to be provided for V2. Do you limit your work to making changes to the existing content for technical accuracy with V2? Or do you start with a blank slate and…

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On to a new product: Windows Embedded

I won’t be writing any more about System Center 2012 – Operations Manager. After several years on the Operations Manager content team, and Data Protection Manager before that, I’ve moved to a new (to me) product team: Windows Embedded. Specifically, Device Manager (which extends Configuration Manager, so I guess I didn’t really move too far…

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Changes to OpsMgr docs (System Center 2012) in Dec 2011

If you follow us on Twitter (@opsmandoc), you’ll be hearing about updated documentation for the Release Candidate being available later this week. Both TechNet and the downloadable docs will be refreshed. The following are the significant changes you can expect, in addition to added links and minor language fixes: The Authoring Guide adds a new…

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OpsMgr 2012 release candidate docs: what’s different

Hope you all heard that the release candidate of Operations Manager 2012 is now available for download. The RC documentation is available on that download page and has also been updated on TechNet. So, as far as the documentation goes, what’s changed? What’s New has been reorganized, with some art added, including an upgrade diagram…

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Which management pack to save a group in

The title of this post is the issue I’m trying to write about in Operations Manager 2012 Help. The more I dug into it, the more complicated it became. Not being a management pack author, I had never thought too much about references and what that means to things you might do in the Operations console,…

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Operations Manager: what do you need to know to use it?

This is actually an open question to you all. 🙂 It’s common for us to say our audience is the IT pro. But “IT pro” is a lazy shortcut to refer to a wide variety of people and positions. Does every IT pro know how to configure and manage permissions for SQL Server databases? Not…

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Operations Manager 2012 Beta released!

The past few months have been all about the Operations Manager 2012 beta release, which, of course, I couldn’t blog about while it was still in development. Now it’s live, w00t! The documentation is available on the download site, but we also put it on our TechNet library— Quick Start, Deployment Guide, Operations Guide, and…

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Need volunteers: Operations Manager documentation survey

Do you use Operations Manager? Would you be willing to complete a short email survey about operations documentation? If so, please send email to momdocs@microsoft.com. More details: The survey will be sent out approximately 21 March. We will use your responses to help us make decisions about organization and terminology so that the Operations Guide for…

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"Back" not working on browser

Some sort of “widget” is taking over all sorts of web sites, it seems. A few weeks ago, I noticed that some web pages wouldn’t allow “Back” to work on my browser. When I hit the down button for back, there’d be a “widget.pulsemgr.com…” address between my search results and the page I’d gone to….

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Which user role(s) can perform this task?

The content team is busily ramping up on doc plans for the next version of Operations Manager. (And I’ll be very careful not to reveal anything about product changes, features, etc.) I’ll be owning the operations content, so I’m working on new outlines and identifying current gaps. As I was going through the current content,…

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Would you use an Operations chm for SCOM?

Currently, we post all of our Operations Manager documentation for download in doc format, and also post it on TechNet. And lately I’ve been thinking about whether we should also post .chms for download. I know .chm is a rather old-fashioned format, but personally I like it. I like the left nav for browsing, I…

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Office Word 2010 and product/company knowledge template

If you write product knowledge or company knowledge for management packs, you’ll be glad to hear that Microsoft Office 2010 (specifically Word) is supported for the knowledge template. Only the 32-bit version, however; the 64-bit version of Word 2010 won’t work with the template. The software requirements for company knowledge and product knowledge are being…

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Exchange 2007 MP product knowledge

The Exchange management packs send you to the product knowledge articles online, rather than including the knowledge article in the management pack itself. When you view a knowledge article for the Exchange 2007 Management Pack, you might be confused to see references to “MOM Rule Path” and “MOM Rule Name”. These are knowledge articles that…

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Change to Management Pack Guide library

Old: When a guide couldn’t be published in its entirety in the management pack guide library on TechNet, the page for that guide directed you to the Management Pack Catalog. New: Coming this week, the page for a guide that is only available by download will link directly to the download page for that specific…

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Operator Basics: getting started with Operations Manager

I finally get to announce that the Operator Basics SuperFlow for Operations Manager 2007 is available for download! Superflow, you wonder? Configuration Manager pioneered this format for delivering information. It provides a complete set of content, which can include videos and animations and interactivity, in a single package. The Operator Basics SuperFlow is intended for…

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Operations Manager 2007 SP1 Management Pack updated

An updated download of the Operations Manager 2007 SP1 Management Pack is available. The management pack for Operations Manager hasn’t changed, but the package now includes an updated version of the Operational Data Reporting (ODR) Management Pack, which is installed with Operations Manager. Here are some the changes you’ll see in the ODR MP: The…

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Operations Manager capacity planning

Need some help planning your Operations Manager deployment? Check out the Operations Manager 2007 R2 Sizing Helper. The Operations Manager 2007 R2 Sizing Helper is an interactive Excel document designed to assist you with planning & sizing deployments of Operations Manager 2007 R2. It helps you plan the correct amount of infrastructure needed for a…

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SQL MP guide updated

I recently mentioned that we’re changing how MP guides are released. The SQL Server Management Pack is the first to take advantage of the new system by making an update to the guide without repackaging the management pack .msi. Just download the .doc to get the latest guide – no need to download the .msi again…

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Visual Basic 2008 Express: Build a Program Now! sample files

I decided to try to learn Visual Basic, so I picked up a book that looked promising: Microsoft Visual Basic 2008 Express Edition: Build a Program Now! I’ve been working through the chapters. In chapter 6, (adding a splash screen) it instructs you to replace the default icon with one from the companion files for…

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MP guides to be separate download

A sharp-eyed blogger (Pete Zerger) noticed a change in our management pack download pages. Here’s what’s going on: Guides will be available as a separate download, on the same download page as their respective management packs. For a short period of time, guides will still be in the .msi as well. Eventually, the guide will…

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Writing good technical documentation, part 3

(Part 2) (Part 1) Nathan Bransford, a literary agent, blogged about his difficulty in getting writers to paste their original query into their partial manuscript. Here are the instructions he sends them: “Thank you for your recent note. Would you mind sending me the first 30 pages in a Word attachment? Please paste your below…

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R2: check for MP updates

There hasn’t been an easy way to check for management pack updates in Operations Manager 2007 until the R2 release. Once you’re running R2, you can use the Import Management Packs wizard to determine if any of the MPs you are running have had an update released. Just follow the instructions on How to Import…

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Submit questions for the Operator’s Manual

There are two ways to approach content on using the Operations console and Web console for Operations Manager: Explain what information is available in each section of the consoles. Take examples of information that an operator would want to locate, and tell them how to find it in the consoles. I’ve decided to do it…

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Is your IE8 slow to open a new tab?

Whenever I would open a new tab in IE8, whether by control-clicking a link or simply clicking the New Tab tab, everything would go dead for a good 10-20 seconds until IE8would finally show a new tab and then begin trying to open something in it. (Yeah, it always feels like longer.) It finally began…

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MP Guide for Operations Manager 2007 R2

The management pack guide for the Operations Manager Management Pack (Operations Manager 2007 R2 only) is available for download. Usually, the guide is in the download with the management pack, but since the new Operations Manager Management Pack is included in the R2 product, we published the guide separately. We’ll also be adding a link…

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