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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What goes in product knowledge?

When you create a component in a management pack, you have to provide a display name. You can also include a description and product knowledge. All three of those items are pretty much free-form, meaning you can put what you want in those fields (subject to character limitations, of course). That means that every MP…

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Where did "Key Concepts" go?

Back when Operations Manager 2007 was released, the content team posted an online version of a Key Concepts Guide and a download version. When you look at our documentation download page for Ops Mgr 2007 R2, Key Concepts isn’t listed. Where did it go? When the product was new, we wanted to highlight Key Concepts…

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FizzBin for geeks

Scott Hanselman has a suggestion for tech support — a codeword that clues in the help desk that you kinda know what you’re doing. I’m not sure fizzbin will catch on, but it’s a nice dream…

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Writing good technical documentation, part 2

(Part 1) Joel Spolsky has an excellent post on the role of the program manager. I work with program managers, so I read through it comparing his descriptions with the PMs I’ve known. Then I got to the part on functional specifications and my interest level jumped a few notches. Because the spec is —…

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Product knowledge in management packs

Some components of management packs include product knowledge, which is just information provided by the MP author (as compared to company knowledge which is information provided by the user in their own copy of the MP). We’re working on internal guidelines to help MP authors provide effective knowledge, so I’d like to know what your…

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Writing good technical documentation, part 1

A recent comment by “BPM software” suggested that I write about best practices for writing technical documentation. I thought about it for awhile and decided I couldn’t really do it justice in one post – hence, “part 1”. I’ll begin by plagiarizing myself. What I said about management packs is just as true in this…

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