What are these DCM terms: “SDM Package”, “SDM Type ID”, “SDM Type Version”, “Model Name” ??

We’ve recently unearthed a few terms you might come across that are related to desired configuration management and don't have any explanation in the documentation. If you’ve never seen these terms (and they are fairly well hidden), then this post is not for you – unless you have a curiosity about how we try (and sometimes fail) to keep new terminology logical and consistent.


If you have come across these terms, this post explains what they are and why you won’t find information about them in our core documentation. In a nutshell: these are terms that were used during early development that should have been replaced with approved terms before the product released, but escaped the net.


The reference to SMD Package came to light when we received feedback from a Management Pack customer who was getting a high number of alerts that referenced “SDM Package" but couldn’t find any information about what this was from the Configuration Manager documentation library. As one of the writers for desired configuration management, I knew exactly what the problem was – this was terminology that was used early in the product development before it was replaced with “configuration data content”. And we do have information about this term:

desired configuration management configuration data content : A subset of a configuration item or configuration baseline that can exist independently from the Configuration Manager console because it can be authored externally, imported and exported.

For an explanation of how and why an administrator needs to be aware of the configuration data content within a configuration item (or configuration baseline), see About Content Versions in Desired Configuration Management.


One of the reasons why it was changed from SDM (abbreviation for System Definition Model), was because although early development for desired configuration management started off by using SDM, it then moved to SML (service modeling language). There is information about SML in the Configuration Manager documentation (About Authoring Configuration Data for Desired Configuration Management) and SML also has an entry in the glossary:

service modeling language (SML): Service Modeling Language. Part of the Microsoft Dynamic Systems Initiative (http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkId=78991).

It's never a good idea to base a term on the underlying technology, because as this example shows, the underlying technology might change. And in fact, it's likely that in the future desired configuration management will move from SML to CML (common model library). Additionally, the word “package” was also confusing – it is not a package in the usual customer sense of the word. So the official term was changed to a more generic term of “content”, which is why you can’t find an explanation or definition of “SDM Package” in the Configuration Manager documentation library. We’ve let the folks know on the management pack side, and also alerted our SDK writer in case this uses the old term and customers need an explanation.


With that sorted out, I thought I was done. But no. Doing a search on “SDM” in the Configuration Manager help revealed some more instances in the following topics:


·         How to Perform Required Pre-Replication Setup Tasks

·         Advanced Filter Options Dialog Box

·         Advanced Find Options Dialog Box



Because these topics were handled by other writers, they were not aware of the incorrect terminology. We’ve now corrected (and clarified) the text in the first topic, but the other two F1 topics that relate to the status message dialog box posed more of a challenge. These two dialog boxes have UI options called “Sdm Type Id” and “Sdm Type Version”. I was pretty sure that “Sdm Type Version” referred to the content version, but I had no idea about “Sdm Type Id”, and when I asked others on the DCM feature team, it appears that I wasn’t the only one confused by this. A delve into the database tables revealed that it mapped to “Model Name”, to which my response was “Model Name??!!! 


You’ve guessed it - Model Name is not approved terminology and I didn’t remember ever seeing this in specs, bugs, or the UI. However, it obviously managed to escape my notice while I was scrubbing the 50+ DCM surfaces – it's hiding out as an optional column for the Configuration Items home page. Selecting it in the console with configuration items revealed that it shows the CI Unique ID, that internal reference that can look something like this:


·         ScopeId_CD6A2D43-C7AF-416A-AC1B-4B80241D253D/Application_a2575f17db3e-4b23-a6fb-4c0a4a877d2e


If you want more information about the CI Unique ID, see How to Distinguish Configuration Data with the Same Name in Desired Configuration Management and Unexpected Data in Desired Configuration Management Reports.


It’s correctly called CI Unique ID for the configuration baselines home page, and it's also correct in reports, but somehow “Model Name” got in for the configuration items optional column.


We’ve filed bugs to have these 3 option names replaced with the correct terminology, and we’ll also revise the status message dialog box F1 help so that customers puzzled by these can map them to the correct terms. But unfortunately, there’s no good place to say that the optional column name of “Model Name” should really be “CI Unique ID”. So I’m blogging these erroneous terms so that if customers come across them and search the Web, they will find an explanation.



·         SDM Package = Configuration Data Content

·         Sdm Type Version = Configuration Data Content Version

·         Sdm Type ID = CI Unique ID

·         Model Name = CI Unique ID


Lesson learned:

·         Despite specific processes and umpteen checks, incorrect terms still escape into the wild.



- Carol


This posting is provided AS IS with no warranties and confers no rights.

Comments (2)
  1. Anonymous says:

    I thought that I would try to summarise what we launched this week, pull together the case studies, 3rd

  2. Anonymous says:

    [Update – this post seemed to get lost so I’m posting again – apologies if you get it twice!] I thought

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