Customize the SCCM 2007 console – deep dive – 1

August 4, 2008 at 3:33 pm in AdminUi, ConfigMgr 2007, SCCM 2007, SMS by Kenny Buntinx [MVP]

Hi All,

 

I received a couple of remarks on my blog post about customizing the Configmgr 2007 admin console with additional actions.

Remarks ranged from,

Hey, this is fabulous, through tell us something we didn’t know already. The most interesting remark I got though was, that’s neat, but can we do something like this ourselves?

The answer to that is, sure you can, you could even argue that it is relatively simple to do. Let’s start out with analyzing what Rick did with his set of tools.

After you installed the right-click action tools your admin console contains a couple of additional files & folder in the adminui folder. The additional folders are created in the Program Files\Microsoft Configuration Manager\AdminUI\XmlStorage\Extensions\Actions folders. The additional folders you will see are:

  • 7ba8bf44-2344-4035-bdb4-16630291dcf6
  • 66c75b33-4ca4-4f00-ae7f-3bcf31ee5bdc
  • 392b72f3-1c83-42e1-90ed-611798bc0dd0
  • dbb315c3-1d8b-4e6a-a7b1-db8246890f59
  • fa922e1a-6add-477f-b70e-9a164f3b11a2

 

We’ll talk more about these folders and what they mean in a next post on customizing the SCCM 2007 console – deep dive – 2, for now, we’ll focus on how the actions are defined. The magic of adding an additional action to the console is as simple as copying an xml to the right folder, that’s it. The Configmgr 2007 sdk gives us some insight into the structures of these xml files under the topic Configuration manager console extension\ Configuration manager console actions\ How to create a configuration manager action. In that topic they suggest a console extension in it’s simplest form.

<ActionDescription Class=”Executable” DisplayName=”Make a Note” MnemonicDisplayName=”Note” Description = “Make a note about software updates”>
      <Executable>
           <FilePath>Notepad.exe</FilePath>
           <Parameters>C:\MyConfigurationManagerNote.txt</Parameters>
      </Executable>
</ActionDescription>

 

The first line starts with ActionDescription an than the class attribute, in this specific xml file the class is “Executable”, which isn’t all that difficult to interpret. The executable class runs an executable, or opens a program associated with the extension of the file in filepath. There are 4 other class values you can use:

  • Showdialog: Opens a property sheet or dialog box
  • ReportAction: Shows a report inside the console
  • AssemblyType Action: Allows you to call a method inside an assembly
  • Group Action: Creates a submenu
  • Executable Action: Runs an executable (added for completeness)

Even if you are not into programming, at least 3 of these (execuatable, group and reportaction) are still useful for any sms admin.

The displayname attribute specifies the displayed name in the SCCM console. The mnemonicdisplayname is the name displayed in the action pane and actions menu, and the description attribute is self-describing enough. 

The next line opens the Executable element which is later closed again, the Executable element hosts the Filepath element, where you can specify a file to execute, or any file, which can trigger an application because an executable is linked to that extension. and a Parameters element that allows you to pass parameters to the executable. That’s it really, you just copy this xml to the folder with the right guid, and depending on which guid you selected the option will appear on right-clicks and in the action pane.

 

In the following post, we’ll examine the group action and report actions.

 

Enjoy.

“Everyone is an expert at something”
Kim Oppalfens – Sms Expert for lack of any other expertise
Windows Server System MVP – SMS
http://www.scug.be/blogs/sccm/default.aspx

http://www.linkedin.com/in/kimoppalfens

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