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by kurtvh

Service Manager 2012 Beta is available!

9:29 pm in Uncategorized by kurtvh


The SCSM 2012 public Beta is finally available. Time to download and evaluate the new features. The 2012 release includes the following key features:

  • New Self-Service Portal
  • Service Catalog and Service Requests
  • Integration with VMM and Orchestrator
  • Service Level Agreement support for Incident and Service Requests
  • Service Manager 2010 can be upgraded to SCSM 2012 Beta.
  • Authoring tool support for customer customizations.
  • Performance improvements above SCSM2010 SP1 with larger datasets
  • Bug fixes for all areas including UX and customer / partner reported issues
  • Release Management with parallel activity support
  • Enterprise Data Warehouse with BI Analytics (OLAP)
  • Periodic Notification support
  • Improved PowerShell support
  • Performance improvements
  • Updated connectors to support SC Wave 12
  • Parent – child support for incident and release management

Download the Service Manager 2012 Beta:

SCSM 2012 on Technet: Service Manager Beta

Release Notes for System Center 2012 – Service Manager Beta

Also check the Release Candidate of System Center Orchestrator 2012. You could download it at the following address :

Have fun!


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by kurtvh

SCCM Remote Assistance task in SCSM console (Via console)

11:03 am in Service Manager by kurtvh


By default we have the “Remote Desktop” task available in the console of Service Manager. In most cases this is not the way you can can assist somebody in their session, the user needs to logoff first before you can have access to the system. In this blog I show you the Microsoft way to integrate “Remote Assistance” functionality in the SCSM console with the following tools:

  • The build-in “Offer remote assistance” functionality msra.exe
  • The SCCM integrated remote assistance using rc.exe
  • The SCCM integrated remote assistance using remote.exe

Creating tasks in console for the SCSM console can be done in different ways. In the console in the Library Wunderbar you can create tasks. Another way to accomplish this is via XML, a management pack. The XML way gives you the added value that you can integrate icon’s and you have complete control of the task you want to create. In this blog we focus on the console procedure.

For the build-in “Offer remote assistance” SCSM task:

By default, the Remote Assistant is not installed on the Windows Server 2008 R2, you should manually install this feature by using the Server Management. If you have the SCSM console installed on a client OS, you have this available by default. The Remote Assistance application is implemented in MSRA.exe, and it can be started from the command. MSRA.EXE supports the following command-line arguments:

msra [/? | /expert | /novice | /saveasfile <path> [password] | /openfile <path> | /email <password> | /offerRA <computer>]

SCSM console task configuration:

  • Command: %windir%\syswow64\msra.exe
  • Syntax of the msra.exe tool: /Offerra <Computer name>
  • Example: /offerra $Context/Path[Relationship=’WorkItem!System.WorkItemAboutConfigItem’ TypeConstraint=’Windows!Microsoft.Windows.Computer’]/Property[Type=’Windows!Microsoft.Windows.Computer’]/DNSName$

Note: Make sure you have “About Configuration item” selected as related classes. The "WorkItemAboutConfigItem" relationship holds the Affected CI properties in the incident form that can be used in the command-line of the task. This applicable for all configurations in this blog.

For the SCCM integrated remote assistance SCSM task:

In SCCM you have 2 tools that can be used to provide remote assistance. rc.exe and remote.exe are the exe’s in SCCM that provide remote assistance functionality. This blog will not cover the configuration of this functionality in SCCM, refer to following URL to get this configured: Remote Tools in Configuration Manager

The goal is to have these tools running as a standalone application that can be launched from the SCSM console. Therefore you need to copy some ddl’s from a computer that has the SCCM console installed. These dll files can be found in “C:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft Configuration Manager Console\AdminUI\bin\i386” and need to be copied to a folder where that SCSM console is running. (for example “D:\SCSMTasks\Remote”)

SCSM console task using rc.exe:

First you need to collect the two files that provide the remote assistance in SCCM. The two files that you need to use SCCM remote control in this case are:

  • rc.exe
  • rdpencom.dll

Putting these two files in a folder is a way to allow IT Admins to use the tool without installing the SCCM Console. In the SCSM console create a task with following configuration:

  • Command: D:\SCSMTasks\Remote\rc.exe
  • Syntax of the rc.exe tool: 1 <Computer name> \\<SCCM Server>
  • Example: 1 $Context/Path[Relationship=’CustomSystem_WorkItem_Library!System.WorkItemAboutConfigItem’ TypeConstraint=’CustomMicrosoft_Windows_Library!Microsoft.Windows.Computer’]/Property[Type=’CustomMicrosoft_Windows_Library!Microsoft.Windows.Computer’]/DNSName$ \\<SCCM Server>

SCSM console task using remote.exe:

For the remote.exe to work as a standalone tool we need several dll files from the SCCM console “AdminUI\bin\i386” folder. Following files are needed to get this remote.exe tool running as a standalone application: (Example of a destination folder)

D:\SCSMTasks\Remote0000409\BASERC.DLL (language folder can be different in your case)

After the copy of the different files you can configure the SCSM console task with following configuration:

  • Command: D:\SCSMTasks\Remote\remote.exe
  • Syntax of the rc.exe tool: 2 <Computer name> \\<SCCM Server>
  • Example: 2 $Context/Path[Relationship=’CustomSystem_WorkItem_Library!System.WorkItemAboutConfigItem’ TypeConstraint=’CustomMicrosoft_Windows_Library!Microsoft.Windows.Computer’]/Property[Type=’CustomMicrosoft_Windows_Library!Microsoft.Windows.Computer’]/DNSName$ \\<SCCM Server>

In a next blog post I will cover the XML way to create tasks in SCSM console. Via XML we can nicely integrate icon’s for these custom tasks.

Have fun,

Kurt Van Hoecke