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SCSM DW jobs query for stalled processes.

7:40 am in Service Manager by kurtvh

Sometimes you can encounter challenges to keep the ETL data warehouse and cube jobs processing. The procedure to investigate is nicely explained in this blog. For readability of this blog an overview of the symptoms:

  • All Data Warehouse jobs disabled.
  • DWMaintenance job never finishes or runs a really long time.
  • Reports don’t show updated data.
  • Failed cube processing
  • Processing is just stalled
  • DWMaintenance is stalled on the ManageCubePartitions/ManageCubeTranslations Step
  • The data warehouse is just dead.

In some cases the root cause of these issues is DWMaintenance job that has a stalled process. It’s a statusID of 7 (waiting) instead of 3 (not started). You need to reset this status to get the Data Warehouse jobs running again. I also have run through this procedure to see if there are no stalled processed on other jobs and get some error details on hanging processes (if there are). Going through this procedure for every job was a bit time consuming and therefore I have created a query that executes this procedure and returns jobs with statusID 7.

Run this query on your SQL server against the against the DWStagingAndConfig database. Select the database and click New Query. Specify the Extract_ job names in the query and execute the query.


Infra.Process AS DWProcess

Infra.Batch AS DWBatch ON
DWBatch.ProcessId = DWProcess.ProcessId

Infra.WorkItem(nolock) AS DWWorkItem ON
DWBatch.BatchId = DWWorkItem.BatchId

where DWProcess.ProcessName IN (‘<Extract_DW_Your DW mgmt group name>‘,’<Extract_mgmt group name>
    ,’DWMaintenance’,’MPSyncJob’, ‘Load.Common’, ‘Transform.Common’,’Load.OMDWDataMart’,’Load.CMDWDataMart’)AND
    DWWorkItem.StatusId = 7

This will return all jobs with the StatusID on 7…. if there are.

Fixing the issue is the same as in the manual procedure: (Check the PowerShell script form Travis (here) that will run each of the ETL (Extract-SM, Extract-DW, Transform, Load) jobs for the data warehouse in sequence and then starts the Deployment and Cube Processing Jobs.)

  • First you need to lad the Datawarehouse cmdlets – Use one of these depending on your install path

import-module “C:\Program Files\Microsoft System Center 2012\Service Manager\Microsoft.EnterpriseManagement.Warehouse.Cmdlets”


Import-Module ‘%ProgramFiles%\Microsoft System Center 2012\Service Manager\Microsoft.EnterpriseManagement.Warehouse.Cmdlets.psd1′

  • Run Get-SCDWJob and top it with Stop-SCDWJob –Jobname DWMaintenance. Do the same for any other running job.
  • Execute the SQL query

update infra.workitem set statusid = 3 where workitemId = <output SQL query>

  • Run the start-SCDWJob -jobname MPSyncJob PS command to get the jobs started.

Hope this helps!

Kurt Van Hoecke

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HTML formatting email notification templates in SCSM

3:36 pm in Service Manager by kurtvh


As you probably know, in System Center Service Manager you have the ability to create templates to send out email notification in clear text or HTML. This blog post is not going to detail how to configure notification templates in Service Manager, but bundles information around the HTML tags for your mail notification templates.

For completeness, some background information around notification templates in Service Manager:

  • Notification templates are created in the Administration workspace of the SCSM console
  • Notification templates are created per Class.
  • Via subscriptions you can select what class of objects you are subscribing to.
  • Properties of the selected class or properties of a class related to the selected class can be inserted in the template.
  • Procedure to create templates: Creating Notification Templates in System Center Service Manager

A simplified start point for your HTML notification template is to create the desired email layout in MSWord and save it the MSWord document as Web Page (Filtered). You can open the file in notepad and copy/paste the HTML code in the template editor of the SCSM console. From that point you only need to add the class properties to the template and you have a complete customer customized notification templates ready for use in your subscriptions or workflows.

The MSWord approach provides structural definition of the HTML formatted email with a lot of <style> information. In some cases you need to get into the HTML tags in order to configure the desired result. Therefore it is helpful to know a bit what the HTML tags standing for and how you can fresh-up your templates with the proper HTML tags.

Example tags that can be used in your notification templates:

Creating A Hypertext Link to the SCSM Self-service portal: You can open the ticket in the <a href="http://someserver:82/SMPortal/SitePages/My%20Requests.aspx?RequestId=$Context/?$Id$?">Self Service Portal</a> to provide feedback.

  • HTML Tag – <a href="http://someserver:82/SMPortal/SitePages/My%20Requests.aspx?RequestId=$Context/?$Id$?">Self Service Portal</a>
    • A stands for Anchor. It starts the link to another page.
    • HREF stands for Hypertext REFerence. That’s a nice, short way of saying to the browser, "This is where the link is going to go."
    • “http:://someserver:82/SMPortal/SitePages/My%20Requests.aspx?RequestId=$Context/?$Id$?” is the full address of the link. Also notice that the address has an equal sign in front of it and is enclosed in quotes.
    • Where it reads "Self Service Portal" is where you write the text that you want to appear on the page.
    • /A ends the entire link command.
  • You can open the ticket in the Self Service Portal to provide feedback.

E-Mail from your template: <A HREF="">Click here to email Servicedesk</A>

  • Notice that it’s the same format as a link except in this link you write "mailto:" in place of the http:// and you place your e-mail address in place of the page address/URL.
  • You can extend the “simple” mail functionality with a formatted response. For example when create a template to notify a reviewer, you can use the Exchange connector functionality and provide pre-formatted email link to reply on review request.
    • <A HREF=” property to add– make sure you have the [ID] included&body=[Approved]”>Click here to approve request</A>
      • email address to use
      • ?subject=Class property to add– make sure you have the [ID] included – Subject of the email, make sure that you stick on the requirements of the Exchange connector.
      • &body=[Approved] – Sending an [Approved] in the body of the mail will tell SCSM to approve work item via Exchange connector

In order to customize the tags with specific color or so, you need to extend these lines with the proper tags and configuration.

HTML Tags overview

The next overview provides a list of HTML tags you can use in formatting email notifications. The goal of this overview is not to provide a complete HTML Tag reference; for official information about HTML and its development, see the World Wide Web Consortium site at


  • Document Type  <HTML></HTML>  (beginning and end of file)
  • Title  <TITLE></TITLE>  (must be in header)
  • Header  <HEAD></HEAD>  (descriptive info, such as title)
  • Body  <BODY></BODY>  (bulk of the page)


  • Heading  <H?></H?>  (the spec. defines 6 levels)
  • Align Heading  <H? ALIGN=LEFT|CENTER|RIGHT></H?>  
  • Division  <DIV></DIV> 
  • Large Font Size  <BIG></BIG>   
  • Small Font Size <SMALL></SMALL>  
  • Time of Change  <INS DATETIME=":::"></INS>  
  • Comments  <INS CITE="URL"></INS>   
  • Time of Change  <DEL DATETIME=":::"></DEL>   
  • Comments  <DEL CITE="URL"></DEL>   
  • Acronym  <ACRONYM></ACRONYM>   
  • Abbreviation  <ABBR></ABBR> 


  • Bold  <B></B>  
  • Italic <I></I>
  • Subscript  <SUB></SUB> 
  • Superscript <SUP></SUP>
  • Typewriter  <TT></TT>  (displays in a monospaced font)
  • Preformatted  <PRE></PRE>  (display text spacing as-is –> for example if you add a description to the template in formatted text)
  • Width  <PRE WIDTH=?></PRE>  (in characters)
  • Center  <CENTER></CENTER>  (for both text and images)
  • Blinking  <BLINK></BLINK>  (the most derided tag ever)
  • Font Size  <FONT SIZE=?></FONT>  (ranges from 1-7) 
  • Change Font Size  <FONT SIZE="+|-?"></FONT>   
  • Font Color  <FONT COLOR="#$$$$$$"></FONT>   
  • Select Font  <FONT FACE="***"></FONT>   
  • Point size <FONT POINT-SIZE=?></FONT>   
  • Weight  <FONT WEIGHT=?></FONT>   
  • Base Font Size <BASEFONT SIZE=?>  (from 1-7; default is 3)
  • MS Marquee  <MARQUEE></MARQUEE>


  • Link Something  <A HREF="URL"></A>  
  • Link to Location  <A HREF="URL#***"></A>  (if in another document)
                                 <A HREF="#***"></A>  (if in current document)
  • Link to Email <A HREF="mailto:@"></A>
  • Specify Subject <A HREF="mailto:@?SUBJECT=***"></A>  (use a real question mark)
  • Display Image <IMG SRC="URL">
  • Alternate <IMG SRC="URL" ALT="***">  (if image not displayed)


  • Paragraph  <P></P>  (closing tag often unnecessary) 
  • Justify Text <P ALIGN=JUSTIFY></P>  
  • Line Break  <BR>  (a single carriage return)
  • Clear Textwrap  <BR CLEAR=LEFT|RIGHT|ALL>  
  • Horizontal Rule  <HR>  
  • Thickness <HR SIZE=?>  (in pixels)
  • Width  <HR WIDTH=?>  (in pixels)
  • Width Percent <HR WIDTH="%">  (as a percentage of page width)
  • Solid Line  <HR NOSHADE>  (without the 3D cutout look)
  • No Break  <NOBR></NOBR>  (prevents line breaks)
  • Word Break <WBR>  (where to break a line if needed)


  • Tiled Bkground  <BODY BACKGROUND="URL">   
  • Watermark  <BODY BGPROPERTIES="FIXED">   
  • Bkground Color  <BODY BGCOLOR="#$$$$$$">  (order is red/green/blue) 
  • Text Color  <BODY TEXT="#$$$$$$">   
  • Link Color  <BODY LINK="#$$$$$$">   
  • Visited Link  <BODY VLINK="#$$$$$$">   
  • Active Link  <BODY ALINK="#$$$$$$">


  • Define Table <TABLE></TABLE>  
  • Table Alignment  <TABLE ALIGN=LEFT|RIGHT|CENTER>  
  • Table Border  <TABLE BORDER></TABLE>  (either on or off)
  • Table Border  <TABLE BORDER=?></TABLE>  (you can set the value)
  • Desired Width  <TABLE WIDTH=?>  (in pixels)
  • Width Percent <TABLE WIDTH=%>  (percentage of page)
  • Table Color  <TABLE BGCOLOR="$$$$$$"></TABLE>
  • Table Row  <TR></TR>  
  • Table Cell  <TD></TD> (must appear within table rows)
  • Cell Color <TH BGCOLOR="#$$$$$$"> 
  • Comment  <!– *** –>  (not displayed by the browser)
  • Send Search  <A HREF="URL?***"></a>  (use a real question mark)
  • URL of This File  <BASE HREF="URL">  (must be in header)
  • Style Sheets  <STYLE></STYLE> (implementations vary)


Hope this helps in creating the required notification templates in your Service Manager environment.

Have Fun,

Kurt Van Hoecke

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Create SCSM Blackberry connector with Orchestrator

9:36 pm in Service Manager by kurtvh


Mobile devices get automatically synchronized once you have SCCM 2012 configured to manage the mobile device (you have an Exchange server connection for gathering the mobile device info) and configured the Service Manager configMgr connector.

If that functionality is not available yet and you need to have a solution to get this information in your CMDB of Service Manager maybe this is a solution for you. In this blog I describe a solution to get Blackberry mobile device information from the Blackberry database and import this information in Service Manager CMDB. Orchestrator runbook approach is used to get and import the information.

Overview of the runbook in Orchestrator:


(simplified runbook to make it working. Additional steps/checks/manipulations can be integrated to accomplish your goals)

Integration packs used in this example:

  • SC 2012 Service Manager IP
  • Data Manipulation IP
  • Monitoring – default IP
  • Utilities – default IP

Note: In this example the Mobile device (SCCM) is used to import the Blackberry mobile devices. You can also create your own class that is based on the Mobile device class in Service Manager and import the information to that class.

Query for Blackberry information

Different possibilities are there to accomplish this task. One approach is more or less explained in this blog. Via PowerShell, csv file and import of the file. This blog explains the Orchestrator approach, simplified…flexible…and controllable.

First you can use the Schedule Date/Time activity to regularly run the runbook.

The Query database activity is used to query the Blackberry database. Configure this activity with the SQL connection to you Blackberry database.


On the details tab of this activity configuration the SQL query can be specified. The following SQL query is an example query to gather the information from the Blackberry database. Note: The Runbook action account will need to have the right to query the database, make sure you have configured this.

use BESMgmt
displayname as "Display Name", phonenumber as "Phone Number", PIN,IMEI as IMEI, modelname as BBModel, PlatformVer as "Platform", BootromVersion , ITPolicyName, AppsVer as "AppsVer", HomeNetwork as "Home Network"
from syncdevicemgmtsummary a
inner join
userconfig b

Additional fields can be selected to your needs. Check the Blackberry database, the tables included in this query include a rich set of information that can be selected in your query.


The information gathered in this query is returned in a single line of information per discovered device.


Before we can use this information it must be split in single string values. For this task we can use the Data Manipulation Integration pack from Codeplex (URL). This IP includes an activity to split fields based on a character that you can specify. We have “;” separated file as output, so all information is there to configure this activity.

Input string for the split is the output of the query Blackberry database activity:


Full configuration of the split fields activity:


Result of this manipulation is that you can create a little overview of the mapping of information towards Service Manager. An example of a property mapping:


(default Mobile Device (SCCM) class properties)

Working with the Blackberry information

The information is gathered from the database and manipulated in a formation so we can use it to import that information in Service Manager. We have to make sure that new devices get created and existing devices get updated. The “Get Mobile device Object” activity is looking in Service Manager and based on the results of this query we can see if the mobile device needs to be updated or created.


The selection to see if I need an update or a create is in the link filter. We can check on the returned objects from the “Get”. No objects returned, this must be a new mobile device…normally one object returned if the device already exists and we can do an update.



Update the mobile device object in Service Manager

There are different option on this level. You can do several checks with the Compare activity from Orchestrator or simply update a predefined set of properties. In this example we update a set of properties during each runtime of the runbook. I recommend that you have made the mapping what information is stored in what field before starting to configure the update object activity.

Use the “Update Object” activity from the Service Manager IP:

Class: Mobile device (SCCM)

Object Guid: SC Object Guid  –> output of the Get Mobile device Object activity.

Fields: Select the fields that you want to update…


Overview activity configuration


Create new Mobile device (SCCM)

In the runbook there is an additional check included to verify the IMEI information. This because it is used as input for the ID of the Mobile device object to create.

Once the IMEI number is verified (the information is filled by the query) the Mobile device object can be created. In the explanation of the split activity an example overview of the property mapping is provided. This is used as input for the configuration of this activity.

Use the Update Object from the Service Manager IP:

Class: Mobile device (SCCM)

Fields: Select the fields that you want to update…


and map these fields to the output of the split activity…


That’s’ about it…CI’s get created and updated on the schedule you have provided on the runbook.

Many variants of configurations are possible, all depending on what information that you want to have in your CMDB. Simply replace the Query to a datasource of your needs, get the information and import the data in your CMDB. All manipulations or check can be done by your runbook before actually importing or updating the CI in Service Manager.

Have fun,

Kurt Van Hoecke


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Working with SCSM reporting

6:05 am in Service Manager by kurtvh

In Service Manager you have the possibility to extend the classes with additional properties. For example, the Incident class can be extended with a “Location” property. How to do this is explained in different blog articles  around SCSM. The reason why you extend the class can be for visualization, but in most cases this is done for reporting purpose. The Process owner wants to measure on this property.

This blog articles provides some more information what you need to do in Service Manager (2010 or 2012, no difference in versions) before you can actually start customizing your reports.

The information that you want to make visible has an impact on the procedure to prepare the DWDataMart database in order to be able customize the report in Report Builder or Business Intelligence Design Studio. The following figure provides an overview of the important components that builds-up your reporting environment.


Some explanation around the illustration.

It starts with the import of the information (custom class property) via a sealed management pack if you need extended information in your report. Once you need to start reporting on this extended class property, first point to know is what information you need to make visible in the report. If it is a direct class property (string, int…), a list or a relationship property. Each of these class property flavors demand for different preparation work and maybe demand for an additional management before you can report on this values. A little overview:

  • Direct class property: The default property values are synchronized with DWDataMart. The View “dbo.IncidentDimvw” for example holds these default properties and extended properties from sealed management packs. Same for other classes that are available for reporting.
  • List class properties: In order to enumerate these values in a custom report you need to create an <Outrigger> MP.
  • Relationship class properties: Relationship property is in most cases to a standard class property. For example, Incident mgmt reporting where you want to have the AffectedUser displayed in a column. If the relationship property is an own extended property, you need to create the required Views in SQL DWDataMart database.

The SQL Stored Procedure (SP) holds the information that you want to display in your report. When you need to create a custom report that requires additional values that is not available in the default SCSM delivered Stored Procedures you need to create your own SP. Start point of your own SP can be a copy of an existing one, this gives you a quick start. To extend the SP so that it holds the additional properties for reporting you need to keep following in mind:

  • Direct class property: The SQL View “dbo.IncidentDimvw” includes automatically this information. For example, you want to extend a report for Incident Management. A direct class property column must be added. You use a copy of the “ServiceManager_Report_IncidentManagement_SP_GetListOfIncidents” SP as basis for your custom SP. In this SP the SQL View “dbo.IncidentDimvw” is already included. With a single line you make this information available in your own SP.
  • List class properties: To get this information available in the SP you need to translate the GUID (direct property in the “dbo.IncidentDimvw” View) with the additional Views that are created via your “Outriggers MP”.
  • Relationship class properties: To extend a SP to include a relationship property for reporting you have to start enumerating the relation in the SP. For example, if you need to get the AffectedUser name in the custom report; via the “WorkItemAffectedUserFactvw” View you find the AffectedUser and properties can be found in the “dbo.UserDimvw” View.

After having this done in your SCSM and SCSM DW SQL environment you can start customizing the report. Details how to do this can be found in following blog articles:

This blog post doesn’t provide detailed information where to click in different console, but tries to help positioning what you need to do for customizing reports in SCSM. The referenced blog post include procedures how to realize the different tasks.

Hope this helps start customizing reports in SCSM.

Have Fun!

Kurt Van Hoecke

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Publishing SCSM 2012 Work Item to a SharePoint calendar.

11:05 am in Service Manager by kurtvh


There is an updated version of the “PublishWI’ tool available on CodePlex.

The issue when you run the previous version in an SCSM 2012 environment (tested with the release candidate – “can’t find System.WorkItem.Library”) is addressed in this version. The tool is tested against a SharePoint 2010 environment.  Same remark as on the original post, if you have issues running this tool against earlier versions of SharePoint, let us know via CodePlex discussion.

The usage of the tool remains the same, so you can follow the original post to configure it for your environment ( Change Calendar. Publishing Work Item to … Part 1. SharePoint Calendar). People who already use the tool can simply replace the exe file.

The updated version of the tool and Source Code can be downloaded from CodePlex:

Have fun!

Kurt Van Hoecke

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Service Requests, Service Catalog, Service Offerings, Request Offerings… how it all fit together in SCSM 2012.

10:12 am in Service Manager by kurtvh


System Center Service Manager 2012 supports Service Request Management and fulfillment. We have several complete procedures in blog posts (here and here) to create all the components to enable this functionality for your environment. With this blog post I want to provide a more high level overview on how it all fits together.

First let me give you an overview of the terminology (like explained on TechNet):

  • Service Catalog: The Service Catalog is a collection of items, assistance, action, or groupings of them that is provided by your IT staff and infrastructure and made available to end users in the Self-Service Portal.
  • Request Offerings: The Request Offerings are catalog items that describes an item, assistance, or action that is made available available to end users. It also defines information that you want to prompt the users for and any knowledge articles that are associated with the offering.
  • Service Offerings: Service offerings are logical groups of request offerings.
  • Service Offering Categories: Are categories to help organize service offerings that are provided to end-users through the service catalog.
  • Service Request work item: SCSM work item that holds all information around the request that is submitted.

A refection of these components to the end result in the self-service portal is illustrated below.

Self-service portal Home page:


Example Service Offering overview page:


Example Request Offering questions:


Now if we look at all of these items that we need to configure, there are a lot of steps to take before you have it all configured for your environment. Everything together is the Service Catalog for your environment and the interface is the self-service portal. It is important to build-up this functionality for the end-user in logical way.

First item to think about is “what are you going to offer to the end-user”. Maybe you have your Service Catalog already defined,  in other scenarios you have to look to your environment and start defining your Service Catalog.  (Service Catalog management information from TechNet blogs can be found here and here – or MOF Online Content: Service Level Management ) This information will provide input for the configuration of the Service Offerings and the Service Offerings Categories list items that need to be created in SCSM 2012.

Next item to think about for each Service Offering is “What are the requests the self-service portal user can make for the defined Services”. This is very specific for every environment. This can start from something basic to a full automated process with Orchestrator RunBooks for example. The input that is needed from the requestor to complete the request are the question that need to be configured in the Request Offering in SCSM. The input of the requestor can be mapped to activities in the service request work item. For example, One of the questions on the Request Offering is to ask for a motivation for the request and this motivation can be mapped to the description field of the Review Activity from the request. Another example is to use this information as input for the Automated RunBook Activity. Little overview of Request Offerings:

  • The Request Offerings definition will define what the self-service portal can request. Keep in mind that the Request Offerings can be targeted to a subset of users. These offerings need to be added to the corresponding Service Offering.
  • Service Request Templates can help defining the activities that are required to fulfill the request. Can be a complete process with Manual, Review, Automated RunBook…all kind of Activities in SCSM.
  • Spending time to automate certain processes is not only free-up time for support desk, it is mainly standardization where we need to look for. Take the example of example of an AD user creation request, automating the process is always applying the naming conventions and making sure that every is created in the same way, with the same set of properties specified on the AD object. In SCSM 2012 this is just a matter of formulating the proper questions in the request Offering and use this information as input for the automation like Orchestrator Runbooks. In this way it easy to delegate the certain tasks out-site the IT support…

The whole process is illustrated below:



This is a very nice functionality in SCSM 2012. Hopefully the above information makes it a bit more clear. Together with the referenced procedure to configure the items in SCSM 2012 you have a complete set of information to start implementing self-service for your environment.

The pizza service delivery

For fun, below I have provided an overview of the process elements mentioned in this blog post, but applied to a pizza service delivery. The process components are defined with the things that living in a pizza restaurant Service delivery Process. We all know the pizza stuff, in this process illustration you can see the Service Management on this…

service requests


Have fun,

Kurt Van Hoecke

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System Center Service Manager 2012 information (blog) overview

9:22 pm in Service Manager by kurtvh


An overview of the Service Manager 2010 information can be found on this location. For Service Manager 2012 I have started to create a new blog that will be updated frequently. A lot of the information that is listed in the 2010 overview is applicable for SCSM 2012. So, if you don’t found your information in this overview, try the 2010 overview.


SCSM 2012 information published

SCSM 2010 video information

Service Manager ITIL/MOF

Installation of Service Manager

SCSM & PowerShell information

Connectors & System Center integration

Service Manager Self-Service portal

Incident Management

Change Management

  • more information will follow

Problem Management

  • more information will follow

Service Catalog & Request fulfillment

Release Management

Service Manager reporting and Analysis

  • more information will follow


  • more information will follow


As soon as we have more information available, the content of this blog will be further updated.

Have fun,

Kurt Van Hoecke

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System Center Service Manager information(blog) overview

9:08 pm in Service Manager by kurtvh

(December 2011 updated)

System Center Service Manager 2010 is released some time and there is already a lot of information available on blog sites. The main source for creating this list is the Service Manager Product Group blog site. Other blog sites like the one from Anders Bengtsson (MVP), Patrik Sundqvist, Marcel Zehner and our own Belgian SCSM User Group Blog provide additional information about Service Manager.

With this blog I want to bring this information all together and provide a categorized overview of the System Center Service Manager 2010 information that is published.

Another blog is started that is gathering the blog information for the System Center Service Manager 2012 version, you can find this blog here.

This list becomes large…full with nice solutions!

Service Manager general information



Service Manager ITIL/MOF

Installation of Service Manager

Configuration of Service Manager

SCSM Mgmt console configuration

Service Manager configuration & automation

SCSM & PowerShell information



Data Warehouse and Reporting

Self-Service Portal, dashboards & SharePoint info

Extending Service Manager


System Center Service Manager platform:



SCSM partner solutions


I will try to update this list on a monthly basis. If you have blog sites that should be included in this list, don’t hesitate to comment this on this blog.

Hope this helps a bit in discovering/searching for Service Manager information.

Have fun,

Kurt Van Hoecke


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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

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by kurtvh

TIP – “SQL Server 2008 SP1 was not found" during installation of SCSM 2010 Data Warehouse Management Server

5:48 pm in Service Manager by kurtvh


Lastly I had an issue on the installation of the SCSM data warehouse and had an annoying error. At the configuration page of the reporting server for data warehouse I received the error “SQL Server 2008 SP1 was not found”


The issue was that the reporting server database was installed on a SQL server instance that had an “_” included.

SQL  reporting services doesn’t like “_” in the server name and also in the configured SQL instance. Once the SQL reporting server configuration was adjusted to have the DB on another SQL server instance without the “_” I could proceed with the SCSM data warehouse installation without any issues.

Little tip when you use different SQL instances for you SCSM SQL environment.

Hope this helps!


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