Linked Reporting Authoring Part 2: Authoring a Linked Report in the OpsMgr Authoring Console

Reports

The fact that linked report authoring is such an under-represented topic in OpsMgr and SCE prompted this series to begin the process of de-mystifying the process for the IT Pros among us that don’t use Visual Studio and write XML. In this tutorial, you will actually create your own working linked performance report for Operations Manager 2007 R2 or Essentials 2010. The report we’ll create here is a Windows 2008 Network Performance Report. If all goes well, you should get through authoring and testing in under one hour!

In our first installment of the series, we briefly walked through the XML parameter block for a linked performance report. We reviewed where and how to add the performance rules that will be displayed in the linked performance report. If you did not read part 1, you need to go back to review that article and download the XML parameter block we’ll use to create our report.

How to create a Linked Performance Report in the Authoring Console – Part 1: The XML Parameter Block 

If you’ve grabbed the code from part 1, let’s get down to business.

0. Recap of Authoring Objectives and Prerequisites

What you’ll need to complete this tutorial is the following:

  • The OpsMgr 2007 R2 Authoring Console
  • The OpsMgr 2007 R2 or Essentials 2010 Console
  • The Windows Server 2008 Management Pack
  • The XML parameter block from part 1 (get it HERE)

As mentioned above, the target report will be a Windows 2008 Network Performance Report presenting data from the following 3 network adapter performance collection rules:

  • Microsoft.Windows.Server.2008.NetworkAdapter.BytesReceivedPerSec.Collection
  • Microsoft.Windows.Server.2008.NetworkAdapter.BytesSentPerSec.Collection
  • Microsoft.Windows.Server.2008.NetworkAdapter.BytesTotalPerSec.Collection

NOTE: If you’re an Essentials user, go make sure all these rules are enabled so you have some data to work with when it’s time to test your report. Two of the three are enabled only for “OnStandardMonitoring”, which means they are disabled in Essentials 2010 by default.

1. Create a Management Pack

1) Begin by opening the authoring console and creating an empty management pack. (File –> New –> Empty Management Pack)

2) In the Management Pack Identity Field, enter SCC.LinkedReport.Demo and click Next.

3) In the Display Name field, enter SCC Linked Report Demo and then click Create.

You now have an empty management pack in which to create your reports.

2. Add Management Pack References

The rules we are referencing in our linked performance report are contained in the Windows Server 2008 Management Pack. Likewise, the base report we are referencing in our linked report is the Performance Report (Microsoft.SystemCenter.DataWarehouse.Report.Performance) in the Microsoft Generic Report Library (Microsoft.SystemCenter.DataWarehouse.Report.Library).

Before we create our report, we need to tell the Authoring console where to find both of these management packs. We do this by adding a reference. These references appear just below the management pack identity near the top of the xml. When we attempt to import the management pack later, these references will allow our OpsMgr or Essentials RMS to verify the necessary management packs are present in the target environment.

Add the references to these two management packs using the following steps:

1) From the File menu, select Management Pack Properties.

MP_Properties

2) Select the References tab. You’ll see the name of a few libraries along with their Alias’. Think of a management pack Alias like a nickname – a shorter name than the full management pack name. Let’s add the Windows Server 2008 Management Pack and Microsoft Generic Report Library to the list of references.

image

3) Click the Add Reference button to bring up the Add Management Pack Reference window. This is basically an explorer interface opened to the ‘C:\Program Files\System Center MP Authoring Console 2007’ directory by default. Select Microsoft.SystemCenter.DataWarehouse.Report.Library.mp (the Microsoft Generic Report Library) from this directory and click Open.

image

4) Repeat the above for the Windows Server 2008 Monitoring MP (Microsoft.Windows.Server.2008.Monitoring.xml), which will be in whatever directory you extracted the pack to when you ran the Windows installer package. The References section in your management pack should now look like this:

References2

Now we’re ready to create our linked report.

3. Create the Linked Report

1) In the Authoring console, select the Reporting workspace. In the navigation pane, select Linked Reports.

2) Right click anywhere in the whitespace of the center pane and select New –> Linked Report.

LinkedReport

3) In the Choose a unique identifier box, enter SCC.LinkedReport.Demo.Win2008PerfReport.and click OK.

image

4) On the General tab of the linked report, perform the following steps:

In the Name field, enter Windows 2008 Network Performance Report. Add a description in the Description field if you like.

In the Base field, select the ellipse (…) and in the Management Pack Element Chooser, select the Generic Performance Report (Microsoft.SystemCenter.DataWarehouse.Report.Performance).

General

5) On the Parameters tab, click the Edit in external editor button, as shown in the image below

NOTE: If this is your first time using the Authoring console, you may be prompted to choose your external editor of choice. You can simply browse to c:\windows\system32\notepad.exe, or to the text or xml editor of your choice. (I prefer Visual Studio 2008 Express, which is free)

When the external editor window opens, paste in the contents of the XML parameter block from part 1 of this series (get it HERE). Hit Save in your external editor and close that window.

Parameters_Win2008PerfReport 

6) Now go to the Options tab. Set Visible to True. Otherwise, the report will not be visible when you import the management pack! This value is False by default, so it’s very important you don’t miss this step. Click OK to save and exit.

Options

7) Now it’s time to test your work. Import the management pack into an OpsMgr 2007 R2 or Essentials 2010 management group. Wait about 5 minutes and then check the report pane. The report should appear. Run the report to verify it returns data. Notice how the type filter is working on the object picker limits objects returned to Windows 2008 Network Adapters.

ReportOutput

Conclusion

While this report is somewhat basic, I hope the fog is beginning to clear for you with regard to linked report authoring in OpsMgr and Essentials. If you have questions regarding this article, post your question in the MP Development support forum here at SystemCenterCentral.com.

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