MP Authoring Reskit: Generating Visio Class Diagrams from the R2 MP Authoring Console

breaking-ground-social-software While the MP Authoring Resource Kit is ground-breaking new functionality for the MP author, I can see why this is included in the MP Authoring Console.

The output is verbose and really not designed for print out and display to operators and managers and those otherwise unfamiliar with the inner workings of the product. The class and relationship hierarchies are detailed, including properties and property data types – great stuff for an advanced MP author or OpsMgr infrastructure engineer.

In a pragmatic sense, this is a great way to visually validate the classes and relationships in your custom management pack look as you expect before you move on to the monitoring and presentation elements of your pack. This can save you from much retracing of previous steps due to an unidentified error early in the authoring process.

Let’s have a look at how to use this piece of the Authoring Resource Kit. In this example, I will demonstrate how to generate a Visio Class Diagram (VCD) for the SQL 2005 Management Pack.

In this post:

  • Installation
  • Which MP should I open?
  • Choosing depth of inheritance and class relationship diagrams
  • How to generate the Visio
  • Sample Diagrams
  • Summary

Installation

Not going to waste time on installation, other than to say, install the MP Authoring Resource Kit on a system that already has the R2 Authoring Console and Visio 2007 installed, as Reskit Tools integrate with the Authoring console. Read the instructions, run setup, Next –> Next –> Finish…quite easy.

Which management pack should I open? Library, Discovery, or Monitoring?

The answer here is the MP where the classes and relationships are defined. In the case of SQL 2005, this is the SQL 2005 Discovery MP (Microsoft.SQLServer.2005.Discovery). This will generally be the case for MS server application MPs, although some MPs do combine discovery and monitoring functions in a single MP file.

How to generate the Visio diagram

  • Start by opening the management pack in which the classes are defined.
  • From the Tools menu, select Visio MP Diagram Generator.

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Choosing Depth of Diagrams of Inheritance and Relationships

The first screen of the wizard requires a decision. Which MPs should I select here?

The answer is “it depends“.

When you get to this screen, your first instinct may be to “select all”. If you want an easily viewable diagram and/or are only interested in the class structure of the pack you opened, select none here. On a select all’ with the SQL MP, the output was so verbose the default zoom was 7% to display everything on the screen. On the other hand, if you want to examine class lineage all the way from System.Entity (the root class in OpsMgr), then Select All.

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Sample Diagrams

Here are excerpts the inheritance (class) diagrams from the SQL 2005 MP. To view at full size, click on the diagram.

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Groups and Server Roles excerpt To view at full size, click on the diagram.

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Here is the primary relationships diagram from the SQL library MP (separate diagram exists for the groups and SQL perspective classes). To view at full size, click on the diagram.

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Summary

This is a nice addition to allow quick-and-easy visualization of classes and relationships during the MP authoring process. While it can serve as a model for creating more simplistic diagrams for MP guides and marketing material, the output of this component is definitely targeted to the serious MP author.

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