ReSearch This – Dashboard edition

At TechEd 2014 we received a lot of information on the newly available dashboards in OpsMgr 2012 R2 UR2. As part of my presentation Brian Wren authored an MP which when an alert was highlighted would look it up in Bing (among other things). For background, the ReSearch This management pack was designed to provide a quick way to find additional information on alerts to more quickly identify next steps to resolve issues when they occur in an environment. The product knowledge for an alert is always the best place to start but if the product knowledge doesn’t address your issue most often administrators go next to their preferred search engine and look up the alert to see what the community has written about the alert. I decided to work from what Brian built to create a new version of the ReSearch This management pack designed for the new widgets. To do so I took the following steps:

I designed as a one column dashboard so additional items can be added to the bottom of the dashboard.

Here’s how the dashboard is assembled:

The first widget is the Alert widget – Showing all not closed alerts

Sorted by the alert name (making it easy to find duplicate alerts) and grouped by the Is Monitor Alert (so that all alerts from a monitor are grouped together and all alerts from a rule are grouped together).

This dashboard widget shows all not closed alerts with the rules (Is Monitor Alert = false) at the top (this is a great benefit to using the Alert widget instead of an alert view).

Add a cell (this is available in the top right of the dashboard).

The second widget is the PowerShell web browser widget:

The code below is shamelessly stolen from Brian Wren’s dashboard he demonstrated at TechEd 2014 with only minor tweaks from me:

# Sample to illustrate use of PowerShell Web Browser Widget.

# If an alert is selected, then a lookup for the alert name is done on Bing.

 

Param($globalSelectedItems)

foreach ($globalSelectedItem in $globalSelectedItems)

{

$alert = Get-SCOMAlert -Id $globalSelectedItem[“Id”]

}

 

# This widget will always include a Request object. We can use the same object for both kinds of requests since we will set the properties later.

$request = $ScriptContext.CreateInstance(“xsd://Microsoft.SystemCenter.Visualization.Component.Library!Microsoft.SystemCenter.Visualization.Component.Library.WebBrowser.Schema/Request”)

 

# If the selected object is an alert, then we show Bing.

if ($alert -ne $null)

{

# Set the base URL for the request. The final URL will include the parameters that we’re going to add.

$request[“BaseUrl”]=”http://www.bing.com/search”

 

# Since this request needs parameters, then we create a parameter object and a single parameter instance. If this request needed multiple parameters, then we would create additional parameter instances.

$parameterCollection = $ScriptContext.CreateCollection(“xsd://Microsoft.SystemCenter.Visualization.Component.Library!Microsoft.SystemCenter.Visualization.Component.Library.WebBrowser.Schema/UrlParameter[]”)

$parameter = $ScriptContext.CreateInstance(“xsd://Microsoft.SystemCenter.Visualization.Component.Library!Microsoft.SystemCenter.Visualization.Component.Library.WebBrowser.Schema/UrlParameter”)

 

# Set the properties on the parameter instance. Then add it to the collection and add the collection to the request.

$parameter[“Name”] = “q”

$parameter[“Value”] = $alert.Name

$parameterCollection.Add($parameter)

$request[“Parameters”]= $parameterCollection

 

# Add the request to the return collection which causes the widget to perform the request.

$ScriptContext.ReturnCollection.Add($request)

}

And then we just repeat the process for other engines (Google, SystemCenterCentral or even your own internal SharePoint site!) As an example, the change from Bing to Google was just substituting each reference to Bing with Google.

Lather, rinse, repeat!

 

FAQ:

Can I change the widget order? If you want to move around widgets you can do so by clicking on the gear in the top right of the specific widget as shown below.

Can I remove a widget on this dashboard? You can right-click on the widget and delete contents if you want to remove it.

Are there any other installation steps? I had to use Tao’s article on the IE version to create the HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Main\FeatureControl\FEATURE_BROWSER_EMULATION\Microsoft.EnterpriseManagement.Monitoring.Console.exe (RegDword, decimal of 11000) registry key (http://blog.tyang.org/2014/05/24/lookout-ie-version-opsmgr-powershell-web-browser-widget/)

What are the dashboard requirements? This dashboard was designed for Operations Manager 2012 R2 UR2 and higher (or Operations Manager 2012 SP1 UR6) using the new PowerShell widgets.

Where can I get it? Version 1.0.0.3 of the dashboard has been uploaded to System Center Central and is available at SystemCenterCentral or at the dashboard gallery (Daniel Savage has also provided a PowerShell script for searching bing based on alert title).

Where is the dashboard? The dashboard exists in the monitoring pane under the “SystemCenterCentral ReSearch This – Dashboard Edition” folder under the name “ReSearch Alerts” as shown below.

5 thoughts on “ReSearch This – Dashboard edition

  1. AsylumLab

    Love the idea.. and eager to try it out but am getting an odd issue.  It’s telling me the following MP’s don’t exist even though I verified they do and they are correct versions:

    Microsoft.SystemCenter.Visualization.Library

    Microsoft.SystemCenter.Visualization.Component.Library

     

    This is a new/fresh install so am trying to see if I am missing anything, but if you have any idea on a solution would love to hear it.

    Thanks,

    The Asylum.

  2. Cameron Fuller Post author

    AsylumLab, are you running Operations Manager 2012 R2 with UR2 and higher or Operations Manager 2012 SP1 with UR6 or higher? Anyone else running into issues trying to get this to load?

  3. AsylumLab

    It appears the problem lies in when I installed SCOM 2012 R2 and it updated directly to UR3 without UR2.  The MP’s did not update as they are locked in to 7.1.10226.0 and did install the updated versions for some reason.  Need to figure out why and will let you know how it goes, looking forward to this MP of yours 😉

  4. Cameron Fuller Post author

    AsylumLab, the MP I uploaded is unsealed so if you want here’s a way to test it in your environment:

    Find each reference to <Version> and replace it with a 6.0.0.0. So from:

    <Version>7.1.10226.0</Version>

    to

    <Version>6.0.0.0</Version>

    As an example. If you try that for each <Version> section it should allow you to import the MP.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.