Some quick notes before I forget them.
- Run through the Management Pack Authoring Guide first. It’s useful but I feel it didn’t give me enough of an explanation of what’s actually going on under the covers. Much of the inner workings of system center remain a mystery to me.
- Setup a single all in one dev environment to allow yourself the chance to really play around when you’re not sure what’s going on. Then load on an agent onto your normal desktop workstation/laptop and test discoveries out on that machine at the same time as you begin deploying your management packs into the production environment.
- Get a copy of Savision Live Maps – a 5 diagram copy is freely available. It has a simple, easy to use interface for finding your class instances and testing out your discoveries. And, I’ve just discovered – there’s a new version out – v5 is RTM - gotta try it.
- Use the filtered registry discovery not the unfiltered discovery. This ensures you can get the Build Event Expression page which enables you to test for the existence of a registry key.
- Use wbemtest.exe to try out queries and drill down into the CIM classes.
- Documentation to help you with WMI is again weak. Classic example – at time of writing this there’s a community comment to highlight the fact that the SQL Server 2008 ComputerManagement namespace is incorrectly labelled (should be root\Microsoft\SqlServer\ComputerManagement10 – you can verify by using select * from __namespace under root\Microsoft\SqlServer).