June 2007 - Posts

I have found Windows Live Writer (Beta), and it is good. No, it's great.

After some initial install pain (getting it to be happy with MyITforum required custom selecting the CommunityServer host, and adding http://myitforum.com/cs2/blogs/ to the front of the 'remote post' server url.

Once configured and pointed at your blog, it gives you a screen to create and edit you post in that looks like your blog, uses the same basic colors. I find this to be a big advantage over other remote blogging utilities like BlogJet.

Other functionality includes everything you could want (ok, well, everything I could want) from a WYSIWYG editor.

Highly recommended.

Posted by pwstrain | with no comments


So, after a couple of weeks with the service manager beta, I have a few thoughts to share about the product, it's install, and perhaps a couple of catches.

First of all I can't recommend strongly enough that you read the documentation (srvcmgrQuickStart.doc) completely.  Twice.  Maybe even three times.  While the installation experience is much improved from prior versions, there are still minor things that you could skip that would doom the installation.

I suggest creating a new security group in which you'll put all of the users that you want to be administrators of Server Manager.  Only these users will be able to run the console, whether installing it on their local machine or attempting to run it from the service manager server. The account you specify as the service account must also be in this group.

While the active directory connector is functioning, the recommendation is to not import more than 50 users.

 Should you have to uninstall Service Manager, first uninstall from the Control Panel, then remove the reports from http://<localserver>/reports, then run the "'stsadm -o uninstallfeature -force -name" that are listed in the docs. Then you'll have to go into SQL Manager and delete the databases that were created on install. THEN you can re-install the product successfully, assuming you fix the reason you had to re-install in the first place.

More as we begin to put it through it's paces.

Posted by pwstrain | with no comments
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Service Manager Public Beta 1 hits the world today. You can register for the Beta on connect.microsoft.com.

Be sure and read the docs completly, installation is not for the weak at heart. Well, I haven't installed it yet, but installing the pre-release version was not for the weak at heart. I'll post more about the beta as I go through the install and evaluation process.

The beta features:

· Distributed install

· Administration wizards for easy solution configuration

· AD connection wizard

 · SMS 2003 SP3 connection wizard

· Asset inventory including the first phase of asset reconciliation in the CMDB

· Incident management including queues, customizable drop-down values, asset linking, and notification workflows.

· Change management including queues, customizable drop-down values, asset and incident linking, multiple review stages, activity management and notification workflows

· A self-service portal which includes knowledge search, service request submission, and software provisioning integrated with SMS 2003 SP3

· Knowledge Management including authoring, viewing, comment and rating all integrated with Word 2007 and SharePoint 2007

· Data Warehousing and Reporting including 6 sample reports for incident, change and asset data

Posted by pwstrain | with no comments