Linking systems to Advertisements for user notifications

The SMS 2003 web reports have some cool built in stuff around advertisements, one in particular is viewing advertisements for a specific system. A way that you can take advantage of this is to include a link in your customer communication so that they can view all active advertisements hitting their system. But how do you do this without giving them instructions for navigating throughout the web reports? Wouldn’t a link be nice? The actual link is going to http://REPORTINGPOINT/smsreporting_SITECODE/Report.asp?ReportID=131&ComputerName=COMPUTERNAME (Note this is not a real link as everything in CAPS needs to be changed for your environment). The beginning … Continue reading Linking systems to Advertisements for user notifications

Quick Tip: Using -Any- for your Software Meetering rule

Sorry things have been quiet here of late but I’ve been doing some traveling for work recently and there has been a lot going on away from the keyboard taking up my time as well but I hope to get back to giving more SMS-nugget related posts here. One thing that I’ve really been getting into recently is Software Metering and have found that most of my customer’s mission critical applications don’t have information such as the language or version in the file header which I’m looking for. Its way up in the list (above ‘Afrikaans’) but you can specify … Continue reading Quick Tip: Using -Any- for your Software Meetering rule

AdminStudio SMS Edition?

A while back we had a lively debate on SMS Packaging tools. In that time Microsoft has worked with InstallSheild to offer AdminStudio SMS Edition because of the need mainly for people to edit MSI files and customize them for deployments. This tool by no means eliminates the need for SMS Installer since you can’t do any custom scripting, etc, without purchasing the full AdminStudio. The documentation is also pretty weak IMHO which I’m not sure if that falls on the shoulders of Microsoft or InstallSheild to offer more public guides for this. Either way I recommend everyone to download … Continue reading AdminStudio SMS Edition?

What SMS shops need to know about October’s bulletins and the MS04-028 Scan Tool

Along with this month’s Security Updates, Microsoft has also released utilities for SMS and non-SMS environments to Scan and Patch their systems for MS04-028. You can find them here:   KB 885920 – How to obtain and use the MS04-028 Enterprise Update Scanning Tool in environments that use Systems Management Server http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?scid=KB;EN-US;885920 – Will be available by noon PDT Tuesday Public download location (Available by noon PDT) http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?FamilyId=C4745685-9521-4B63-A338-0B3E2DCBF2BB&displaylang=en KB 886988 – How to obtain and use the MS04-028 Enterprise Update Scanning Tool in environments that do not use Systems Management Server http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?scid=KB;EN-US;886988 – Will be available by noon PDT Tuesday … Continue reading What SMS shops need to know about October’s bulletins and the MS04-028 Scan Tool

Integrating your users with SMS

One aspect in deploying SMS can be to let your user base interact with the SMS environment. Many organizations don’t take advantage of a lot of the new features in SMS since older versions of the product had caveats of being site-wide settings or not working properly. Good examples of this are the Software Updates functionality of letting the user define their own schedules or using the individual program settings pop up a taskbar notification to open up Add / Remove Programs. An easy way to lower support costs in your organization is by minimizing the need for Desktop Technicians to … Continue reading Integrating your users with SMS

Good numbers

For those that missed it, SMS 2003 SP1 has been released and its getting some pretty good reviews so far. I decided to do a bit of comparison since this is a bit of a landmark for SMS2K3.  The real famous Service Pack for SMS 2.0 was SP2 because of all the problems it caused (cough, cough, I mean fixed).  🙂 2.0 SP2 (http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?scid=kb;en-us;258682) – 136 bugs   2K3 SP1(http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?scid=kb;EN-US;885644) – 27 bugs   Pretty good numbers if you ask me!

What Documentation?

I’m crazy about documentation. More than that, I’d call my self a “Documentation Guy”. Not only do I go through extra steps to document all technical and process decisions for the systems I control but I also hound the people on my team for documentation that in a round-a-bout way impacts my space. Why am I like this? A couple of reasons, some are selfish and others are not. Let me explain. Good documentation is a crucial piece of a solid IT organization. I didn’t always believe this and would be the guy saying “Who’s going to read that?” Problem … Continue reading What Documentation?

Process vs. People

I heard an interesting phrase today when talking to some consultants about SMS infrastructures they had worked on.  “In company A they didn’t really have that large of a staff so we focused more on making sure the SMS infrastructure was rock solide, whereas in company B they had so many Administrators worldwide that process had to be a heavy focus more than company A just because you need to make sure that everyone is following propper procedures”. This statement really holds true for a couple of reasons.  Start with the smaller company.  Usually its hard getting resources dedicated to … Continue reading Process vs. People

What is up with KB870669 and SMS?

So by now you know about the stop-gap effort by Microsoft to disable ADODB.Stream while they are making a patch to actually fix the update (yes, a patch is on the way and this isn’t private information as the press release is here). What I want to know is what team made this Hotfix installer? There has been so much effort over the past year by all teams within Microsoft to have standards with Hotfixes and this one follows none. The registry logging isn’t even in traditional places to track if the Hotfix has been applied which is really lousy … Continue reading What is up with KB870669 and SMS?