Laurie Rhodes's blog

An "Offline" Web Platform Installer

Microsoft’s Web Platform installer provides the ability of installing web based components onto Windows Platforms.  The technology is simple to use and works well when a machine has access to the internet.  When the machine being installed don’t have access to the internet the installer becomes a problem.

How to Cancel All Orchestrator jobs with SQL

When automated systems go wrong you may need to cancel a backlog of pending or running Orchestrator jobs directly with SQL.

For reference, the StatusId field from Orchestrator’s Job table provides the current status of the job.  These numeric represent:

0 = Pending

1 = Running

2 = Failed

3 = Cancelled

4 = Completed

The script may be run directly with SQL Management Studio.

PowerShell DSC Encryption

PowerShell’s Desired State Configuration allows for routines or classes to be run on remote machines by passing a text based “properties” object to the destination end-node.  There are a growing number of Microsoft supplied “classes” and importantly, the framework allows for custom development of additional objects.

MOF Files define the inputs to the class that will be run remotely.

Retrieving REST based results from SMA Runbooks

In a previous example, I gave an example of running a simple Service Management Automation runbook using REST.  This blog demonstrates how to retrieve output from a called runbook by using platform independent REST calls against the SMA Server. 

Four steps exist in obtaining the output from an SMA Runbook:   

Editing MSI databases with PowerShell

Jason Ginchereau is responsible for the creation of the Windows Deployment Toolkit which is incorporated into WIX.  The toolkit provides extensions for PowerShell to access Windows Installer databases with managed code.  Current releases can be downloaded from:

Invoking SMA Runbooks via REST

Service Management Automation Runbooks are PowerShell workflows.  Workflows allow parameters to be passed in at the time of execution and are essential to any infrastructure automation. 

Calling Orchestrator Runbooks (& retrieving output) via REST

This example uses PowerShell to call an Orchestrator runbook and display the results.

To demonstrate the scripting, I have created a simple runbook that will accept a string input.  It’s titled “Input1”.

SCCM’s Resource Explorer to SQL table mapping

System Center Configuration Manager collects a surprising amount of data from both Linux and Windows based client machines.  Normally the collected data may be viewed through the SCCM utility Resource Explorer but the data exists within the SCCM database and may be queried against with SQL Reporting by directly.  To create custom SQL reports, knowledge of which table holds related data is a requirement.

Creating SCCM Global Conditions by Script

I’ve written a fair bit about automating SCCM application creation by script.  Most of this has originated from the need to use Enhanced Detection Methods for determining when Applications are installed as I know from many years of Application Packaging that unless an official “package” produces a standard file or registry based flag when it’s installed, it becomes impossible to tightly manage a software environment. 


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