The new and great book about SCSM 2012 released!

imageNew and great book from Kerrie Meyler, Kurt Van Hoecke, Samuel Erskine and Steve Buchanan about SCSM 2012, the “System Center 2012 Service Manager Unleashed” is released! Must Have book for all who interested about SCSM 2012 and want to learn more!

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SCSM 2012 R2 UR3 released

It’s here: http://support.microsoft.com/kb/2962041/en-us

Please read installation instruction carefully (especially “Before Installation” and “After Installation” sections)!!!

List of fixes:

  • The Microsoft Systems Center 2012 Operations Manager configuration item (CI) connector does not retrieve disk mount point information for the Service Manager database.
  • When a service request is created from a request offering in the console and when every user prompt is of the Simple List prompt type, the console shows options from all simple lists in each user prompt.
  • When you try to close a customized change request, you cannot close the change request, the task throws an error, and the close is not actioned.
  • MPSync job failures that are logged to the event log do not contain enough information to allow for a quick diagnosis of the problem.
  • All Service Manager workflows may stall when any invalid XML characters (control characters) are used in a work item property.
  • Using the “Set First Response or Comment” task in a service request creates a “Private” flag that cannot be used for evaluation in a notification action log or a user comment update. This behavior occurs because the private flag is undefined.
  • If the configuration management database (CMDB) is down (that is, if it is offline or unable to connect because of network issues) at the time that the Health service is restarted and if the CMDB continues to be offline for a long time, the Health service may enter an unrecoverable state even if the database comes online again later.
  • Configuration Manager Connector synchronization may stop after Update Rollup 2 for Service Manager 2012 SP1 or Update Rollup 6 for Service Manager 2012 R2 is applied. This issue occurs when the connector tries to synchronize malformed or incomplete software version information from the Configuration Manager database.

Please note: there are NO updates for SCSM 2012 SP1 available.

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ATTENTION!! Do not install UR2 for SCSM 2012 R2 if you have active SCCM connectors

UPDATED 18.05.2014: Official information from Microsoft and workaround

More info here:

http://blogs.technet.com/b/servicemanager/archive/2014/04/23/update-rollup-2-for-system-center-2012-r2-service-manager-is-now-available.aspx

*** NOTE if you’re using SCCM Connector to synchronize data between SM and CM, do not install this Update Rollup (UR). We have discovered a regression in the UR payload which prevents the SCCM connector from successfully synchronizing in some cases. We expect a hotfix and / or the relevant documentation addressing this issue to be available very soon. Stay tuned for more information ***

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Installation of the SCSM 2012 R2 UR2 on DW failed with _PatchMP exception

Small note about how is helpful can be careful reading of the KB articles before do something. If you try to install SCSM 2012 R2 UR2 to unregistered SCSM DW you will get an error:

An error occurred while executing a custom action:_PatchMP

In log file you can find:

PatchMP: No Mp with MP Name ServiceManager.ServiceRequest.Library to patch, so failing in the MP patching

The reason is simple: have to read KB article. http://support.microsoft.com/kb/2904710/en-us :

Before you install the update, read the following instructions:

  1. Exit all Service Manager-related applications before you apply this update rollup. For example, exit the Service Manager console, the Self-Service Portal links, and the authoring tool.
  2. Make sure that the Service Manager data warehouse server is successfully synchronized with the Service Manager management server at least one time. For more information, see Registering with the Service Manager data warehouse to enable reporting (http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/hh914224.aspx)

So, you CAN’T install UR2 on unregistered DW.

Thanks to Stanislav for pointing me to KB.

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Troubleshooting SCSM update process crash

Sometimes you can’t install update rollup for SCSM because right after you press Install button on first page, the update process crashed. This issue came from very early versions of the SCSM and still sometime happened at this time, even for SCSM 2012 R2 UR2 update.

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How to “fast remove” SMPortal from management server

Since SCSM 2012 SP1, any component of SMSM self-service portal can’t be located on management server (technically, this will work, but not supported any more). But if you using SCSM since 2010 or 2012, you can have SMPortal installed  on management server. In this case you need to remove SMPortal.

The only-supported way is to uninstall management server together with self-service portal and reinstall management server. This is dangerous operation (you just need to save all your custom assemblies from SCSM directory and install management server, target installation to same database). But sometime, especially in lab environment, you need to remove self-service with some “fast” way. This article describe how to do this, but please keep in mind: this is unsupported.

To remove portal you can simple remove Sharepoint and remove all IIS sites. But if you try to update management server after this, you will get “Microsoft System Center 2012 Service Manager is not in a valid state.”. This is because installer “know” that SMPortal was installed before. To clean-up this, you must change registry. Please open the key: HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\Installer\Features\5BA67A970AE3F4C4989BC10A4083CEE2 and remove next values:

  • SMPortal
  • SMPortalSharePointSite
  • SMportalWebContentServer

After this you can safely update your management server.

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Enumeration value in XML criteria

If you often using the XML criteria in SCSM (with SDK or in view with Advanced View Editor) then you can faced with two different notation used as value for properties of enumeration type (like Status, Category, Area and so on): $MPElement[Name=’’]$ and Guid format (xxxxxxxx-xxxx-xxx-xxxx-xxxxxxxxxxxx, or uniqueidentifier in T-SQL). In this article I will describe the deference and will explain why XML validation can fail when $MPElement$ notation used.

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Check list: creating new work item based on template using SCSM SDK

When you want to apply template on work item it’s extremely easy: you need to call ApplyTemplate method of the EnterpriseManagementObject or EnterpriseManagementObjectProjection class instance (with one exception – template shouldn’t contains activity for Service Requests, Change Requests or Release Records). But what if you want to create new object based on template? From first view it’s look not very hard – just call appropriated constructor. But in fact this is just first step of list of required steps: required or optional.

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How it’s works: token [mygroups]

With SCSM 2012 (SP1 and R2) we can use three different tokens: [now], [me] and [mygroups]. If two of them are simple and already described (here small help about [now]), than [mygroups] is more complex and required some explanation.

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List of fixed bugs in SCSM 2012 R2 RTM

This is list of fixed bug in SCSM 2012 R2 RTM. The list contains bugs founded in SCSM 2012 SP1 and SCSM 2012 R2 Preview.

Please note: this is not an official list of fixed bugs.

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