Category Archives: TechEd

Stuff Made by Smart People to Help Make Your Life Easier – Part Four

Have you had enough yet?  How about some Right Click Tools?  How about some more Right Click Tools?  These are cool additions for the Configuration Manager console but consider this before you install them in their default state.  Do you want to provide the full set of tools to anyone who has access to the Configuration Manager console?  Maybe, maybe not.  These are powerful tool sets but in most cases probably go beyond what you would ever need.  Fortunately, you can edit the underlying structure of the tool sets to remove the dangerous parts, no need to be running around with scissors, and still have some useful bits.  For example, as Jörgen Nilsson and Stefan Schörling brought up during their demo at TechEd do you really need to be providing a way to shutdown full collections in one fell swoop?  Probably not.

So what you might like to do is edit the underlying xml files to remove some of the potentially career impacting functionality of the right click tools so malicious or accidental actions like shutting down collections, rebooting collections, or uninstalling agents just aren’t there to happen.  In the sub-folders of the Configuration Manager console installation there are folders that correspond to the GUIDs which represent locations in the console.  Under these foldrs are xml files that can be changed to fit your requirements.

There’s a lot more out there to see, what I’ve posted is just a toe in the ocean of what people in the Configuration Manager community have created to make life easier for those of us lucky enough to be working in this field.  There’s also a nice wiki page available as well that lists all of the goodies.

TechEd Europe 2014

IMG_6819I have to say I do work for a good company.  I work on a small team that deals primarily with Microsoft solutions.  We put in a lot of time learning how to make Microsoft stuff go and part of that effort involves taking in the occasional convention.  This year my boss let me pick a convention and the lucky winner was TechEd Europe 2014.    Off we went to Barcelona.

If you don’t know what TechEd is think of a gathering of some of the best and brightest presenters in the world speaking on topics specifically in their areas of expertise.  Add to that hands-on labs, instructor-led labs and vendors showing off their latest kit.  It can be a bit overwhelming at times but the volume and quality of what one learns is substantial.  It’s also quite re-energizing.

In the next few posts I’m going to recount some of the highlights of a couple of the sessions I attended.  Good stuff.  Useful stuff.