Jul 30, 2006
sms: start to finish guide to mof editing
i finished reading start to finish guide to mof editing: the definitive guide to systems management server hardware inventory customization last week but hadn't had a chance to write up my thoughts about it until now. i had decided to load up vista ... which is another story entirely. i met the author at a user group conference in atlanta (southeast management user group). if you know jeff gilbert, you know what a character he can be. i'll just ask you to keep that in mind as you read the book. i think his intent was to try to make the book as easy to read as possible. i mean, a book on mof editing, is not exactly exciting material. however, he does try to add a bit of humor to keep the reader interested. the examples he uses are also clever enough to help some of the providers make sense. i remember way back when michael schultz asked me to review and edit his original mof editing guide. around this time, the sms mailing list was pretty active with most of us trying to figure out the hell to extend the sms_def.mof. i was more than happy to go through it because it made a fantastic learning opportunity. i thought i had some idea of how it all worked but was amazed at how much he had managed to uncover about all the little secrets that went undocumented or was extremely difficult to find. good stuff... so present day, i feel like i know mof editing pretty well. so to me, reviewing another book on mof editing, i felt like i'd be happy if i could take away at least one good gem of knowledge. since the book is a start to finish, there are some parts i read through quickly (mostly the beginner stuff) but slowed down to absorb the information on the various providers and tapping into them. when i hit that part, i started making dog ears on the pages. i was pleasantly surprised to keep reading gems of useful information that i know i'll be using at some point in the future. it goes into much further detail than just extending sms_def.mof. it covers static inventory, scripted inventory, and cleaning up obsolete classes and data. clearly the guy has done his homework. there's not a whole lot that i'd have expected to see or have asked for. i do wish there was more detail about the tools that can help an administrator extract data out of wmi (namely so i can throw the book at people and tell them to do it themselves). oh... also, an index would have been nice. :) overall, it's a great book for beginners and advanced mof editors alike. this will definitely be sitting on my reference shelf! (i had my copy printed.) great job, jeff!