If you’re not aware of Cireson’s excellent Remote Manage tool I would suggest you check out Wally Mead’s webcast on Vimeo https://vimeo.com/114928191 and then download the App directly from Cireson http://cireson.com/apps/remote-manage/
The App is marketed as an Analysts dream and judging from my recent rollout to our Desktop and Service Desk Teams I can say they were right. The Feedback I’ve had has been overwhelmingly positive, with only one caveat. Our Senior analysts wanted the ability to launch the app directly from the Configuration Manager Console and have it connect to the Selected System. Luckily with Configuration Manager 2012’s XML extensibility achieving this is a relatively trivial task.
To Achieve this, we need the following:
- The Console Component GUID
- The XML File Location
- An XML File
The Console Component GUID can be tricky to ascertain. There’s plenty of resources out there on how to do this so just a Google away so I’ll not repeat them here. For this tool we only need to know two.
- ed9dee86-eadd-4ac8-82a1-7234a4646e62 (This GUID references Devices under the Devices Node)
- 3fd01cd1-9e01-461e-92cd-94866b8d1f39 (This GUID references Devices under a Devices Sticky Node)
Now that we have the GUID’s we can create the XML File Location. The Folder location will be as follows %Program Files%\Microsoft Configuration Manager\AdminConsole\XmlStorage\Extensions\Actions\<GUID> where the GUID equals the Console Component GUID above. These folders don’t exist by default, so unless you’ve installed some other right click enabled tools for Configuration Manager you will need to create the empty folders.
Next We Need the XML File -In this instance we just need one file which will be copied to both locations-
<ActionDescription Class="Executable" DisplayName="Remote Manage" MnemonicDisplayName="Remote Manage" Description="Remote Manage"> <ShowOn> <string>ContextMenu</string> </ShowOn> <Executable> <FilePath>"C:\program files (x86)\Cireson\Remote Manage app\ConfigMgrClientTools.exe"</FilePath> <Parameters> "##SUB:NAME##" "FQDN OF YOUR SMS PROVIDER/SITE SERVER" </Parameters> </Executable> </ActionDescription>
So What does this XML Mean? If you really want to get your hands dirty this is all documented on MSDN https://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/hh949041.aspx however for the needs of this action we only need to understand the following:
- Class=”Executable” As we’re spawning another Executable this one should be fairly self explanatory.
- DisplayName, MnomicDisplayName and Description, Can be set to relevant String Values so the Action is easily Identifiable
- Showon for this action I just want it to show up on the Context Menu so I’ve set the String to ContextMenu this could also be set to DefaultHomeTab or DefaultContexturalTab if appropriate for your action
- Executable. Here we have the Path to the File we’re executing and some Parameters. Running Remote Manage from the command line takes the following inputs: Client (The computer We’re connecting to) and smsprovider (The Site server or computer hosting the SMSProvider Role) Configuration Manager extensions allow us to parse data from the site and pass it through to our custom actions. In this instance ##SUB:Name## tells Configuration Manager to execute our command line and while doing so SUBstitute the variable with the name of the system we right clicked on.
Now that we have our XML file we just save a copy of it into each of the GUID folders created above and restart our Console. If all goes well and your XML syntax is correct you should get a new menu item when you right-click on a system in either the Devices Node or a Devices Sticky Node.