BackOffice Resource Kit 4.5 Overview

BackOffice Resource Kit 4.5 Overview

April 10, 2000

by Dana Daugherty

Apart from the SMS 2.0 Administrators Guide this is the single most important resource you can buy. MS SMS 2.0 support engineers answer the majority of their calls using this tool. In this article I'll give you a high level overview of the SMS 2.0 Resource Kit and comments on tools that I've used. This could save you from making several support calls to MS it did for me.

Let's get one fact straight up front. I'm making 0 from Microsoft in sharing this information with you. That being said lets take a look at bundling options. You can purchase several BO (that's Back Office not body odor) product resource kits together or just the SMS 2.0 RK bundle. I recommend lager bundle. If you are using SMS then you must also use SQL and are probably using Exchange. 

The SMS pack includes a (very large) book and installation CD. After installation in Programs\Resource Kit you will have Online Books, Resource Kit Tools Help, Release Notes, and the MMC tools console. All tools will be installed on the workstation or server where you perform the install. 

The SMS 2.0 Resource Guide provides the following information:

Part 1, Introduction,

Chapter 1 Introducing the SMS 2.0 Resource Guide

Part 2, Planning,

Chapter 2  Designing Your SMS Site Hierarchy and Running the Pilot Project

Chapter 3  Using SMS 2.0 in a Multilingual Environment

Part 3, Deployment,

Chapter 4  Setting Up Remote Administrator Consoles

Chapter 5  Migrating or Creating SMS 2.0 Shared Applications

Chapter 6  Upgrading SMS 1.2 IDMIFs and NOIDMIFs to SMS 2.0

Part 4, Administering and Maintaining,

Chapter 7  Creating PDFs for Software Distribution

Chapter 8  Using Network Discovery Architecture

Chapter 9  Remote Tools for the Advanced User

Chapter 10  Customizing Hardware Inventory

Part 5, Performance Tuning and Optimization,

Chapter 11  Configuring and Populating Pilot Sites

Part 6, Integration and Interaction,

Chapter 12  Upgrading Clients from SMS 1.2 to SMS 2.0

Part 7, Tools and Utilities,

Chapter 13  Using SMS 2.0 Tools ? Part 1

Chapter 14  Using SMS 2.0 Tools ? Part 2

Chapter 15  Reporting Options for SMS 2.0

Part 8, Troubleshooting,

Chapter 16  Introducing the SMS 2.0 Flowcharts

Chapter 17  Site Server Core Components Flowcharts

Chapter 18  Site Server Configuration and Change Control Flowcharts

Chapter 19  Site Installation Flowcharts

Chapter 20  Hardware and Software Inventory Flowcharts

Chapter 21  Software Distribution Flowcharts

Chapter 22  Software Metering Flowcharts

Chapter 23  Diagnostics Flowcharts

Chapter 24  Client Installation Flowcharts

Chapter 25  Client Features Flowcharts

Chapter 26  Status Messages

Part 9, Disaster Recovery,

Chapter 27  Using the SMS Perfmon Counters

Appendices Appendix A  Files and Directories

Appendix B  SMS Object Properties

Appendix C  Hardware Inventory Classes

Appendix D  SMS 2.0 Client Logon Scripts

Appendix E  Unattended Installations

Glossary defines the technical SMS terms used in this guide and builds on the glossary contained in the SMS 2.0 Administrator's Guide.


Tip- add the tools console into your SMS 2.0 MMC for quick access. 

Pros - The tools help and online books organization and search ability are excellent. The RK builds on foundational concepts from the 2.0 Admin guide so it acts as an extension. The trouble shooting help is very good, lots of detailed flow charting. 

Cons - There is not much more query building information than what is in the 2.0 Admin guide. The MMC piece is a bit "clunky" it just gives you a listing of the tools, the real explanation of the tools in in the tools help application and the book itself. 


Here are a few tools that I've had good results with:

20clicln.exe - removes SMS 2.0 client components 

Newuid.exe - this is an installer Script file you can send to clients to assign them a new SMS Id.

Diskdump.exe - this dumps SMS client information to a file to help you trouble shoot installation problems.

SMSTrac.exe - helps to decipher log files

SMSSPMan.exe - Site Properties Manager lets you apply site properties to multiple sites very quickly. Graphical interface. 

There are many more tools available.