Visio Management Pack Designer for System Center 2012 - Operations Manager

Visio Management Pack Designer for System Center 2012 - Operations Manager

This document is part of the Operations Manager Management Pack Authoring Guide.  The Microsoft System Center team has validated this procedure as of Revision #17.  We will continue to review any changes and periodically provide validations on later revisions as they are made.  Please feel free to make any corrections or additions to this procedure that you think would assist other users.

The Visio Management Pack Designer is an add-in for Microsoft Visio 2010 that lets you quickly create management packs for Operations Manager with minimal complexity.  It provides the following features:
  • Drag and Drop Visio Shapes to design the application you want to monitor.
  • Drag and Drop Visio Shapes to add monitoring
  • Uses Best Practices for developing a Management Pack.


When to use the Visio Management Pack Designer

Operations Manager offers a variety of tools for creating management packs, of which the VMPD is only one. Depending on the complexity of your system or your application, the VMPD might not be the right tool for you. If this is the case, then you should use the Visual Studio Authoring Extentions or the Operations Manager Authoring Console.

When to use the VMPD

  • When your application fits one of the patterns provided: single-server patterns for single server roles or groups, with or without components; or distributed applications, two-tier or three-tier, with individual servers or computer groups.

  • When your monitoring needs fall within the bounds of the five performance monitors the VMPD provides: Performance monitoring, Event monitoring, Service monitoring, Web site monitoring, and Database monitoring. However, those monitors are subject to some limitations, described below.

When not to use the VMPD

  • If your monitor is based on a script. The monitoring shapes that are part of the VMPD provide a wide range of monitoring features but do not support script-based monitoring at this time.

  • If your monitor requires logic that is not available in an existing shape. For example, you may want an event monitor that checks an application log at specific intervals and looks for a heartbeat event. If that event does not appear for a certain period of time, you’d want to raise an alert. There is not currently a missing event monitor in the VMPD.

Operations Manager Versions

The Visio Management Pack Designer builds management packs based on the schema for Operations Manager 2007 R2.  This format is compatible with System Center 2012 Operations Manager (which is currently in beta), so any management packs built with the tool will work with either version of the product.

Basic Concepts


The VMPD provides Visio stencils with shapes that represent management pack classes or monitoring scenarios.  You can create a Visio diagram using shapes that represent your application and the monitoring it requires.  Each of the shapes has properties that allow you to configure its details.  When you select the option to generate the management pack, code behind each of the shapes is executed in order to generate the management pack XML  Each shape may generate one or more management pack elements depending on the selected options.  For example, a Server Role shape will create a management pack class, the discovery required to create instances, and a state view to display discovered instances.

Maintaining the Management Pack

You should treat the Visio drawing as the source code of your management pack.  There is no way to import an existing management pack into the VMPD. If you want to make any changes after the management pack is created, you should make the changes to the drawing and then import the updated management pack into the management group.

Because the Visio Management Pack Designer does not include every possible monitoring scenario or the ability to create such elements as custom views and groups, you may require additions to the management pack using other tools. For example, you may want to create a script monitor using the Operations Console after you install the management pack into a management group. If you do make changes in Visio after making changes to the management pack using the other tool, then you will overwrite those changes when you install the updated management pack.

The solution to this issue is the seal the management pack before installing it. Any additional elements can be stored in a separate management pack using the classes created in the management pack created with the VMPD.


Installing the VMPD

Before you can install the Visio Management Pack Designer, you'll need the following prerequisites:

  • Microsoft Visio 2010 SP1*
  • Microsoft .NET Framework 4

* To design an MP you can use Visio 2010 SP1 Professional but if you want to “compile” (create) the actual management pack XML you need Visio 2010 SP1 Premium. So working in a team doesn’t really require everyone to install the Premium edition, just the one who compiles the MPs.

Us the following procedure to install the VMPD.

  1. Download the VMPD from
  2. On the Welcome screen, click Next.
  3. On the Installation Folder screen, select where you'd like to install the console. Click Next.
  4. On the Confirm Installation page, click Next.
  5. When the installation is complete, you'll see a confirmation window. Click Close.
  6. A new icon will be added to your desktop with the name New Management Pack Drawing.
  7. If you select the new icon, Visio will open with an empty management pack template.

Viewing Shape Properties

When you select a shape, the properties for that shape will be displayed in the Shape Data window.  If the Shape Data Window is not visible, then use the following procedure to display it.

  1. Select the View menu.
  2. Select Task Panes and then Shape Data.

Connecting a Monitor to a Shape

When you add a monitor to a drawing, it must be connected to a modeling shape.  The monitor will run on all agent computers where the target class is discovered.  Use the following procedure to attach a monitor to a shape.

  1. Select the MP Roll-Up template.
  2. Add a Monitor Connector arrow to the drawing.
  3. Connect the base of the arrow to the monitor.
  4. Connect the point of the arrow to the modeling shape.

Configuring Health Rollup

You can connect modeling shapes in a diagram in order to configure health rollup between classes in the management pack.  Health rollup causes the health of one object to be dependent on the health of another object.  For example, you may have a Server Component shape that has a health rollup to a Server Role shape representing the server that the component resides on.  Further details on this concept is discussed in Dependency Monitors.Use the following procedure to configure health rollup between modeling shapes.

  1. Select the MP Roll-Up template.
  2. Add a Health Roll-up arrow to the drawing.
  3. Connect the base of the arrow to the dependent shape.
  4. Connect the point of the arrow to the shape to roll the health up to.
  5. In the properties for the health roll-up shape, set the Roll-up property to define which kinds of monitors will roll up health..

Validating a Management Pack

The VMPD will return an error if you attempt to generate a management pack from a drawing if there with incorrect configuration.  You can validate that a drawing meets the requirements by using the following procedure.

  1. Select the Management Pack tab.
  2. Select Check Diagram.
  3. If the diagram has no errors, then you will receive a dialog box stating that no issues were found.
  4. If the diagram has one or more errors, they will be listed in the Issues window.
  5. If you select an issue in the Issues window, the shape with the error will be highlighted.

Generating a Management Pack

Use the following procedure to generate a management pack.

  1. If this is an update to an existing management pack, select the Management Pack shape and change the Version property to a value greater than the previous version.  This will ensure that the management pack can be upgraded properly when installed in the management group.
  2. Select the Management Pack tab.
  3. In the Target Platform dropdown, select SCOM 2007.  This is recommended even if you are going to install the management pack in a System Center 2012 management group.  See Management Pack Formats for more information.
  4. Select Generate a Management Pack.
  5. If the diagram has any errors, they will be listed in the Issues window.  You must correct these issues before attempting to generate the management pack again.
  6. If the diagram has no errors, then you will be prompted for a location to save the management pack.

Installing the Management Pack

Once the management pack has been created, you should seal it before installing it in the management group as explained above in Maintaining the Management Pack.

Shape References

The functionality of the VMPD is determined by the shapes that are used in the diagram.  The following references provide details of the shapes that are currently available.


An Example is available that walks through creation of a management pack using the VMPD.

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Wiki - Revision Comment List(Revision Comment)
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  • Ed Price - MSFT edited Revision 15. Comment: Cleaned up headers

  • Ed Price - MSFT edited Revision 11. Comment: We're removing "(en-US)" from the titles due to difficulties it causes. But please keep putting "en-US" in the tags!

  • Baelson Duque [MSFT] edited Revision 9. Comment: We found numerous reports that the VMPD would have errors or would not generate the right XML. We found the root cause to be some bugs that were fixed in Visio 2010 SP1 that we depend on.

  • carlhalle edited Revision 6. Comment: Where is the link to download the msi?

  • Bryan Dady edited Revision 4. Comment: Fixed link to System Center Operations Manager R2 Authoring Resource Kit  page

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Posting comments is temporarily disabled until 10:00am PST on Saturday, December 14th. Thank you for your patience.
  • Bryan Dady edited Revision 4. Comment: Fixed link to System Center Operations Manager R2 Authoring Resource Kit  page

  • This is awesome!  I shared this via Twitter and to my internal SCOM folks.  There was a inquiry as to whether there was any demos available for this

  • We wil definitely have some samples out and will obviously provide the download link as soon as the tool is available.  We will be showing it at MMS next month and will also provide a demonstration of creating a custom shape.  I will make any of those demos available right after the conference.

  • Any ETA on the release of this yet?  I'm chomping at the bit after seeing at MMS last week! : )

  • carlhalle edited Revision 6. Comment: Where is the link to download the msi?

  • Where is the download link for the msi?

  • Where is the download link for the msi?

  • Any update on when this will be released? The last I heard, it was expected to be released last week.

  • Anyone have any idea when this will be released?

  • Any release date yet???

  • Brian, do you think you can put up a tutorial on how to create your own custom shapes? This would really be awesome!

    cheers from Austria,


  • Hey, Stefan!  Some things are going to change in the extension model from the CTP.  We're still working out some of the details on that, so I want to hold off on making that information available until I know the extension will work in RTM.

  • Hello,

    I wanted to test VMPD and I 've also installed Visio Premium version 14.0.6106.5005 (32bits) on my Computer at work (XP Pro 32 bits) and I've installed the VMPD 32 bits as per in

    I've an issue trying to generate a MP when using the different pattern - for example the "server role with component" - except the "distributed application" pattern. Checking diagram is OK but when I click on Generate Management Pack, it says : "Exception : Server Role with component is not supported".

    Using, "Simple Application" Patytern, I 've "Exception : Simple application based on computer groups shape is not supported"

    What do you think about it ? Is it due to my configuration ? I don't find any thing about that on technet. Many thanks.


  • Hi Again,

    Forget my question, i guess it's linked to the non Supported OS I'm using. I've to ask for an OS migration at work.

    Best regards


  • An update today, same issue on a computer with Seven installed. Seems to not be due to XP !

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