SCOM Custom Performance Collection

Tools
I've spent five days struggling with this, but I finally have a custom performance collection up and running. The documentation available for Operations Manager 2007 (SCOM), especially for customization, especially for databases, is weak, and that's being kind. However, there are some guys working hard out there to make a difference. If you need help, the System Center Forum is the place to go. In particular, this little ditty on using property bag objects finally cracked the code for me. The good news, I'm going to write this up in an article for Steve over at SQL Server Central. The better news, I can finally report progress in my daily stand-ups. Sheesh!
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SCOM VBScript Testing: The Answer

Tools
It took a while, but I finally tracked down the information I needed. SCOM has an SDK. In the SDK is a nice little page showing how to test & debug scripts. One of the links on that page leads out here to a great article on the VBScript debugger. That's what I needed (along with the DLL's to register). Anyway, I've almost got my first monitoring script up & running. I'll post it on here once I do.
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Did I mention that I love Red Gate’s Data Generator?

T-SQL, Tools
Because I do. I'm working on a set of tests for an article comparing TOP, MAX & ROW_NUMBER. I have a simple data structure and I need a bunch of data in order to create my tests. I wanted that data to be distributed a certain way, to mimic some production system behavior I've seen in the past. Last night I got it all set by mucking about with the seed values of the various columns to get it just right and load up millions of rows in only a few minutes and doing this all on my lap top. Great tool!
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Red Gate’s SQL Prompt Enhanced

Tools
I've been using Red Gate products for years and I've turned into a bit of a cheerleader for them. I can't help it. They have good products.  One of the tools that I've been using for a while (truth told since before it was owned by Red Gate) is SQL Prompt. A new version, 3.8, has recently been released. I've been using for a few days now. It really is an improvement over the previous version. I haven't done system measurements or anything, but it feels faster. It's picked up the schema's from the systems I normally access quite well. It failed when I put it against the SCOM data mart, but so did the prior version. There are quite a few cosmetic enhancements. Some of the pop-ups look a bit…
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Easy Fix To Problem #1

nHibernate, Object Relational Mapping, Tools
I did a little bit, and I mean a little bit, of looking through the documentation on nHibernate and located a spot for the schema, actually  a couple of spots. It can be added to the Hibernate Mapping definition, which will make it a default for all classes within the definition, and by extension all the tables in the database you connect to. You can also add it to the class definition, specifying a particular schema for a given table. So now the query looks like this: exec sp_executesql N'INSERT INTO dbo.users (Name, Password, EmailAddress, LastLogon, LogonId) VALUES (@p0, @p1, @p2, @p3, @p4)',N'@p0 nvarchar(9),@p1 nvarchar(6),@p2 nvarchar(13),@p3 datetime,@p4 nvarchar(9)',@p0=N'Jane Cool',@p1=N'abc123',@p2=N'jane@cool.com',@p3='2008-04-25 11:11:48:000',@p4=N'jane_cool' On to the data length problem.
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nHibernate First Impressions

Object Relational Mapping, Tools
If I'm going to have to support it, I want to understand it. So, I got going yesterday, installing nHibernate 2.0 and walking through the Quick Start Guide. My C# is a bit rusty, to say the least, but I managed to sqeak by. The Guide is meant for an older version of nHibernate and there have been a few changes made that affect the code displayed. What that means is, I had to do more than simply type up what was presented to me. Which, was actually good because it forced me to do a bit more learning in order to get everything to work. What I found was interesting. I can see why developers like this. It really does let you treat the database as just another object…
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SCOM Error

Tools
We've been getting a lot of alerts saying "Performance Module could not find a performance counter." It's been making me nuts. I finally did a search on the web and found an entry over on the Operations Manager Product Team blog. It's a known issues with SP1. I'm posting this, not because I'm complaining. I'm not. SP1 solved several issues that I had and I'm very happy to have installed it. Unfortunately, it introduced problems. Just not as many as it solved.
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SCOM Solution

Tools
I had posted a problem I was having with SCOM below. I got a good answer to the problem in the Microsoft discussion group. It was a silly little thing. The "SQL" alias inside the object needed a reference placed within the Management Pack definition. I've still go so much to learn about this tool.
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Performance Studio

Tools
I just found out about some new functionality coming out in SQL Server 2008 called Performance Studio. It's actually largely a framework around which you can build performance monitoring routines for an entire enterprise. This sounds terrific. I'm going to dig into a bit and make it my presentation for the Heroes {Community} Launch event at SNESSUG next week. Here's a Technet webcast on the topic. Here's a very nice blog entry over at SQLTeam (I suppose I should ad them to my blog roll) discussing the function of the Data Collector, the foundation for this new framework. Performance Studio only works with 2008 systems though, so that's something to take into account. Although I see an interview with Brad McGehee that says it's not enterprise ready. Another something to take…
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