To speed interactions between operations and development, it is essential to quickly detect and fix problems that might need assistance from the engineering team. System Center 2012 Service Pack 1 (SP1), Operations Manager can integrate with development tools, such as Team Foundation Server (TFS) and Visual Studio, enabling deep troubleshooting and streamlining communications between developers and IT operations. You can synchronize Operations Manager alerts and Team Foundation Server (TFS) work items. Operations Manager integration with TFS introduces a new work item type definition, Operational Issue, which can be embedded into any of your organization’s engineering processes. After enabling synchronization, IT operations can manually assign alerts to the engineering team. Assigning an alert to engineering creates a new work item in Team Foundation Server. The workflow tracks and synchronizes changes made to TFS work items and changes made to associated alerts in Operations Manager.

New Monitoring Capabilities

  • Monitoring Windows Services Built on the .NET Framework
  • Automatic Discovery of ASP.NET MVC3 and MVC4 Applications
  • New Transaction Types: MVC Pages and WCF Methods
  • Enabled APM of SharePoint 2010

Integration with Team Foundation Server 2010 and Team Foundation Server 2012

Compared to the Microsoft Visual Studio Team Foundation Server 2010 Work Item Synchronization management pack, SP1 features include:

  • Shipped as part of Operations Manager, included in the SP1 Media
  • Improved security – synchronization account no longer requires TFS administrative rights
  • Improved design of the Operational Issue WITD
  • Improved design of the configuration Wizard
  • Introduced support for TFS Area Path
  • Support for default Team Projects
  • Synchronization for new APM alert types from IIS8 web applications, WCF, Windows Services, and also for non-APM alerts
  • Localization of Wizard UI and MP elements, and compatibility with localized versions of TFS
  • Synchronize file attachments that can reside on a network file share or appended to TFS work items.
  • Automatically route and close alerts to TFS
  • IT operations can open TFS work items directly from the Operations Manager console using built-in integration with TFS web UI.

Conversion of Application Performance Monitoring events to IntelliTrace format

This new monitoring capability allows for opening of APM exception events from Visual Studio IDE as if the exception was captured during the IntelliTrace historical debugging session. Developers can stay within their familiar environment to examine complete exception call stack, for example: method parameters captured at the time of exception, and can navigate between the source code modules that participated in the exception call chain. Tightly integrated with TFS Work Item Synchronization Management Pack, this capability instantaneously brings generated IntelliTrace logs to TFS work items assigned to engineering. This can result in streamlining communications between IT Operations and Development and enriching the development experience with analysis of root causes of the application failure, reducing the mean time to recovery (MTTR) for the problems detected by APM.

Features include:

  • APM exception events can be saved in IntelliTrace file format directly from Application Diagnostics
  • Debug Symbols can be late-bound in Visual Studio 2012 allowing developers to navigate through source code, even when the production environment has no symbols loaded
  • Developers can see one level of parameters that are converted and visible in the Visual Studio 2012 Ultimate Locals window, and displayed in the context of the selected call stack frame
  • Developers can see additional method specific information (i.e. a connection string for ExecuteReader() method) in the Visual Studio 2012 Locals window in the context of the selected call stack frame
  • Traces are automatically attached to APM exception events and can be automatically added to TFS work items or stored on a network file share. Developers can open traces using Visual Studio 2012 Ultimate and troubleshoot application problems while staying in their development environment.

Collecting Historical Traces Using IntelliTrace Profiling Management Pack

System Center 2012 SP1 – Operations Manager includes IntelliTrace Profiling Management Pack. This management pack lets you capturing historical traces directly from the Operations Manager console. These traces can help developers investigate problems by giving them visibility to application execution history without the developers needing access to the servers where the applications ran. Developers can use Visual Studio 2012 Ultimate to open collected traces.

IntelliTrace Profiling Management Pack automatically deploys the necessary infrastructure, IntelliTrace Collector, to the designated servers. When traces are collected, they are uploaded to a network file share and attached to Operations Manager alerts. Traces are uploaded to the management server using the same secure Operations Manager channel that agents use to communicate with the management servers. By configuring Team Foundation Server (TFS) synchronization, traces can be automatically added or linked to TFS work items.

Read What's New in System Center 2012 SP1 - Operations Manager

Download System Center 2012 SP1

Download Team Foundation Server 2012 & Visual Studio 2012