MP Author from Silect (Bridgeways)
Simon Skinner Tweeted about this in December and Daniel Savage, Program Manager – System Center, has just blogged about it – http://blogs.technet.com/b/momteam/archive/2014/01/13/mp-blog-the-right-tool-for-the-right-job.aspx.
This has been released as a free tool and the download is 23.5 MB.
Daniel says “MP Author allows users to develop management packs without needing XML skills. Utilizing a wizard-driven designer and a simple, intuitive browse and select interface, MP Author guides users through pre-populated and pre-configured steps to design new and/or customize existing management packs to specifically meet their unique business needs.
This tool fills a much needed gap in the portfolio for providing an IT Pro orientated tool for MP Authoring.”
This is excellent news as the old Authoring Tool for 2007, while it could create MPs and be used in 2012 was clunky and VSAE is a hard curve for non-developers. Plus you have to purchase a copy of Visual Studio to use it. The Visio Management Pack Designer (http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/hh457569.aspx) is quite neat but it is still in its infancy. But according to Stefan Stranger this tool will no longer be developed or supported. For IT Pros to create MPs outside of the SCOM console it was not easy. I have downloaded the tool and will be having a look at it to see how it stands up.
Be aware that when you go the download page at http://bridgeways.com/mp-author-landing-page and fill in your details and click Download Now you are given a pop up allowing you to purchase Premium Support.
Then it takes you to a page when you can compare MP Author and MP Studio (and get quite a big discount on MP Studio).
When you click Download it takes you back to the first page and it looks like you cannot download the program but in fact you have been sent an e-mail with a link to download the program.
The downloaded zip file comes with an exe and 2 PDFs – the installation guide and the user guide. This creates 2012 MPs so you will not be able to create MPs for use in 2007. Stefan has a blog post showing a step by step installation and a quick first look.
I look forward to seeing how it stands up to the other authoring tools.