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This chapter is from the book

Inside the ConfigMgr Database

The ConfigMgr site database is a SQL Server database that contains data about your ConfigMgr infrastructure and objects, the client systems you manage, and other discovered resources. The default name of the site database is CM_<site code> (where <site code> indicates the primary site the database is associated with). Although the exact number of objects in a ConfigMgr site database varies, there are generally several thousand objects. Management applications, including the ConfigMgr console, use WMI to access the database.

ConfigMgr Tables and Views

SQL Server stores data in tables. If you are new to SQL, you can think of a table as similar to a spreadsheet with rows and columns of data. A view is a window into the data. A view retrieves data from one or more tables and presents it to the user or calling application. Microsoft’s Configuration Manager developers provide an extensive set of database views that presents the underlying data tables in a consistent way. The views abstract away many of the details of the underlying table structure, which may change with future product releases. The reports in ConfigMgr use SQL views. Chapter 18 presents numerous examples of reports based on the SQL views. You can use the views to understand the internal structure of the database. The next sections present a subset of these views and provide information about how the views are organized and named.

Most of the Configuration Manager SQL views correspond to ConfigMgr WMI classes. In many cases, the views also reflect the underlying table structure, with minor formatting changes and more meaningful field names. Many views also combine related data from multiple tables.

Most ConfigMgr administration tasks do not require you to work directly with SQL statements. You can enter SQL statements directly into ConfigMgr reports and database maintenance tasks. Chapter 18 discusses reports, and Chapter 21, “Backup, Recovery, and Maintenance,” discusses database maintenance tasks. To understand the internal structure and operation of the database, however, requires looking at it with SQL tools.

Using SQL Server Management Studio

The primary user interface for administering SQL Server 2008 is the SQL Server Management Studio. To access the Configuration Manager views, follow these steps:

  1. Launch the SQL Server Management Studio from Start -> All Programs -> Microsoft SQL Server 2008 -> SQL Server Management Studio.
  2. After connecting to the site database server SQL instance, expand the <servername>\database\CM_<site code>\views in the tree control in the left pane.

Viewing Collections

The “WMI on Configuration Manager Servers” section of this chapter looked in some detail at the Collection WMI object. This object provides access to the properties and methods of the ConfigMgr collections defined in the site database. The SQL view v_Collection provides access to much of the same data. Figure 3.35 shows the tree control expanded in the left pane to display the column definitions for v_Collection, whereas the view on the right displays some of the column values visible when opening the view. These columns correspond to SMS_Collection WMI class properties (refer to Figure 3.32). Notice that the MemberClassName column provides the name of the view for the collection membership. These views correspond to the WMI objects specified in the MemberClassName property of the SMS_Collection WMI class.

Figure 3.35

Figure 3.35. The v_Collection SQL view displays the descriptive properties of the site’s ConfigMgr collections.

The v_Collection view is one of several views referencing ConfigMgr objects. Similar views include v_Advertisement, v_Package, and v_Roles. The naming conventions for views generally map to the corresponding WMI classes, according to the following rules:

  • WMI class names begin with SMS_, and SQL view names begin with v or v_.
  • View names more than 30 characters are truncated.
  • The WMI property names are the same as the field names in the SQL views.

Site Properties

Basic ConfigMgr site properties are stored in the Sites table and exposed though several views and stored procedures. As an example, v_site displays the basic configuration of the current site and its child sites. The sysreslist table stores information about the site systems. An example of a stored procedure that retrieves data from the sites and sysreslist tables is GetMPLocationForIPSubnet, which displays management point information for an IP subnet. The SMSData table includes additional site details, exposed through v_identification.

The tables and views discussed so far relate to the ConfigMgr objects and infrastructure. The database also contains a wealth of data gathered by various discovery methods and client inventory. Chapter 9 discusses discovery and inventory. Discovery and inventory data is stored in resource tables and presented in resource views. The naming conventions for resource views are as follows:

  • Views displaying current inventory data are named v_GS_<group name>.
  • Views displaying inventory history data are named v_HS_<group name>.
  • Views containing discovery data are named v_R_<resource type name> for data contained in WMI scalar properties and v_RA_<architecture name>_<group name> for data contained in WMI array properties.
  • Inventory data for custom architectures is presented in views named v_G<resource type number>_<group name> and v_H<resource type number>_<group name>. Custom architectures are created by adding IDMIF files to the inventory as described in Chapter 9.

Other Views

Several views are included that present metadata on other views and serve as keys to understanding the view schema. The v_SchemaViews view, displayed in Figure 3.36, lists the views in the view schema family, and shows the type of each view.

Figure 3.36

Figure 3.36. V_SchemaViews provides a list and categorization of ConfigMgr views.

Here is the SQL statement that generates the V_SchemaViews view:

CREATE VIEW [dbo].[v_SchemaViews] As SELECT CASE
   WHEN name like 'v[_]RA[_]%' THEN 'Resource Array'
   WHEN name like 'v[_]R[_]%'  THEN 'Resource'
   WHEN name like 'v[_]HS[_]%' THEN 'Inventory History'
   WHEN name like 'v[_]GS[_]%' THEN 'Inventory'
   WHEN name like 'v[_]CM[_]%' THEN 'Collection'
   WHEN name like '%Summ%'  THEN 'Status Summarizer'
   WHEN name like '%Stat%' THEN 'Status'
   WHEN name like '%Permission%' THEN 'Security'
   WHEN name like '%Secured%' THEN 'Security'
   WHEN name like '%Map%' THEN 'Schema'
   WHEN name = 'v_SchemaViews' THEN 'Schema'
ELSE 'Other'
END
As 'Type', name As 'ViewName' FROM sysobjects
WHERE type='V' AND name like 'v[_]%'

If you examine the SQL statement, you can see that the selection criteria in the CASE statement use the naming conventions to determine the type of each view.

The v_ResourceMap view presents data from the DiscoveryArchitectures table, which defines the views representing discovery data. Table 3.4 displays the data provided by the v_ResourceMap view.

Table 3.4. The v_ResourceMap View

ResourceType

DisplayName

ResourceClassName

2

Unknown System

v_R_UnknownSystem

3

User Group

v_R_UserGroup

4

User

v_R_User

5

System

v_R_System

6

IP Network

v_R_IPNetwork

ConfigMgr uses the fields in Table 3.4 in the following manner:

  • The ResourceType field is the key used throughout the resource views to associate resources with the appropriate discovery architecture.
  • The DisplayName field is a descriptive name of the discovery architecture.
  • The ResourceClassName indicates the view that contains basic identifying information for each discovered instance of the architecture.

As an example, the v_R_System represents discovery data from the System_DISC table. This view provides the unique Resource ID of each computer system discovered by ConfigMgr as well as basic system properties such as the NetBIOS name, operating system, and AD domain. Each resource view containing system information includes the Resource ID field, allowing you to link resources such as hard drives and network cards with the system to which they belong.

The v_ResourceAttributeMap view displayed in Figure 3.37 presents resource attribute types extracted from discovery property definition data in the DiscPropertyDefs table.

Figure 3.37

Figure 3.37. v_ResourceAttributeMap lists the attributes used in resource views.

The v_GroupMap view lists the inventory groups and views associated with each inventory architecture. Table 3.5 displays some v_GroupMap entries. Each inventory architecture represents a WMI class specified for inventory collection in the client agent settings.

Table 3.5. The v_GroupMap View (Partial Listing)

ResourceType

GroupID

DisplayName

InvClassName

InvHistoryClassName

MIFClass

5

1

System

v_GS_SYSTEM

v_HS_SYSTEM

SYSTEM

5

2

Workstation Status

v_GS_WORKSTATION_STATUS

MICROSOFT|WORKSTATION_STATUS|1.0

5

10

CCM_RecentlyUsedApps

v_GS_CCM_RECENTLY_USED_APPS

MICROSOFT|CCM_RECENTLY_USED_APPS|1.0

5

13

Add Remove Programs

v_GS_ADD_REMOVE_PROGRAMS

v_HS_ADD_REMOVE_PROGRAMS

MICROSOFT|ADD_REMOVE_PROGRAMS|1.0

5

14

Add Remove Programs (64)

v_GS_ADD_REMOVE_PROGRAMS_64

v_HS_ADD_REMOVE_PROGRAMS_64

MICROSOFT|ADD_REMOVE_PROGRAMS_64|1.0

5

21

CD-ROM

v_GS_CDROM

v_HS_CDROM

MICROSOFT|CDROM|1.0

5

22

Computer System

v_GS_COMPUTER_SYSTEM

v_HS_COMPUTER_SYSTEM

MICROSOFT|COMPUTER_SYSTEM|1.0

5

23

Disk

v_GS_DISK

v_HS_DISK

MICROSOFT|DISK|1.0

5

24

Partition

v_GS_PARTITION

v_HS_PARTITION

MICROSOFT|PARTITION|1.0

5

25

Logical Disk

v_GS_LOGICAL_DISK

v_HS_LOGICAL_DISK

MICROSOFT|LOGICAL_DISK|1.0

Each entry in Table 3.5 specifies the resource type, a unique GroupID, the inventory and inventory history views that present the group data, and the Management Information Format (MIF) class from which the inventory data for the group is derived.

The v_GroupAttributeMap lists the attributes associated with each inventory group, and the v_ReportViewSchema view provides a list all classes and properties.

This section examined several of the SQL views that Microsoft provides. You can learn a considerable amount about the internal structure of ConfigMgr by using SQL Server Management Studio to explore the database on your own. You may want to look at the views, the underlying tables, and some of the stored procedures ConfigMgr uses. The examples in this section show how you can analyze and understand these objects.

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