Console Mod: Add View Status to Application Deployment Context Menu

When browsing through your Compliance Baselines and viewing the active deployments of those baselines, you may have noticed that you can right click on the deployment item from the detail tab and choose "View Status" to quickly jump to the appropriate location in the Monitoring workspace.

It's an incredibly useful feature and makes for a highly intuitive workflow in the console.  But if, instead of Compliance Baselines, you happen to be browsing your Applications, you're not so lucky.  The context menu there has no "View Status" command.  If you want to view the detailed status of that application deployment, it takes at least 4 clicks and probably a search or a fair amount of scrolling to get to the right view in the Monitoring workspace.

I've long been frustrated by this simple oversight in the default configuration of the admin console.  Why not provide the same status shortcut in every context menu for deployment objects?

I recently came across this great post from Ioan Popovici with an example of how to customize the console and add UI elements.  I must admit, I was generally aware of the console builder tool, but I had never taken the time to explore it, and that post convinced me it was worth checking out.  After working through Ioan's tutorial, I was immediately intrigued and thought, "What else should I tweak?"  The missing "View Status" commands were the first thing that came to mind.

The Disclaimer

Normal caveats obviously apply here.  Back up your XmlStorage folder before tweaking.  The instructions I am providing are given without any warranty or guarantee, and you can break console functionality if you screw up the XML.  You proceed at your own risk.  Et cetera, et cetera...

Worst case scenario, just reinstall your Admin Console.

The XmlStorage folder is here: %ProgramFiles%\Microsoft Configuration Manager\AdminConsole\XmlStorage

The Instructions

Launch the Console Builder tool (%ProgramFiles%\Microsoft Configuration Manager\AdminConsole\bin\AdminUI.ConsoleBuilder.exe) and Open the ConnectedConsole.

Next, these 7 mouse clicks will get to you the Configuration page for the Deployments detail tab of an Application item.

Then these 3 mouse clicks to launch the Action Details editor for adding a new action item.

Complete these highlighted items on the General tab.

And lastly, select the highlighted value on the Operation tab.

You can leave default values for all the remaining tabs in the Action Details window.  Click OK to close the Action Details window.  If you want the "View Status" command to be at the top of the context menu list, then drag that new action item to the top of the list.

Finally, choose File -> Exit.  There's no save command.  All edits are saved automatically.  Again, this is why you backup your XmlStorage folder first.  When you launch the console again, and browse to your Applications node, you should now see the new View Status command.


I hope this was helpful. If you have any comments or questions, or if you have an idea about how to further improve this approach, I'd love to hear from you via the comments below or via Twitter.

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