Thursday, September 29, 2016

SCOM 2016 Web Console: No More Silverlight Dependency. Really?

SCOM 2007 up to SCOM 2012 R2
Even though SCOM is a great monitoring solution, it has some challenges, one of them being the SCOM Web Console. A major drawback is it’s dependency of Silverlight. As a result it only runs in IE, this in the age where tablets are widely used, running other browsers. So the SCOM Web Console has very limited usage.

And when you run the SCOM Web Console in IE, it’s painfully slow and shows only a subset of the information, presented in the SCOM UI. Ouch! So for quite a long time, I don’t install the SCOM Web Console anymore, unless the customer insists on it.

A 3rd party ecosystem has grown instead, delivering very mature solutions which have outgrown the SCOM Web Console by far. Think about companies like Savision and SquaredUp with their flagship products. Even though the differences between both products are big, they share common ground like being HTML5 based and smart coding, ensuring the Consoles are fast and stable. As a result these Consoles run on a plethora of browsers, thus platforms.

Compared to the SCOM Web Console, these 3rd party web based consoles are like Porsches and Ferrari’s whereas the SCOM Web Console is more like a Trabant, looking at the technologies being used.

SCOM 2016 & the ‘revamped’ Web Console
For some days now the eval bits for System Center 2016 are available for download, among them SCOM 2016. Rumors are that the SCOM 2016 Web Console is based on HTML 5 AND has no more Silverlight depedencies.

Perhaps Savision and SquaredUp have to fear for their markets? Time to test it!

For one thing, the SCOM 2016 Web Console runs on different browsers now! Awesome!

Google Chrome seems to work:

Mozilla Firefox seems to work:

Safari hangs. The basics aren’t properly loaded (higlighted in yellow), making it unresponsive:

IE works (of course):

It still has the old look & feel as present in the SCOM 2012x Web Consoles. So you could say it’s just the old SCOM Web Console but now based on HTML5. Nothing fancy here. But it finally seems to work on other browsers besides IE, which is good.

No more Silverlight?
When I started clicking through the Web Console in a non IE browser and tried to open any dashboard view I became very disappointed. Why? Just read on…

Google Chrome:

Mozilla Firefox:

Silverlight is still alive and kicking…
What is happening here? Let’s open the same view in IE since I fear something isn’t right here…

IE shows us the culprit:

OUCH!!! So Silverlight is still required in order to use the SCOM 2016 Web Console!!! This is bad news, rendering the ‘new’ SCOM 2016 Web Console pretty useless since you can only run it ‘completely’ in IE, meaning that all Views will work WHEN Silverlight is installed and properly configured.

Savision and SquaredUp can have a big laugh and relax. Their eco system isn’t at any risc at all but just got better by this ‘revamped’ SCOM 2016 Web Console. More disappointed customers I guess, looking for alternatives.

Somehow Microsoft finds it difficult to ditch the Silverlight dependency in one step and seems to require more time to get it right. Perhaps when an Update Rollup comes out, the SCOM 2016 Web Console will loose that depedency. But until then, this Web Console is just as ‘usefull’ as the previous versions.

In the end, the SCOM 2016 Web Console is nothing but a pimped Trabant. The shell has gotten an overhaul but inside it’s still a Trabant. And I don’t know about you, but in this age I don’t want to own a car like that.

Time to buy me that Porsche or Ferrari!


Unknown said...

Is it only dashboard views with silverlight dependency? I would still find this useful, in conjunction with squared up, if the alerts and state view worked. My guess is removing the rest of silverlight will happen in a CU similar to service manager.

Marnix Wolf said...

Hi Unknown

As far I can see the Alert and Stan Views are not depending on Silverlight so they run smoothly in other browsers besides I as well (Chrome and so on). Still IMHO the Silverlight dependency should be gone completely and not projected for a future update rollup package.

Marnix Wolf said...

Hi Unknown

As far I can see the Alert and Stan Views are not depending on Silverlight so they run smoothly in other browsers besides I as well (Chrome and so on). Still IMHO the Silverlight dependency should be gone completely and not projected for a future update rollup package.

Michiel Wouters said...

Nice one. Though, you should have used the SilverLight sticker on a picture that shows a "dashboard" view from within the Trabant. ;)

Marinus Witbraad said...

They promised today that it will ben there soon. The product wasn't finished yet. Like OMS they will be adding new features in the upcoming UR's and don't wait a year or so tot publish it.

Still I agree it's a bit dissapointing.

Marnix Wolf said...

Hi Marinus.

IMHO, SCOM 2016 is overall disappointing, a showcase that on-premise software has become second at it's best. Normally a newer version should contain far more improvements and so on. Now looking at SCOM 2016 eval I can't say there has changed much under the hood. At least they could/should have gotten the Web Console right for once and for all, but even that is just work half done.

Also the feedback given by the team '...the product wasn't finished yet...' tells me a lot about the available budget, resources and time allocation for a product which was once a flagship.

It's the way it is and goes. Time for OMS I guess even though with new license model it might become a challenge to sell it, with many competitors lurking, looking for openings to take over.

We'll see in the time to come how all this plays out. I think however that some decisions and communications should have take care of better.

Igor said...

Can we see full changelog ? I am wonder abount changes in management packs development

Unknown said...

But Marnix we dont need SCOM anymore, OMS can do everything .... oh wait ...
(Your comments in reply to Marinus is spot on!)