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Renaming groups in System Center Essentials 2007 May 4, 2009

Posted by Björn Axéll in SCE.

Have you ever created a group and after some time wanted to change the name of it? This is something I did at a customer and then I found out that the change wasn’t reflected in the WSUS console. To understand why this happens, you need to know how SCE handles groups. SCE is basically a mix of OpsMgr 2007 and WSUS 3.0 groups. Both of these products has its own way of grouping computers, and System Center Essentials combines them into a so-called “SCE DeploymentGroup”. When you create a group in SCE, the following happens:

  1. A corresponding WSUS computer group is created in the SUSDB database (using the WSUS APIs)
  2. An instance of a DeploymentSettings type is created in the Opsmgr db
  3. A relationship is added between the OpsMgr group and the DeploymentSettings instance.

Now, when you rename a group (from the authoring space in the console) – it will write the new name to the Opsmgr db but the WSUS APIs doesn’t support rename of there groups so the name will not change in the SUS db. The membership of the groups between SCE and WSUS will continue to stay in sync since these are linked based on a GUID rather than the name.

Some side effects that can appear confusing:

  • The name of the groups will be different if you open the WSUS and the SCE console side-by-side
  • You won’t be able to create a group with the same name as the original group – the error displayed is “group already exists”
  • Hardware and Software reports will show the original group name and not the updated group name

Note"! The above explain the behavior for a group that you have created from scratch. If you create a group based on an existing MP’s (that exist in a sealed MP), this groups can not be renamed nor can it be deleted after you created/link it(except if you edit the MIcrosoft SystemCenter Essentials Default User MP)

I want to thank Richard R. from the SCE product team for helping me validating this behavior

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