The case study showing SMS deployment at a fictitious company is a nice touch. The book also successfully outlines the distribution of applications using SMS, along with the related topics of packages and distribution points.
Most books covering SMS neglect queries and reports, in addition to the scripting language used to create them, WBEM Query Language (WQL). SMS 2 Administration devotes an entire chapter to WQL, fortified with an overview of Crystal Info, a report generation tool. In addition, the book explores paths of access to SMS data using several other tools such as Access and Excel.
SMS 2.0 Administration doesn't do a good job of illustrating content, and the discussion of security for remote tools is utterly too brief. But, as the authors point out, this book supplements rather than duplicates the SMS administrator's guide. Its adequate breadth of topics, coverage of scripting, and hearty explanations should offset its ineffective use of diagrams and graphics. --John Keogh
Topics covered: Overview and purpose of SMS, limitations of previous version of SMS, Windows NT and SQL Server overview, domains, resources needed for installation, Windows Management technology, planning and design, people needed for deployment (people needed), security planning, capacity planning, SMS and SQL configuration, installation and upgrade, installation or an SMS central site, upgrading from SMS 1.2, SMS and NetWare, SMS security architectures, security, Microsoft Management Console and SMS, clients, network discovery, advertising, monitoring software usage, troubleshooting software metering problems, software packages, SMS 2.0 Installer, controlling package distribution, software distribution, overview and purpose of collections, managing collections, hardware inventory, software inventory, Y2K compliance, remote tools, configuring and using remote tools, queries and reports, WMI Query Language, tools, Network Monitor, Network Trace, status and logs, SMS status messages, troubleshooting using logs, administration, performance monitoring, Health Monitor, backup and restoration, site administration and monitoring tools, SMS and Windows 2000, appendices covering additional details for SMS and SQL Site Server, additional resources and third-party tools, and Microsoft Installer service.