[This is prerelease documentation and is subject to change in future releases. Blank topics are included as placeholders.]

In System Center Essentials 2010, you can create attributes to define a commonality within a group of objects that you want to monitor. After you create an attribute, you can create a group whose members are only objects that have the commonality described in your attribute.

For example, if you want to monitor a set of servers that all have a common registry value, you create an attribute based on that registry value. To find the servers that have that registry value, you create a group that has a dynamic inclusion rule for only those servers that have the newly created attribute and target the group only to the server object type. Essentials 2010 then checks the registry of each server to see whether that registry value exists. If it does, that server is added as a member of the group.

When you create an attribute, you must select an object type as a target for it. Essentials adds the new attribute to the existing list of attributes for that object type. If the target you select is from a sealed Management Pack, the object type also is sealed and the new attribute cannot be added. Instead, Essentials creates a new object type to which it adds the new attribute. By default, this new object type is named after the original object type with _Extended appended to the original name. This new object type contains all the attributes of the original object type, in addition to the attribute you are creating.

You can view existing attributes in the Monitoring area of the Essentials console. If the attributes are defined within a sealed Management Pack, you can view the properties of the attribute but you cannot change them. The properties of an attribute include information about where the attribute information is stored, such as the registry or through WMI.

You can create a new attribute for any monitored object, and you can change most of the properties of an attribute that you create. However, the Attribute Type property, which identifies the source of the attribute information such as the registry, cannot be changed after an attribute is created.

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