Think of the SMS Administrator console as a completed building with all of the devices and machinery that make it functional (elevators, phone systems, and so on). As an administrator, you install and use the SMS Administrator console to accomplish the day-to-day tasks required to administer an SMS system. The six primary SMS features (hardware inventory/software inventory, product compliance, software distribution, Software Metering, Remote Tools, and network diagnostic tools) relate to specific change and configuration management tasks that you can accomplish with SMS. The SMS Administrator console provides access to all the tools you need to use these features. Additionally, the console provides items you can use to configure your SMS sites, maintain your database, and monitor the status of your SMS hierarchy.
The SMS Administrator console is a Microsoft Management Console (MMC) snap-in. MMC provides a common interface to BackOffice products and third-party tools. With the MMC, you can create and save customized consoles to address security and administrative concerns. You can then make these consoles available to administrators when you want to delegate specific management tasks. For example, you can create a customized console that enables an administrator to use only Remote Tools. Or, you can also create your own applications and add them to the console.
The Console Tree and Details Pane
Console Tree Items
Introducing Systems Management Server Version 2.0