SMS 2003 Desired Configuration Monitoring was published as a Business Solution Add-On for SMS 2003 Service Pack 1, and its objectives were similar to Configuration Manager 2007 desired configuration management in Configuration Manager 2007 in that it allowed you to assess compliance of computers against defined configurations. However, a number of improvements over SMS 2003 Desired Configuration Monitoring have been made in Configuration Manager 2007 desired configuration management. For example, because Configuration Manager 2007 desired configuration management is integrated into the product, it offers the following features:

Furthermore, Configuration Manager 2007 desired configuration management uses a standard schema - Service Modeling Language (SML) – instead of proprietary XML. Configuration data is also subject to version control and auditing, and critically provisions for reuse so that over time you can build up configuration data that describes all the computer configurations that you need to manage in the organization, at the level you need to manage it.

If you have been using SMS 2003 Desired Configuration Monitoring, you can download a conversion tool that converts your existing configuration templates into a format that can be imported into Configuration Manager 2007 desired configuration management. For more information about the conversion tool, see the Microsoft® System Center Configuration Manager 2007 Configuration Pack Web page (

The following table compares the key differences between SMS 2003 Desired Configuration Monitoring and Configuration Manager 2007 desired configuration management.

SMS 2003 Desired Configuration Monitoring Configuration Manager 2007 Desired Configuration Management

External Web-based authoring user interface.

Windows interface authoring, integrated into the product.

Proprietary XML discovery/constraint document.

Built on Service Modeling Language (SML).

Templates stored and managed as files:

  • No version control

  • No type management

  • No reuse/composition

Configuration items and configuration baselines are new objects in Configuration Manager

  • Version control

  • Type management

  • Reuse and composition

Separate scan engine executable.

Discovery/constraint evaluation engine is build into the product (Ccmexec).

Template and scan engine is packaged, delivered, and scheduled using Software Distribution.

Configuration baselines are delivered as assigned policy with individual schedules.

Compliance results stored in WMI and reported with Hardware Inventory.

Compliance results stored in XML on clients and reported using new state messages.

Reports require SQL Reporting Services (SRS) Reports (version 1).

Reports built into the product and the desired configuration management home page offers snapshot compliance information with pie charts and ability to sort results based on the severity level.

See Also