Configuration Manager 2007 adds resources to collections by one or more membership rules that are usually defined when the collection is created. Within a given collection, you can specify multiple membership rules.
A membership rule can specify the following information:
- A specific resource or resources
- A query that defines the resource parameters
to search for
Resources that meet the query criteria that you specify are included in the collection. For example, a rule that states, "All computers running Windows 2000 with at least 128 MB of RAM" or "All users in the corporate domain," might define the membership criteria for your collection, or it might be as specific as, "The computer with the unique name 'Dave's computer.'"
If you define collections with query-based membership rules, Configuration Manager updates the list of resources that is included in a collection by using the latest information in the Configuration Manager site database when the collection membership is evaluated and updated This updating is usually done on a regular schedule, but you can force a collection membership update at any time.
Membership rules are defined when a collection is created, either through the Create Direct Membership Rule Wizard (for collections with direct membership) or through the Query Rule Properties dialog box (for query-based collections).
For more information on collection membership, including the differences between direct membership and query-based membership, see About Collection Membership.
The Create Direct Membership Rule Wizard provides a step-by-step process to walk you through creating a rule that can search for a specific resource or resources. The Query Rule Properties dialog box, however, does not provide a wizard because of the more flexible nature of creating a query.
To create a query, you need at least two parameters: where to search, and what to search for. As with the Create Direct Membership Rule Wizard, the Query Rule Properties dialog box allows you to search within a specific existing collection or across all collections. (All discovered resources will be included in one or more collections when using the predefined collections installed with Configuration Manager 2007.)
With the Query Rule Properties dialog box, you can import an existing query, and then you can either use that query or edit it.
When editing a query, you can establish specific criteria to narrow a query and limit the results that are returned, add joins to combine data from two different attribute classes, or manually change the query using WMI Query Language (WQL). In this way, you can specify a query that will retrieve the set of resources that you want as part of your collection.
For more information on how to create queries, as well as the Configuration Manager tools to help you do so, see Queries in Configuration Manager.