System Center Configuration Manager Supports macOS Sierra, Power BI Desktop Jan Update

System Center Configuration Manager now supports macOS Sierra (v10.12) , Plug a key vulnerability by eliminating plaintext passwords through ATA, Power BI Desktop January update.

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The current branch version 1610 of System Center Configuration Manager now supports macOS Sierra v10.12. "MacOS Sierra support requires that Configuration Manager Mac clients have a minimum client version of 5.0.8466.1."

In a post today Microsoft explains how to identify and eliminating vulnerabilities such as plaintext passwords are being sent in enterprises. For example "the screenshot below shows services running on a server exposing account credentials in plaintext through the Lightweight Directory Access Protocol (LDAP)," which is an application protocol for accessing and maintaining distributed directory information over an IP network.

"Unfortunately, secure practices of LDAP aren't always followed or configured by developers. And, in many cases, IT shops aren't even aware of the problem until Microsoft Advanced Threat Analytics (ATA) shines a light on the issue," writes Hayden Hainsworth.

Advanced Threat Analytics will issue alerts if it sees suspicious activities including "recon, lateral movement, reuse of compromised credentials, privilege escalation and domain dominance, and it is one of the only tools to concentrate on detecting the adversary in their post-exploit phase (detecting them after they've already established a foothold)," Hainsworth says. "Having this level of visibility into the suspicious activity of your users, entities, and machines is critical for any enterprise."

In the example below, a sensitive admin account using LDAP Simple Bind protocol sending passwords in plaintext. ATA discovers the source, respective leaked credential, and the destination LDAP domain controller.

LDAP Simple Bind protocol sending passwords in plaintext.

Power BI Desktop in first of this year's update today released several exciting improvements for tables and matrix and several connector improvements as well. See the list below:

The report view adds the "table header word wrap, table & matrix conditional formatting improvement – blank formatting, new aggregations for string and dateTime columns, and phone reports GA."

While the data connectivity brings Visual Studio Team Services connector, and enhanced SQL Server connector – support for SQL failover option.

Finally, in the query editing improvements introduces new transform: extract values from a nested list.

Watch the video below for a summary of major update in this release:

Visual Studio Team Services in January, probably the big features releasing in the latest update is the new, personalized account page, which includes a new "My Pull Requests" view.

The new experience provides a single place to see all of the PRs, in all projects and repos in the account. For developers working in multiple projects and/or repos, "this view makes it significantly easier to keep track of all of your PRs," writes the team.

Visual Studio Team Services My Pull Requests

  • Projects page is the one stop for you to access your recently visited projects and teams.
  • My Favorites page allows you to view all your favorite artifacts in one place.
  • My Work items page to access easily all the work items assigned to you across all projects.
  • My Pull Requests page shows all pull requests that require your attention in one place. "You can easily navigate personalized account page in Team Services by clicking Visual Studio logo on the top left of the navigation bar, or hover over the logo and directly navigate to recent project or one of the account home page pivots," explains team. In addition, Dashboards promoted up as a top-level menu item.
  • To try out the feature, hover over your avatar image then click Preview features. Set the toggle for New Account Landing Page to On. And, to revert to current experience, click on the avatar image, click Preview features, then toggle New Account Landing Page to Off.
  • Your project gets an identity as you can now view and edit project description, view and add members, and check up on the latest activity.
  • Improved getting started experience as the new project page guides you to get started quickly by adding code to your repository when you choose one of the options to clone, push, import, or simply initialize a repo. You can easily get started by adding members, setting up builds, or adding work from this page.
  • Talk about your project by creating an identity and describe the vision and objectives of your project.
  • Attachments can now be added in PR discussions by drag-and-drop or by browsing.
  • Support file exclusions in the required reviewer policy by using a "!" prefix to the path you want to exclude.
  • Highlight the PRs that have updates in the PR list view are shown with a new updates column that shows a roll-up of the changes.
  • PR updated files, now you'll see a summary message in the overview, where new pushes and comment threads are highlighted in blue.
  • Branch policy that lets you define a strategy for merging pull requests for each branch.
  • Expose merge conflict information will now be visible in the overview. Each conflicting file will be listed along with a short summary of the type of conflict between the source and target branches.
  • Team Room is deprecating with so many good solutions such as Slack and Microsoft Teams available that integrate well with TFS and Team Services. "TFS and Team Services already integrate with many other collaboration products including Microsoft Teams, Slack, HipChat, Campfire and Flowdock," the team said.
  • New notification settings experience making it easier to manage what notifications you and your teams receive.
  • New delivery options for team subscriptions are now available when configuring a team subscription: send the email notification to a specific email address (like the team's distribution list), or send the notification to only team members associated with the activity.
  • Out of the box notifications in preview, let users automatically receive notifications for following events such as:
    • The user is assigned a work item
    • The user is added or removed as a reviewer to a pull request
    • The user has a pull request that is updated
    • The user has a build that completes
    • These subscriptions appear in the new user notifications experience, and users can easily choose to opt out of any of them.
  • notifications oob can now be enabled for the account, an account administrator needs to go to Preview features under the profile menu, select From this account from the drop-down, then toggle on the Out of the box notifications feature.
  • New hosted build image with following updates:
    • .NET Core 1.1
    • Android SDK v25
    • Azure CLI 0.10.7
    • Azure PS 3.1.0
    • Azure SDK 2.9.6
    • Cmake 3.7.1
    • Git for Windows 2.10.2
    • Git LFS 1.5.2
    • Node 6.9.1
    • Service Fabric SDK 2.3.311
    • Service Fabric 5.3.311
    • Typescript 2.0.6 for Visual Studio 2015
    • Permissions changes to allow building of .NET 3.5 ASP.NET Web Forms projects
  • Firefox support for Test & Feedback extension is available through the Firefox add-on from our marketplace site.
  • You can now favorite the Test Plans you work with most frequently. In the Test Plans picker, you will see tabs for All your Test Plans and Favorites.
  • Test Impact Analysis for managed automated tests is now available via a checkbox in the 2.* preview version of the VSTest task.
  • SonarQube MSBuild tasks are now available from an extension provided by SonarSource.
  • Improved experience for Code Search results pane.
  • Release Management parallel execution option for a phase. Select this option to fan out a phase by using either Multi-configuration or Multi-agent as a phase multiplier option.
  • Inline service endpoints can now be created within a build or release definition without having to switch to the Services tab. To do so, click the Add link next to the endpoint field.
  • Release management now supports setting up CD triggers on multiple Build artifact sources.
  • Set defaults for artifact sources in RM, when a release is created automatically, the default version for all the artifact sources will be deployed.
  • Variable groups are used to group your variables and their values that you want to make available across multiple release definitions.
  • Open Library tab in Build & Release hub and choose + Variable group in the toolbar.

Update 01/11: Microsoft SQL Server Database Engine Tuning Advisor (DTA) begin supporting two new features: (a) Ability to recommend columnstore indexes in addition to rowstore indexes, and (b) Ability to automatically select a workload to tune from the Query Store.

These new features are available when tuning for SQL Server 2016 Database Engine (or later) versions.

The Engyro Product Connector for Microsoft System Center Operations Manager 2007 will no longer be supported after July 11, 2017, the company said advising those using this product connector, to upgrade to System Center 2016 Operations Manager and integrate with a third-party connector as needed.

Alternatively, customers can use System Center Orchestrator and custom runbooks to integrate with third-party enterprise ITSM/monitoring systems using an integration pack from Microsoft or partner Kelverion, added Microsoft.

Further the company explains, those using Operations Manager 2007, should "upgrade to Operations Manager 2007 R2, to System Center 2012 Operations Manager, to System Center 2012 R2 Operations Manager, then to System Center 2016 Operations Manager."

For more information about Engyro, please see the Engyro Support Bulletin from 2010, or download the Microsoft System Center 2016 Operations Manager Integration packs here, or Kelverion Integration packs here.

Microsoft also announced that product support for System Center Virtual Machine Manager 2007 will reach end of support date in 12 months, and "should be upgraded to a newer version before January 9, 2018 to ensure supportability."

For more on getting help to upgrade to latest version of Virtual Machine Manager, check out the following resources:

Data Science Utilities Version 0.11 for Team Data Science Process (TDSP) with several new features and enhancements, is now available. Released in preview in September, "Team Data Science Process supports secure collaboration within enterprise data science organizations, with capabilities such as versioning, knowledge management and more."

Also, Code Coverage is now available for PowerShell Core. "Numbers for our test pass via the OpenCover project, and we visualize our code coverage percentage via coveralls.io. This means you can see some details about our testing and how much of PowerShell is covered by our test code," writes the team.

"You can get your own coverage numbers easily via our OpenCover module which may be found in the <RepoRoot>test/tools/OpenCover directory." To generate a code coverage report, "create a build which supports code coverage. Currently, that's only available on Windows," or the way as described here.