Wednesday, May 02, 2012

Using Papercut to test SCOM subscriptions

Have you ever needed to test a subscription in SCOM using the email channel, but don't access to a SMTP server and/or don't want the emails being sent out to the subscriber? I’ve run into this when testing out subscription criteria to ensure I've made the right selections. Since my SCOM development environment runs on Hyper-V and doesn't have access to the Internet my only option is to install an SMTP server, right? Not necessarily, a much easier solution is Papercut.

Papercut is a free simplified SMTP server. Here’s how to use it.

1. First, download the Papercut zip file from Codeplex.
2. Then, unzip the download to a location on your SCOM server. Quick tip, this will be your Root Management Server in SCOM 2007.
3. Inside the unzipped folder you'll see 3 files. Launch Papercut.exe and click options.clip_image002
4. In the options dialog, you can select the IP and Port that you want the SMTP server to listen on. I'll leave it on "Any", so that it will listen for SMTP traffic on the designated port for any of the IP's in the list. Check "Minimize automatically" if you want the application to always minimize when launched.
5. In SCOM you need to setup an SMTP channel. Launch the SCOM console and navigate to the Administration pane, then Notification -> Channels. Right-click channels, then click New--> E-Mail (SMTP).
6. Enter a channel name and description.
7. Click Add and enter "localhost". Set the port number to whatever port you chose when you setup Papercut and click OK.
8. Enter a return address and click Next.
9. Setup your format as you like and click Finish.
10. All that's left is setting up a subscription that uses the new channel you just created. After that you can generate an alert in SCOM that matches your subscription criteria and it will appear in the Papercut window. Here's an example.

Another cool features is that Papercut retains all of the emails as .eml files in the folder that Papercut.exe runs from. So there you go, a very simple way to test SCOM subscriptions using the SMTP channel without all the work of setting up your own SMTP server.