SCCM 2012 Beta 2 changes overview Part 6 – Applications

06/11/2011

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Application Deployment

A new object was added to the SCCM console , named “Applications”, a very interesting replacement to the old deployment mechanism. The new system offers an alternative way to deploy various applications types (EXE,Script,MSI…). The new Software Catalog, the jewel in the crown, serves as deployment web site and can ease administrator workload – users can do the work themselvesאגודלים מצביעים כלפי מעלה.  Nevertheless the old package deployment was not removed and was subject to minor changes in the user interface, I wonder if it will be included in the final release.

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Deployment Types

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The Deployment Types are the equivalent to “Programs” in the old mechanism. It Supports several types of installations :

Windows Installer  – MSI files

Script Installer – Script an EXE files

Microsoft Application Virtualization

Windows Mobile Cabinet

Nokia SIS/JAR

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נורת חשמלDeployment (“Advertisement”) is applied to Application and not for Deployment Type (“Program”)

When the application has more than one Deployment Type, the DT list is prioritized and you can change its order.

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The first Deployment Type which satisfies its requirement rules would be deployed. In the example above each deployment type has different OS requirement (‘Rules requirement’ are discussed later in this post ), so in case the target computer is windows XP client, the second DT will be deployed, the first DT will be deployed to windows 2008 servers and so on.

נורת חשמלI’m a bit disappointed  I expected Microsoft to take one more step – I would like to see pre and post actions on a given Deployment Type, such which would make the deployment process much more flexibleחיוך עצוב

 

Automatic detection

The “Create Application” wizard helps you, methodically,  fill in all the necessary information, even though it is very tedious task, using the Automatic detection saves time and simplifies the process.

While SCCM Manager does the work for you, what really gives me headaches is finding the right installation switches for EXE files , unfortunately Automatic detection is not applicable for EXE and scripts files (something to improve in the next version חיוך קורץ).

How to Create Applications in Configuration Manager (Technet Site)

Select the installation file :

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and let your SCCM do the walking חיוך קורץ:

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Full lifecycle

The new mechanism provides full lifecycle management for application installation, including application removal settings.

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נורת חשמלThe automatic detection scans the MSI file, discovers the product code and fills in the form for you.

 

Detection Method

SCCM includes a mechanism to identify applications. Before the installation SCCM checks if the application is already installed on the destination computer. there are 4 types of checks: registry, file system (file path,folder path or object properties) ,MSI Product Code or custom script.

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נורת חשמל  I do not think this feature should be mandatory

User device affinity

User can be associated with certain equipment and installations:

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SCCM will present the logon users list, select the primary user and click on “Add”

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Deployments can be distributed to users and not necessarily to devices:

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נורת חשמלIf the user has the right privileges, he can choose whether to install or remove the application.

נורת חשמלChoose “Install for user” to make the installation interact with the user desktop

How to Manage User Device Affinity in Configuration Manager

 

Rules requirement

You can enable application compatibility testing before distributing the application, for example, you can define the following rule – the application will be deployed only if the target computers have internal physical memory of over 1GB.

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Application error codes

Management application error codes allow you to determine when to boot, start a full boot or do some other actions.

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Global Conditions

You can use the prebuild user and device conditions (at the example above I used “Total physical memory” global condition) or build your own condition.

To see the full Condition list click on “Global Conditions” sub tree

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Right click on “Global Conditions” , select “Create Global Condition” and create your own condition. example of windows firewall custom condition :

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Use the new global condition to create a requirement rule

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Supersedence mechanism

If you want to install a patch or an update for an existing product, it is possible to define rules for upgrading and replacement.

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Copy Functionality

Until this version we were unable to duplicate the information of a distribution package (could not copy and paste Packages, Programs, Advertisements …), for this reason I wrote Free plugin for the SCCM Console. The stunning news is that applications, and deployment types can be duplicated, the menu title name is copy, but it actually duplicates the entry.

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Deployment versions

SCCM automatically creates application deployment versions (for every change in deployment settings), which can be manage from the user interface.

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Each new change creates a backup of the previous version. You can manage your backups, view previous settings , restore or delete them.

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This feature could quickly become quite a nuisance, too.

נורת חשמלTo delete an application first select retire from the menu then from the version list delete all versions.

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Deployments

Deployments are the equivalent of “Advertisement” in the former versions mechanism. They are used to distribute/Advertise applications. Select your Application and right click on deploy

You can choose the type of collection to deploy to (User or Device/Systems)

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You can let the user the ability to choose to install/Uninstall (Action : Install/Uninstall) the application or you can decide to install/Uninstall without user intervention (Purpose : Available or Required)

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נורת חשמלTo activate Application request , the option must be selected in the application deployment wizard.

 

Result summary

Results Summary is shown in the console. You do not need to run a report for this purpose.

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Application Catalog

Presents a variety of predefined applications installations, which is available to the user and provides information about them. The user can install the applications which were assigned to him, by himself.

User who wants to install a particular application from the application catalog, but it’s not available to him can send software request to the application manager. Once granted, the user can install the application. The catalog also “speaks” the local language; it is very nice, is it not? Admins can use a parallel English catalog.

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How to install

  • Add WCF feature

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  • Add the following SCCM Roles : “Application Catalog Web Service Point” and “Application Catalog Site Point” (Servers and Site System Roles –> Select your SCCM server –> Right click on “Add Site System Role”)

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  • The link to the web catalog is : http:\\SCCMServerName/CMSoftwareCatalog
  • Create an application and deploy it (right click on the application name and select deploy)

נורת חשמל Only users (or users groups) deployments will be shown in the application catalog

 

Application request

To request an application click on ‘request’ button

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נורת חשמלTo activate Application request , the option must be selected in the application deployment wizard.

Supply a reason for your application request and click on ‘Submit’  button

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נורת חשמלWait for a few seconds until the “view my requests” appears

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The request will be shown under ‘My Software Requests’

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The Administrator can see the pending requests in his SCCM Console, then he can decide how to respond to the user request

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Now the user can see the the administrators answer and click on the install button in the “Software Catalog” page.

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Microsoft How to

Operations and Maintenance for Application Management in Configuration Manager

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