Here is a good news!. You can deploy Visual Studio updates using ConfigMgr. You can enable administrator updates to Visual Studio with Microsoft Endpoint Configuration Manager. This new feature was announced few days after the release of Configuration Manager 2103. So let’s explore how to deploy Visual Studio updates using SCCM.
First let’s read this big announcement from Microsoft. During the month of April 2021, Visual Studio will start publishing administrator updates to Visual Studio 2017 and Visual Studio 2019 via Windows Server Update Services (WSUS) and the Microsoft Update Catalog. Enterprises will be able to then use standard deployment tools like Microsoft Endpoint Configuration Manager to easily roll out these updates throughout their organization.
Ok that announcement was a great step towards managing Visual Studio updates on your client machines. I am not a coder and I don’t use Visual Studio much. However what’s interesting is you can easily deploy Visual Studio updates using ConfigMgr. If you don’t have SCCM installed in your setup, you can deploy the Visual Studio updates using WSUS.
Types of Visual Studio Administrator Updates
There are three types of Visual Studio administrator updates.
- Security updates – These are very important updates and deliver fixes to security vulnerabilities in Visual Studio product.
- Feature updates – The feature updates usually contain new features that gets added to current versions.
- Quality updates – The quality updates contain targeted servicing bug fixes to a particular minor version.
The below table is provided by Microsoft and helps you to understand about types of Visual Studio Administrator Updates.
Enable Visual Studio Updates using WSUS
If you don’t have Configuration Manager installed and rely on WSUS for deploying updates, you must first enable Visual Studio updates in WSUS.
- Login to WSUS server and launch the WSUS Console.
- Click Options and select Products and Classifications.
- In the Products tab, look for Developer Tools, Runtimes and Redistributables section.
- Enable Visual Studio 2017 and Visual Studio 2019 updates.
Next, we also need to ensure the classifications (type of updates) are enabled. The Visual Studio updates are of three types – security updates, quality updates and feature updates. To know what each of these updates are, refer types of Visual Studio administrator updates table. You may enable all of them or enable the ones that your organizations permits. So under the classifications tab, select the type of updates that you want to deploy.
After you select the Visual Studio products, you must wait until the WSUS synchronization completes. You may also manually trigger the WSUS sync to see the Visual Studio administrator updates in WSUS console.
In the WSUS console, expand Updates and click All Updates. Use the search function to find all the Visual Studio updates. Since we have enabled both Visual Studio 2017 and 2019, we see those updates in WSUS console.
Enable Visual Studio Updates in ConfigMgr
Before you start to deploy Visual Studio updates using ConfigMgr (SCCM), you need to first enable the Visual Studio updates in ConfigMgr. This needs to be done in the Software Update Point properties.
- Launch the Configuration Manager console.
- Navigate to Administration\Overview\Site Configuration\Sites.
- Select your site, right click and select Configure Site Components > Software Update Point.
- In the Software Update Point component properties, select Products tab.
- Enable Visual Studio 2017 and Visual Studio 2019.
Next click the Classifications tab and select the type of Visual Studio updates that you want to deploy. Click Apply and OK. Go to Software Library\Overview\Software Updates\All Software Updates and run Synchronize Software Updates.
Wait for the SUP sync to complete. You may have several updates in the list. To find all the Visual Studio administrator updates, type Visual Studio in the text box. This should list all the Visual Studio updates in SCCM console.
You can also create a SCCM device collection for Visual Studio. We will now deploy visual studio updates using ConfigMgr.
Deploy Visual Studio Updates Using ConfigMgr
Using ConfigMgr ADR (Automatic Deployment Rule) we will deploy Visual Studio updates to the computers.
- Launch the ConfigMgr console.
- Go to Software Library\Overview\Software Updates\Automatic Deployment Rules.
- Right click Automatic Deployment Rules and click Create Automatic Deployment Rule.
- Specify the ADR name as Deploy Visual Studio updates.
I am going to select Patch Tuesday template here and I will change few settings later (if required). Click Browse and select the device collection that contains computers installed with Visual Studio software. For the setting Each time the rule runs and finds new updates, select Create a new Software Update Group. Click Next.
On the Deployment Settings window select Automatically deploy all the software updates found by this rule and approve any license agreements. Click Next.
In this step you actually specify what’s going to be deployed to the endpoints. The search criteria in your case may differ from the one presented below due to different requirements. Following is the search criteria that I am using.
- Data Released or Revised – Last 2 months.
- Product – Visual Studio 2019.
- Update Classification – Feature packs or Security Updates or Updates.
You can set the evaluation schedule based on your requirement. I am going to run the rule after software update point synchronization. Click Next.
Configure the deployment schedule for the visual studio updates deployment. Click Next.
Specify the user experience settings for the deployment. Ensure you suppress the reboots for workstations. Click Next.
In this step you can either create a new deployment package to deploy visual studio updates using ConfigMgr or select an existing deployment package. Click Next.
Set the download location to Download software updates from the internet. Click Next.
Specify the download settings as shown in the below screenshot. Click Next.
On the Completion window, click Close.
This actually completes the steps to deploy Visual Studio updates using ConfigMgr.
Visual Studio Updates on Client Computers
When I installed Visual Studio 2019 on my client computers, the executable downloaded the latest version and installed it along with updates. As you know there is no offline installer for Visual Studio 2019 and you cannot install old and outdated version by any means.
When I created the ADR I was hoping to see at least one computer that shows the visual studio updates. Later I found that all my client computers are running the latest version of Visual Studio 2019. The ADR did run successfully and the software update group had 7 visual studio updates. Out of 7 updates, 6 updates were compliant and one update was unknown.
I will keep this ADR enabled and for next few weeks I will monitor if new updates appear on client computers. If I see any new updates in the software center I will add the screenshots. I hope this post gives you an idea on how to enable Visual Studio updates in WSUS and ConfigMgr and deploy them to computers.