In this post we will look at the steps for deploying applications to users using SCCM 2012 R2. In SCCM 2012 R2, an application basically contains the files and information that are required to deploy software to a device. In one of my post that I had posted when I was deploying SCCM 2012 we had seen the steps for deploying applications to devices using SCCM 2012. Applications in Configuration Manager support user-centric management so that you can associate specific users with specific devices. Instead of having to remember the name of a user’s device, you can now deploy software to the user and to the device. This functionality can help you make sure that the most important software is always available on each device that a specific user accesses. If a user acquires a new computer, you can automatically install the user’s applications on the device before the user logs on.
If an application is deployed by SCCM 2012 R2 and has been installed on a device, the Configuration Manager always checks whether the application is present on the device or not. Let’s say if the application was uninstalled by the user then at the next evaluation cycle, Configuration Manager detects that the application is not present and re-installs it. This is one of the good feature I liked about Configuration Manager.
The re-evaluation interval for application deployments can be configured by using the Schedule re-evaluation for deployments client setting. The default value is every 7 days. You can also initiate this action from a Configuration Manager client computer by selecting the action Application Deployment Evaluation Cycle from the Actions tab of Configuration Manager in Control Panel.
In this post we will be deploying a simple application to the user and this application won’t install unless the SCCM administrator/approver approves it. In the below example I am creating a application for Adobe Reader and this will be deployed to the user group. You can take any application of your choice and follow the below screenshots. Enter the information about the application and choose the Install behavior as Install for User and click Next and complete the App creation wizard.
Since we will be deploying the application to the users, we will first create a group in active directory and add the user to that group. I have skipped the screenshots as it’s fairly simple to create a group and add user to it. Once you have done that, right click the User Collections and click Create User Collection.
Specify a name to the user collection and set the Limiting collection to All Users and User Groups. Click Next.
Now let’s create a query which will add the user group to the collection. Click Add Rule and select Query Rule. Specify a name for the query and Click Edit Query Statement.
On the Query Statement Properties window click on tab named Criteria and click on yellow icon. On the Criterion Properties window, set Attribute Class to User Resource, set Attribute to User Group Name. Set the Value as the name of the group that you created in your active directory. In this example BPO Users is the group that is created in active directory that contains user named Eric. Click OK and then click Next and complete the User Collection wizard.
In the Configuration Manager console, when we click User Collections, we see that the user collection BPO Users has been created.
Next we will deploy the application to the user collection. Right click the Adobe application and click Deploy.
Click Browse and choose the collection as BPO Users. Click Next.
Specify the Deployment Settings, choose Action as Install and Purpose as Available. Check box “Require administrator approval if users request this application“. When you check this option, the application will be available to the user but it cannot be installed without SCCM administrator/approver approving it. Click Next and complete the wizard.
We have deployed the application to the user. Click Close.
The software has been deployed to the user group. Let’s login with the user account that is member of BPO Users group. Launch the Software Center and click on Find additional applications from the Application Catalog. When you click the link you will be prompted for user authentication, provide the username and password of logged in user account.
When you click Application Catalog, we see the Adobe application over there. There is no Install option seen because during our application deployment we have defined that the user must first request the SCCM administrator/approver for installing the software. So click on REQUEST.
You can send the reason for application request so that administrator/approver can know why exactly you need the software. Click on SUBMIT.
The approval request has now been sent to the administrator/approver. Let’s go back to Configuration Manager console and check it.
In the Configuration Manager console, under Application Management, click Approval Requests. We see that there is one request from the user Eric. To approve the application, right click the application and click Approve.
On the Application Request window the administrator/approver can see user comments and even add the comments. Click on OK.
On the client machine refresh the link once and we see the INSTALL option. Also under REQUIRES APPROVAL we see its No, that means the application has been approved for installation.Click on Install to install the application.
The application installation has started and it will be installed.
You can always check you application requests by clicking on My Application Requests.