Deploying Applications Using SCCM 2012.
In this post we will see the ways for deploying applications using SCCM 2012. Before we start deploying applications, lets see what’s new about application deployment in SCCM 2012. An application in Configuration Manager contains the files and information required to deploy a software package to a device and the information about the software that all deployment types share. Applications are similar to packages in Configuration Manager 2007, but contain more information to support smart deployment. When you make changes to an application, a new revision of the application is created. Previous versions of the application are stored, and you can retrieve them at a later time.
When we deploy applications, we will come across few of the elements of applications :
1) Application Information – This provides general information about the application such as the name, description, version, owner and administrative categories. Configuration Manager can read this information from the application installation files if it is present.
2) Application Catalog – Provides information about how the application is displayed to users who are browsing the Application Catalog.
3) Deployment Types – A deployment type is contained within an application and contains the information that is required to install software. A deployment type also contains rules that specify if and how the software is deployed. A single application can have multiple deployment types that use the same technology. There are multiple deployment types available in CM2012.
a) Windows Installer – Creates a deployment type from a Windows Installer file. Configuration Manager can retrieve information from the Windows Installer file and related files in the same folder to automatically populate some fields of the Create Deployment Type Wizard.
b) Microsoft Application Virtualization – Detects application information and deployment types from a Microsoft Application Virtualization 4 manifest (.xml) file.
c) Windows Mobile Cabinet – Creates a deployment type from a Windows Mobile Cabinet (CAB) file.
d) Nokia SIS file – Creates a deployment type from a Nokia Symbian Installation Source (SIS) file.
When you deploy an application in CM 2012 you come across 2 things, Deployment Action and Deployment Purpose. Both of these are really important.
- Deployment Action – Deployment Action includes “Install” or “Uninstall“. We can install an app or uninstall an app by providing relevant information in deployment action.
- Deployment Purpose – This is really important, you have an option to specify Deployment purpose as “Available” or “Required“. If the application is deployed to a user, the user sees the published application in the Application Catalog and can request it on-demand. If the application is deployed to a device, the user sees it in Software Center and can install it on demand.
Now lets go ahead and deploy an application to a device in configuration Manager 2012. The first step would be creating an application. We will first download an application named 7-zip x64 for here : Download 7-zip. We will place the setup file in folder called softwares and share the folder.
On the SCCM machine login with the user account sccmadmin and launch the configuration manager console. Select Software Library, Under Application Management select Applications.
Right click Applications and select Create Application. Select Automatically detect information.. and choose the type as Windows Installer (Native), Specify the location of 7zip.msi file.
We get to know that CM 2012 couldn’t get the details about the publisher of 7zip setup file. We will import the file by clicking Yes.
On the next screen, lets specify some details about the software and for Install behavior select Install for a system if resource is device, otherwise install for user. Click Next.
The Application has been created successfully , click Close.
The Applications that are created can be seen by clicking Applications under Application Management. Since we have not deployed this application to any device or collection we see “0” under deployments. Once we deploy this application the count should increment.
Right click the application and click Deploy.
Click Browse and specify the collection as All Systems. Click Next.
To add the Distribution Points, click in Add and choose your distribution point.
Choose Action as “Install” and Purpose as “Required“.
The application will be available once you distribute the content to content servers. If you want to schedule the availability of application, then select “schedule the application to be available at“. We will not schedule the application availability and distribute the content immediately to the Content servers. Select the Installation deadline “as soon as possible“. Click Next.
For the User Notifications, select Hide in Software Center and all notifications. Click next.
Do not select anything here, click next twice.
We see that the deploy Software Wizard has completed successfully. Click Close.
Now under Deployments we see the value is “1” which was previously “0“. Since we have deployed the application to a collection, the value is changed.
Lets check whether the application has been deployed in the one of the computers. We will check in the machine named “CLIENT.PRAJWAL.LOCAL”. Wow, the application can be seen in the start menu
Lets Check from the SCCM console to find more information about the deployment of application. On the Left hand side of console Select Monitoring , select Deployments. We get a lot of information about the application that we deployed. Total Asset Count = 2 which means the application was installed on 2 devices.
Double click the application, we get to see the Asset Details here. We see that the application 7zip was installed on 2 devices, SCCM and CLIENT. If the deployment is unsuccessful you can get to know what went wrong by clicking Error tab.