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Configuration Manager Client Actions

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Configuration Manager Client Actions When you install the Configuration Manager client on a computer and when you check the Configuration Manager properties and Actions tab you will see lot of actions that are listed. Each of these actions have specific purpose. Note that client actions are different from the client agent settings. All client settings in System Center 2012 Configuration Manager are managed in the Configuration Manager console from the Client Settings node in the Administration workspace. A set of default settings is supplied with Configuration Manager. When you modify the default client settings, these settings are applied to all clients in the hierarchy. In this post you will get to know what each of the Configuration Manager Client actions cycles do and these could be used while working with SCCM. Below is the screenshot of the client cycles listed under Actions tab in configuration manager client agent properties.

Configuration Manager Client Actions

Configuration Manager Client Actions

We will now learn about each Configuration Manager client action along with its description.

Application Deployment Evaluation Cycle – This action when run re-evaluates the requirement rules for all deployments. If an application is required, and not installed when the Application Deployment Evaluation Cycle runs, Configuration Manager automatically triggers a re-install.The Application Deployment Evaluation Cycle only applies to applications and not to the packages. The default value is set to run every 7 days.

Discovery Data Collection Cycle – This action invokes a Discovery Data Collection on each computer in the selected collection and causes the client to generate a new discovery data record (DDR). When the DDR is processed by the site server, Discovery Data Manager adds or updates resource information from the DDR in the site database.

File Collection Cycle – This action searches for specific file that you have defined in client Agent settings. When a file is specified for collection, the SCCM software inventory agent searches for that file when it runs a software inventory scan on each client in the site. If the software inventory client agent finds a file that should be collected, the file is attached to the inventory file and sent to the site server.

Hardware Inventory Cycle – As the name says this cycle collects information such as available disk space, processor type, and operating system about each computer. Hardware inventory information will be logged into inventoryagent.log.

Machine Policy Retrieval & Evaluation Cycle –  You might have run this action cycle if you have worked on SCCM a lot. We know that the client downloads its policy on a schedule (By default, this value is configured to every 60 minutes and is configured with the option Policy polling interval). This action initiates ad-hoc machine policy retrieval from the client outside its scheduled polling interval.

Software Inventory Cycle – Do not get confused with Hardware Inventory Cycle and Software Inventory Cycle. The difference between these two is Hardware Inventory uses WMI to get the information about computer and software inventory works on files to get information in the file header. This action cycle collects software inventory data directly from files (such as .exe files) by inventorying the file header information. You can also configure Configuration Manager to collect copies of files that you specify.

Software Metering Usage Report Cycle – This action cycle when run collects the data that allows you to monitor the client software usage.

Software Updates Deployment Evaluation Cycle – This cycle initiates a scan for software updates compliance. Before client computers can scan for software update compliance, the software updates environment must be configured, in other words the WSUS server should be available for this scan to run successfully.

User Policy Retrieval & Evaluation Cycle – This is very similar to Machine Policy Retrieval & Evaluation Cycle, but this action initiates ad-hoc user policy retrieval from the client outside its scheduled polling interval.

Windows Installer Source List Update Cycle –  When you install an application using Windows Installer, those Windows Installer applications try to return to the path they were installed from when they need to install new components, repair the application, or update the application. This location is called the Windows Installer source location. This cycle causes the Product Source Update Manager to complete a full update cycle. Windows Installer Source Location Manager can automatically search Configuration Manager distribution points for the source files, even if the application was not originally installed from a distribution point.