Tag Archives: SCCM

Deploying SCCM Applications via a custom web portal

My organisation has a user-facing application portal, distributing Application Jukebox and direct download apps from one central location. However, we use SCCM to distribute some applications and have been stuck in the unsatisfactory situation of having to direct users to two different sites depending on what application they want – “go to the normal portal for these apps, but Software Center for these ones”. Using the method described here we can include web links directly to the application in the SCCM catalog into our existing portal- the result, we can send our users to one place, regardless of the delivery method we have chosen for that specific application.

The solution involves a PowerShell script given below (and based on some work done here). We feed it the name of the application, and some details of our SCCM environment (the site code and the Application Catalog server) and it produces a URL. This URL can then be added to our existing web portal.

Example PowerShell

Example PowerShell to generate app URL

In this example the script (Get-SCCM-Link.ps1) is called with three arguments:

  • Application- this is the name of the application in the SCCM Catalog we want to generate a link for.
  • SiteCode- this is the sitecode of our SCCM site
  • AppCatalogServer- this is the server hosting  the SCCM Application Catalog

The result of running this script is a veeeery long URL. But that’s not a problem, as we’re going to place it in a web page rather than reading it out to a user over the ‘phone!

When a user clicks on the link they will be taken directly to the download page for that app in the SCCM Application Catalog as shown below. Then they just need to click “Install” and the app will be installed as normal- no need to send users to two different places or have them hunt through Software Center. The only caveat is that the application must be deployed to a User Collection of which the logged in user is a member- deploying to a Device Collection is not sufficient. But if your user can already see the app in the listing in the Application Catalog then you should be good to go.

Application Catalog

An example application in the SCCM web based catalog

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TechEd Europe 2014

TechEd Europe 2014- Top 10 Practices for OS Deployment with ConfigMgr 2012R2

WIN-B328

An interesting session from Dell Tools Strategist Greg Ramsey. I’m keeping up my practise of 5 highlights even though this was a “Top 10” talk 🙂 Display outside Lecture Room

  1. KISS- Start simple and work your way to complexity. My experience of an overly-complicated SCCM deployment definitely supports this theory.
  2. From SCCM2012 SP1 onwards there is an option of hidden task sequences. Make use of this to hide development, alternative OS versions etc to most users- especially if you have self-service rebuilds.
  3. Automate your process to import drivers and create driver packages to eliminate human error. This definitely makes sense and will also help get new drivers into the build quicker rather than waiting for someone to go through a manual process
  4. If done right, SCCM is great. If done wrong there’s lots of opportunities to turn your desktop into a paperweight.

More details from Greg can be found on his blog.