Determining which packages are "Needed" across your managed environment

Over the past six months, many within the System Center Essentials community provided feedback on the inability of SCE to show which updates and software are needed by managed systems.  Workarounds exist today for Microsoft Update content, but when it comes to locally-published content, or driver content obtained from a partner catalog the question remains unanswered. 

It is possible to call into the WSUS 3.0 APIs and obtain this information through the use of Powershell scripting using the steps below.


  1. Install PowerShell on your SCE server, or workstation running the SCE remote management console. 
  2. Copy the attached script, and save it as 'NeededContent.ps1'
  3. Launch the powershell console window 
  4. Sign the file, or set script execution to 'unrestricted' by running the following command:  Set-ExecutionPolicy UnRestricted  !! Note - It is important to understand the possible risks of running unsigned scripts. More details at:  
  5. Call the file from the powershell console window.  If it was located at d:\myscripts\ , the command would read:  PS > D:\myscripts\NeededContent.ps1

Additional notes -

  • You will need to execute the script in the context of a WSUS administrator, or WSUS reporter role. 
  • The script allows for the display of Microsoft Update content as well, but it will take considerably longer to execute due to the large volume of updates. 
  • The script will filter out packages which are declined.

Hope this helps!