Create application groups

Applies to: Configuration Manager (current branch)

Create a group of applications that you can send to a user or device collection as a single deployment. The metadata you specify about the app group is seen in Software Center as a single entity. You can order the apps in the group so that the client installs them in a specific order.

Tip

This feature was first introduced in version 1906 as a pre-release feature. Beginning with version 2111, it's no longer a pre-release feature.

This feature is optional in Configuration Manager, and enabled by default. For more information, see Enable optional features from updates.

Process

  1. In the Configuration Manager console, go to the Software Library workspace. Expand Application Management and select the Application Group node.

  2. In the Create group in the ribbon, select Create Application Group.

  3. On the General Information page, specify information about the app group.

  4. On the Software Center page, include information that shows in Software Center.

  5. On the Application Group page, select Add. Select one or more apps for this group. Reorder them using the Move Up and Move Down actions.

  6. Complete the wizard.

Tip

To manage app groups, you need permissions on the Application Groups object. The permissions for most administrative operations are the same as on applications.

Deploy

Deploy the app group using the same process as for an application. For more information, see Deploy applications. You can deploy an app group to device or user collections. Starting in version 2111, when you deploy an app group as required to a device or user collection, you can specify that it automatically uninstalls when the resource is removed from the collection. For more information, see Implicit uninstall.

After you deploy the group:

  • If you add a new app to the group, you have to separately distribute the new app content to distribution points.

  • If you modify an app in the app group, redistribute the content.

To troubleshoot an app group deployment, use the following log files on the client:

  • AppGroupHandler.log
  • AppEnforce.log
  • SettingsAgent.log

App approval

Starting in version 2111, you can use the following app approval behaviors:

  • Deploy an app group to a user collection and require approval.

    • A user can then request the app group in Software Center.
    • You can approve or deny the user's request for the app group.
  • Deploy an app group to a device collection and require approval. The deployment is suspended on the device until you trigger installation via automation. For example, use the Approve-CMApprovalRequest PowerShell cmdlet.

  • From the Configuration Manager console, when you select a device, there's a new action in the Device group of the ribbon to Install Application Group. For more information, see Install applications for a device.

  • When you enable tenant attach, you can view status and take actions on app groups from the Microsoft Endpoint Manager admin center. For more information, see Install an application from the admin center.

Known issues

  • The following deployment options may not work: alerts, phased deployment, repair.
  • You can't use application groups with the Install Application task sequence step.
  • You can't export or import app groups.
  • In version 2103 and earlier, don't include in the group any apps that require restart, or the group deployment may fail.
  • In version 2107 and earlier, if you delete an app that's a part of an app group, you'll see the following warning when you next view the properties of the app group: "Unable to load information about all applications in the group." Make a small change to the app group and save it. For example, add a space to the Administrator comments. When you save the change, it removes the deleted app from the group. Starting in version 2111, you can't delete an app that's part of an app group.
  • In most scenarios, user categories on the app group don't display as filters in Software Center. If the app group is deployed as available to a user collection, the categories display.

PowerShell

You can create and deploy app groups using Windows PowerShell. For more information, see the following cmdlet articles:

Next steps

Deploy applications