Community hub and GitHub

Applies to: Configuration Manager (current branch)

The IT Admin community has developed a wealth of knowledge over the years. Rather than reinventing items like Scripts and Reports from scratch, we've built a Community hub in Configuration Manager where IT Admins can share with each other. By leveraging the work of others, you can save hours of work. The Community hub fosters creativity by building on others work and having other people build on yours. GitHub already has industry-wide processes and tools built for sharing. Now, the Community hub can leverage those tools directly in the Configuration Manager console as foundational pieces for driving this new community.

About Community hub

Community hub supports the following objects:

  • CMPivot queries
  • Applications
  • Task sequences
  • Configuration items
  • Configuration baselines, including child configuration items
    • Baselines with software updates or version-specific references aren't supported
  • PowerShell Scripts
  • Reports
  • Power BI report templates

What's new

  • Filter content when using search, added in June 2021
  • Support for configuration baselines including child configuration items, added in March 2021
  • Support for Power BI reports, added in February 2021

Prerequisites

  • The device running the Configuration Manager console used to access the Community hub needs the following items:

    • .NET Framework version 4.6 or higher
      • .NET Framework version 4.6.2 or higher is required starting in Configuration Manager 2010
    • Windows 10 build 17110 or higher
      • Windows Server isn't supported before version 2010, so the Configuration Manager console needs to be installed on a Windows 10 device separate from the site server.
      • Starting in version 2010, install the Microsoft Edge WebView2 console extension to support Windows Server.
    • The logged-in user account can't be the built-in administrator account
  • The administration service in Configuration Manager needs to be set up and functional.

  • If your organization restricts network communication with the internet using a firewall or proxy device, you need to allow the Configuration Manager console to access internet endpoints. For more information, see Internet access requirements.

  • A GitHub account is only required to contribute and share content from the Your hub page. If you don't wish to share, you can use contributions from others without having a GitHub account, For more information, see Contribute to Community hub.

    Important

    Configuration Manager versions 2006 and earlier won't be able to sign in to GitHub. Configuration Manager version 2010 or later with the WebView2 console extension installed is required for sign in.

Permissions

  • To import a script: Create permission for SMS_Scripts class.
  • To import a report: Full Administrator security role.
  • Starting in version 2010, Full Administrators can opt in the hierarchy for unreviewed content via hierarchy settings. Lower hierarchy administrators can't opt in the hierarchy for unreviewed hub items. For more information, see the Categorize Community hub content section.

Most built-in security roles will have access to the Community hub node:

Role name View the hub Contribute hub content Download hub content
Remote Tools Operator No N/A N/A
Read Only Analyst Yes No No
All other roles Yes Yes Yes

Use the Community hub

  1. Go to the Community hub node in the Community workspace.
  2. Select an item to download.
  3. You'll need appropriate permissions in your Configuration Manager site to download objects from the hub and import them into the site.
    • To import a script: Create permission for SMS_Scripts class.
    • To import a report: Full Administrator security role.
  4. Downloaded reports are deployed to a report folder called hub on the reporting services point. Downloaded scripts can be seen in the Run Scripts node. Typically, downloaded items are placed in the console node for which they're used.
  5. View all items downloaded from the hub by your organization by selecting Your downloads from the Community hub node.

All items downloaded from the Community hub

You can filter content in the Community hub when using search. The following filters are available to use when searching:

Filter name Example search Uses a like filter
Type type:report Yes
Curated curated:false No
User user:<GitHubUserName> No
Organization org:<GitHubOrganizationName> No
Name name:test_report Yes
Description desc:description Yes

When filtering Community hub items in search:

  • The filtering on some items is done using like so you don't need to know the exact name of an item you are trying to find. For instance, using type:task would return task sequences.
  • You can't use the same filter twice in a search. For instance, using type:report and type:task would only return reports since the second filter gets ignored.
  • Search filtering respects the hierarchy setting for displaying Community hub content categories.
    • If your hierarchy is set to Display Microsoft and curated community content, then curated:false is ignored.
    • If your hierarchy is set to Display Microsoft content, then the curated: filter is ignored.

(Introduced in version 2006)

You can navigate to and reference items in the Configuration Manager console Community hub node with a direct link. Collaborate with your colleagues easily by sharing direct links to Community hub items. These deep links are currently only for items in the Community hub node of the console.

Prerequisites for direct links:

  • Configuration Manager console version 2006 or later
  • You can't use the local built-in administrator account when following a Community hub link.

Share an item:

  1. Go the item in the hub and select Share.
  2. Paste the copied link and share it with others.

Open a shared link:

  1. Open the link from a machine that has the Configuration Manager console installed.
  2. Select Launch the Community hub when prompted.
  3. The console opens directly to the script in the Community hub node.

Categorize Community hub content

(Introduced in version 2010)

Starting in Configuration Manager version 2010, Community hub content is grouped into a Microsoft, curated, or unreviewed category to allow admins to choose the types of content their environment displays. Admins can choose from the different categories of content that are provided in the Community hub to match their risk profile and their willingness to share and use content from those outside Microsoft and outside their own company. Only Full Administrators can opt in the hierarchy for unreviewed content via hierarchy settings.

Community hub content has three categories for content sources:

  • Microsoft curated: Content provided by Microsoft
  • Community curated: Content provided by the community that gets reviewed by Microsoft
  • Community unreviewed: General content from the community that doesn't get reviewed by Microsoft

The three categories for content sources in Community hub

Admins can choose the types of content their environment displays from the following options:

  • Display Microsoft content: Selecting this option means that only content created by Microsoft will be shown in the Community hub. This content has had some basic testing and scanning validation to confirm no malware and inappropriate text.
  • Display Microsoft and curated community content: Show curated content from both Microsoft and community partners with basic level of review. Selecting this option means that only content that has been curated will be shown. The curation process includes basic review to confirm that the content doesn’t have malware and inappropriate text, but hasn’t necessarily been tested. It will include content from the community, not just from Microsoft.
  • Display all content including unreviewed content: Selecting this option means that all content is shown. This option includes unreviewed open-source type samples from the community, meaning that the content hasn’t necessarily been reviewed at all. It's provided as-is as open-source type sample content. Doing your own inspection and testing before using is highly encouraged, which is good practice on any content, but especially this class of content.

Hierarchy settings for allowed content sources for the Community hub

Since the content is open-source style content, admins should always review what is provided before consuming it. The new curation process is intended to vet the material to make sure there aren't obvious quality or compliance issues, but it will be somewhat of a cursory review. All content stored within GitHub and accessed from the Community hub isn’t supported by Microsoft. Microsoft doesn’t validate content collected from or shared by the general community. For more information, see GitHub Terms of Service and GitHub Privacy Statement.

Select the content categories to display in Community hub for the environment

  1. In the Configuration Manager console, go to Administration > Overview > Site Configuration > Sites.
  2. Select the top-level site in your hierarchy and select Hierarchy Settings from the ribbon.
  3. On the General tab, change the Community hub setting to Display Microsoft content.
  4. Select Ok when you're finished changing the hierarchy setting.
  5. Open the Community hub node in the Community workspace.
  6. Ensure that only Microsoft content is displayed and available for download.
  7. Go back to Hierarchy Settings and select another option such as Display all content, including unreviewed content.
  8. Confirm that only the type of content is displayed and able to be downloaded from the Community hub, that matches the corresponding hierarchy setting category.

Install the WebView2 console extension

(Introduced in version 2010)

Starting in Configuration Manager 2010, the Microsoft Edge WebView2 console extension enables the full functionality for Community hub. If WebView2 isn't installed, a banner is shown when you navigate to the Community hub node. The WebView2 console extension:

  • Displays the Community hub on Windows Server operating systems
  • Enables sign in for GitHub

Important

Configuration Manager versions 2006 and earlier can’t sign into GitHub but can still download items. Using Community hub on Windows Server requires the WebView2 console extension and Configuration Manager version 2010 or later.

Follow the instructions below to enable the full functionality of Community hub:

  1. In the upper-right corner of the console, select the bell icon to display Configuration Manager console notifications.

    Notifications in the Configuration Manager console

  2. The notification will say New custom console extensions are available.

    New custom console extensions are available notification

  3. Select the link Install custom console extensions to launch the install.

  4. When the install completes, select Close to restart the console.

    Console extension completed install

  5. Confirm that you can view the Community hub node from the machine running the Windows Server operating system.

Tip

Starting in Configuration Manager version 2103, you can also install the WebView2 extension from the Console Extensions node. For more information, see Install an extension on a local console.

Known issues

Community hub doesn't load

The Community hub may not load, or load after a long delay if the WebView2 console extension hasn't been installed. For more information about installing console extensions, see the Install the WebView2 console extension and Managing console extensions (starting in version 2103).

Unable to access Community hub node when running console as a different user

If you're signed in as a user with lower rights and choose Run as a different user to open the Configuration Manager console, you may not be able to access the Community hub node.

Downloaded reports don't get removed from your downloads page

If you delete a downloaded report from the Monitoring > Reports node, the report isn't deleted from the Community hub > Your downloads page and you're unable to download the report again.

Unable to download baseline that contains a previously downloaded configuration item

If you previously downloaded a configuration item from Community hub using Configuration Manager 2010, you may receive an error when downloading a baseline after upgrading to Configuration Manager version 2103. A download error can occur when the baseline contains an updated version of the configuration item you previously downloaded with Configuration Manager 2010.

Workaround: To work around this issue, delete the configuration item you previously downloaded, then download the baseline with the new version of the configuration item.

Next steps

Contribute to the Configuration Manager Community hub