Deploy applications with System Center Configuration Manager

Applies to: System Center Configuration Manager (Current Branch)

Before you can deploy a System Center Configuration Manager application, you must create at least one deployment type for the application. For more information about creating applications and deployment types, see Create applications.

You can also simulate an application deployment. This type of deployment tests the applicability of an application deployment to computers without installing or uninstalling the application. A simulated deployment evaluates the detection method, requirements, and dependencies for a deployment type and reports the results in the Deployments node of the Monitoring workspace. For more information, see Simulate application deployments.

Important

You can deploy (install or uninstall) required applications, but not packages or software updates. MDM-enrolled devices also do not support simulated deployments, user experience, or scheduling settings.

Deploy an application

  1. In the Configuration Manager console, go to Software Library > Application Management > Applications.

  2. In the Applications list, select the application that you want to deploy. Then, on the Home tab, in the Deployment group, click Deploy.

Specify general information about the deployment

On the General page of the Deploy Software wizard, specify the following information:

  • Software
    This displays the application to deploy. You can click Browse to select a different application.
  • Collection
    Click Browse to select the collection to deploy the application to.
  • Use default distribution point groups associated to this collection
    Select this option if you want to store the application content on the collection's default distribution point group. If you have not associated the selected collection with a distribution point group, this option is grayed out.
  • Automatically distribute content for dependencies
    If this is enabled and if any of the deployment types in the application contain dependencies, then the dependent application content is also sent to distribution points.

    Important

    If you update the dependent application after the primary application has been deployed, any new content for the dependency will not be automatically distributed.

  • Comments (optional)
    Optionally, enter a description for this deployment.

Specify content options for the deployment

On the Content page, click Add to add the content associated with this deployment to distribution points or distribution point groups. If you have selected Use default distribution points associated to this collection on the General page, then this option is automatically populated and can only be modified by a member of the Application Administrator security role.

Specify deployment settings

On the Deployment Settings page of the Deploy Software wizard, specify the following information:

  • Action
    From the drop-down list, choose whether this deployment is intended to Install or Uninstall the application.

    Note

    If an application is deployed twice to a device, once with an action of Install and once with an action of Uninstall, the application deployment with an action of Install takes priority.

You cannot change the action of a deployment after it has been created.

  • Purpose
    From the drop-down list, choose one of the following options:

    • Available
      If the application is deployed to a user, the user sees the published application in Software Center and can install it on demand.
    • Required
      The application is deployed automatically according to the schedule. If the application deployment status is not hidden, anyone using the application can track its deployment status and install the application from Software Center before the deadline.

      Note

      When the deployment action is set to Uninstall, the deployment purpose is automatically set to Required and cannot be changed.

  • Deploy automatically according to schedule whether or not a user is logged on
    If the deployment is to a user, select this option to deploy the application to the user’s primary devices. This setting does not require the user to log on before the deployment runs. Do not select this option if the user must provide input to complete the installation. This option is only available when the deployment has a purpose of Required.

  • Send wake-up packets
    If the deployment purpose is set to Required and this option is selected, a wake-up packet is sent to computers before the deployment is installed. This packet wakes the computers at the installation deadline time. Before you can use this option, computers and networks must be configured for Wake On LAN.

  • Allow clients on a metered Internet connection to download content after the installation deadline, which might incur additional costs
    This option is only available for deployments with a purpose of Required.
  • Automatically close any running executables you specified on the install behavior tab of the deployment type properties dialog box
    For more information about how to configure a list of executables that can prevent an application from installing, see How to check for running executable files before installing an application later in this topic.
  • Require administrator approval if users request this application
    If this option is selected, the administrator must approve any user requests for the application before it can be installed. This option is grayed out when the deployment purpose is Required or when the application is deployed to a device collection.

    Note

    Application approval requests are displayed in the Approval Requests node, under Application Management in the Software Library workspace. If a request is not approved within 45 days, it is removed. Additionally, reinstalling the Configuration Manager client might cancel any pending approval requests. After you have approved an application for installation, you can subsequently choose to deny the request by clicking Deny in the Configuration Manager console (previously, this button was grayed out after approval). This action does not cause the application to be uninstalled from any devices, but it does stop users from installing new copies of the application from Software Center.

  • Automatically upgrade any superseded version of this application
    If this option is selected, any superseded version of the application is upgraded with the superseding application.

Specify scheduling settings for the deployment

On the Scheduling page of the Deploy Software wizard, set the time when this application is deployed or available to client devices. The options on this page differ depending on whether the deployment action is set to Available or Required.

In some cases, you might want to give users more time to install required application deployments or software updates beyond any deadlines you set up. This is typically required when a computer has been turned off for an extended period of time and needs to install a large number of updates or application deployments. For example, if a user has returned from vacation, they might have to wait for a long time as overdue application deployments are installed. To help solve this problem, you can now define an enforcement grace period by deploying Configuration Manager client settings to a collection.

To configure the grace period, take the following actions:

  • On the Computer Agent page of client settings, configure the new property Grace period for enforcement after deployment deadline (hours) with a value between 1 and 120 hours.
  • On the Scheduling page in a new required application deployment, or in the properties of an existing deployment, select the box Delay enforcement of this deployment according to user preferences, up to the grace period defined in client settings. The enforcement grace period is used by all deployments that have this box selected and are targeted to devices to which you also deployed the client setting.

After the application install deadline is reached, the application will be installed in the first non-business window that the user configured up to that grace period. However, the user can still open Software Center and install the application at any time they want. Once the grace period expires, enforcement reverts to normal behavior for overdue deployments.

If the application you are deploying supersedes another application, you can set the installation deadline when users receive the new application. Do this by using the setting Installation Deadline to upgrade users with the superseded application.

Specify user experience settings for the deployment

On the User Experience page of the Deploy Software wizard, specify information about how users can interact with the application installation.

When you deploy applications to Windows Embedded devices that are write-filter enabled, you can specify to install the application on the temporary overlay and commit changes later, or to commit the changes at the installation deadline or during a maintenance window. When you commit changes at the installation deadline or during a maintenance window, you must restart the device. The changes persist on the device.

Note

When you deploy an application to a Windows Embedded device, make sure that the device is a member of a collection that has a configured maintenance window. For more information about how maintenance windows are used when you deploy applications to Windows Embedded devices, see Create Windows Embedded applications. The options Software Installation and System restart (if required to complete the installation) are not used if the deployment purpose is set to Available. You can also configure the level of notification a user sees when the application is installed.

Specify alert options for the deployment

On the Alerts page of the Deploy Software wizard, set up how Configuration Manager and System Center Operations Manager generate alerts for this deployment. You can configure thresholds for reporting alerts and turn off reporting for the duration of the deployment.

Associate the deployment with an iOS app configuration policy

On the App Configuration Policies page, click New to associate this deployment with an iOS app configuration policy (if you have created one). For more information about this type of policy, see Configure iOS apps with app configuration policies.

Finish up

On the Summary page of the Deploy Software wizard, review the actions that are taken by this deployment, and then click Next to finish the wizard.

The new deployment is displayed in the Deployments list in the Deployments node of the Monitoring workspace. You can edit the properties of this deployment or delete the deployment from the Deployments tab of the application detail pane.

Delete an application deployment

  1. In the Configuration Manager console, go to Software Library > Application Management > Applications.
  2. In the Applications list, select the application that includes the deployment you delete.
  3. In the Deployments tab of the list, select the application deployment to delete. Then on the Deployment tab, in the Deployment group, click Delete.

When you delete an application deployment, any instances of the application that have already been installed are not removed. To remove these applications, you must deploy the application to computers with Uninstall. If you delete an application deployment, or remove a resource from the collection you are deploying to, the application will no longer be visible in Software Center.

User notifications for required deployments

When you receive required software from the Snooze and remind me setting, you can select from the following drop-down list of values:

  • Later
    Specifies that notifications are scheduled based on the notification settings configured in Client Agent settings.
  • Fixed time
    Specifies that the notification will be scheduled to display again after the selected time. For example, if you select 30 minutes, the notification displays again in 30 minutes.

Computer Agent page in Client Agent settings

The maximum snooze time is always based on the notification values configured in the Client Agent settings at every time along the deployment timeline. For example, if the Deployment deadline greater than 24 hours, remind users every (hours) setting on the Computer Agent page is configured for 10 hours, and it is more than 24 hours before the deadline when the dialog is launched, you would be presented with a set of snooze options up to but never greater than 10 hours. As the deadline approaches, the dialog shows fewer options, consistent with the relevant Client Agent settings for each component of the deployment timeline.

Additionally, for a high-risk deployment, such as a task sequence that deploys an operating system, the user notification experience is now more intrusive. Instead of a transient taskbar notification, a dialog box like the following displays on your computer each time you are notified that critical software maintenance is required:

Required Software dialog

How to check for running executable files before installing an application

Tip

Introduced with version 1702, this is a pre-release feature. To enable it, see Pre-release features in System Center Configuration Manager.

In the Properties dialog box of a deployment type, on the Install Behavior tab, you can specify one or more executable files that, if running, block the installation of the deployment type. The user must close the running executable file (or it can be closed automatically for deployments with a purpose of required) before the deployment type can be installed. To configure this:

  1. Open the Properties dialog box for any deployment type.
  2. On the Install Behavior tab of the Properties dialog box, click Add.
  3. In the Add or Edit Executable File dialog box, enter the name of the executable file that, if running, blocks install of the application. Optionally, you can also enter a friendly name for the application to help you identify it in the list.
  4. Click OK, then close the Properties dialog box.
  5. Next, when you deploy an application, on the Deployment Settings page of the Deploy Software Wizard, select Automatically close any running executables you specified on the install behavior tab of the deployment type properties dialog box, then continue to deploy the application.

After the application reaches client PCs, the following behavior applies:

  • If the application was deployed as Available, and an end user tries to install it, they are prompted to close any running executables you specified before they can proceed with the installation.

  • If the application was deployed as Required, and the option Automatically close any running executables you specified on the install behavior tab of the deployment type properties dialog box is selected, they see a dialog box that informs them that executables you specified are automatically closed when the application installation deadline is reached. You can schedule these dialogs in Client Settings > Computer Agent. If you don’t want the end user to see these messages, select Hide in Software Center and all notifications on the User Experience tab of the deployment’s properties.

  • If the application was deployed as Required and the option Automatically close any running executables you specified on the install behavior tab of the deployment type properties dialog box is not selected, then the installation of the app fails if one or more of the specified applications are running.

For more information