Create and deploy an application with System Center Configuration Manager

Applies to: System Center Configuration Manager (Current Branch)

In this topic, you'll jump right in and create an application with System Center Configuration Manager. In this example, you'll create and deploy an application that contains a line-of-business app for Windows PCs called Contoso.msi, which must be installed on all PCs that are running Windows 10 in your company. Along the way, you'll learn about many of the things you can do to manage applications effectively.

This procedure is designed to give you an overview of how to create and deploy Configuration Manager applications. However, it does not cover all the configuration options, or how to create and deploy applications for other platforms.

For specific details that are relevant to each platform, see one of the following topics:

If you are already familiar with Configuration Manager applications, you can skip this topic. However, you might want to review Create applications to learn about all the options that are available when you create and deploy applications.

Before you start

Make sure that you've reviewed the information in Introduction to application management so that you have prepared your site to install applications and you understand the terminology that's used in this topic.

Also, make sure that the installation files for the Contoso.msi app are in an accessible location on your network.

Create the Configuration Manager application

To start the Create Application Wizard and create the application

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

  2. On the Home tab, in the Create group, choose Create Application.

  3. On the General page of the Create Application Wizard, choose Automatically detect information about this application from installation files. This pre-populates some of the information in the wizard with information that's extracted from the installation .msi file. Then specify the following information:

    • Type: Choose Windows Installer (*.msi file).

    • Location: Type the location (or choose Browse to select the location) of the installation file Contoso.msi. Note that the location must be specified in the form \\Server\Share\File for Configuration Manager to locate the installation files.

    You'll end up with something that looks like the following screenshot:

    App management wizard general page

  4. Choose Next. On the Import Information page, you'll see some information about the app and any associated files that were imported to Configuration Manager. Once you are done, choose Next again.

  5. On the General Information page, you can supply further information about the application to help you sort and locate it in the Configuration Manager console.

    Additionally, the Installation program field lets you specify the full command line that will be used to install the application on PCs. You can edit this to add your own properties (for example /q for an unattended installation).

    Tip

    Some of the fields on this page of the wizard might have been filled in automatically when you imported the application installation files.

    You'll end up with a screen that looks similar to the following screenshot:

    App management wizard general information page

  6. Choose Next. On the Summary page, you can confirm your application settings and then complete the wizard.

    You've finished creating the app. To find it, in the Software Library workspace, expand Application Management, and then choose Applications. For this example, you'll see:

    Final app graphic

Examine the properties of the application and its deployment type

Now that you've created an application, you can refine the application settings if you need to. To look at the application properties, select the app, and then, in the Home tab in the Properties group, choose Properties.

In the <Contoso> Application Properties dialog box, you'll see many items that you can configure to refine the behavior of the application. For details about all the settings you can configure, see Create applications. For the purposes of this example, you'll just be changing some properties of the application's deployment type.

Choose the Deployment Types tab > Contoso Application deployment type > Edit.

You'll see a dialog box like this one:

App management app properties page

Add a requirement to the deployment type

Requirements specify conditions that must be met before an application is installed on a device. You can choose from built-in requirements or you can create your own. In this example, you add a requirement that the application will only get installed on PCs that are running Windows 10.

  1. From the deployment type properties page you just opened, choose the Requirements tab.

  2. Choose Add to open the Create Requirement dialog box.

  3. In the Create Requirement dialog box, specify the following information:

    • Category: Device

    • Condition: Operating system

    • Rule type: Value

    • Operator: One of

    • From the operating systems list, select Windows 10.

    You'll end up with a dialog box that looks like this:

    App management requirements page

  4. Choose OK to close each property page that you opened. Then return to the Applications list in the Configuration Manager console.

Tip

Requirements can help reduce the number of Configuration Manager collections you need. Because you just specified that the application can only get installed on PCs that are running Windows 10, you can later deploy this to a collection that contains PCs that run many different operating systems. But the application will only get installed on Windows 10 PCs.

Add the application content to a distribution point

Next, to deploy the application to PCs, make sure that the application content is copied to a distribution point. PCs access the distribution point to install the application.

Tip

To find out more about distribution points and content management in Configuration Manager, see Manage content and content infrastructure.

  1. In the Configuration Manager console, choose Software Library.

  2. In the Software Library workspace, expand Applications. Then, in the list of applications, select the Contoso Application that you created.

  3. On the Home tab, in the Deployment group, choose Distribute Content.

  4. On the General page of the Distribute Content Wizard, check that the application name is correct, and then choose Next.

  5. On the Content page, review the information that will be copied to the distribution point, and then choose Next.

  6. On the Content Destination page, choose Add to select one or more distribution points, or distribution point groups on which to install the application content.

  7. Complete the wizard.

You can check that the application content was copied successfully to the distribution point from the Monitoring workspace, under Distribution Status > Content Status.

Deploy the application

Next, deploy the application to a device collection in your hierarchy. In this example, you deploy the application to the All Systems device collection.

Tip

Remember that only Windows 10 computers will install the application because of the requirements that you selected earlier.

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

  2. From the list of applications, select the application that you created earlier (Contoso Application), and then, on the Home tab in the Deployment group, choose Deploy.

  3. On the General page of the Deploy Software Wizard, choose Browse to select the All Systems device collection.

  4. On the Content page, check that the distribution point from which you want PCs to install the application is selected.

  5. On the Deployment Settings page, make sure that the deployment action is set to Install, and the deployment purpose is set to Required.

    Tip

    By setting the deployment purpose to Required, you make sure that the application is installed on PCs that meet the requirements that you set. If you set this value to Available, then users can install the application on demand from Software Center.

  6. On the Scheduling page, you can configure when the application will be installed. For this example, select As soon as possible after the available time.

  7. On the User Experience page, choose Next to accept the default values.

  8. Complete the wizard.

Use the information in the following Monitor the application section to see the status of your application deployment.

Monitor the application

In this section, you'll take a quick look at the deployment status of the application that you just deployed.

To review the deployment status

  1. In the Configuration Manager console, choose Monitoring > Deployments.

  2. From the list of deployments, select Contoso Application.

  3. On the Home tab, in the Deployment group, choose View Status.

  4. Select one of the following tabs to see more status updates about the application deployment:

    • Success: The application installed successfully on the indicated PCs.

    • In Progress: The application has not yet finished installing.

    • Error: An error occurred installing the application on the indicated PCs. Further information about the error is also displayed.

    • Requirements Not Met: No installation attempt was made on the indicated devices because they did not meet the requirements you configured (in this example, because they do not run on Windows 10).

    • Unknown: Configuration Manager was unable to report the status of the deployment. Check back again later.

Tip

There are a few ways you can monitor application deployments. For full details, see Monitor applications.

End-user experience

Users who have PCs that are managed by Configuration Manager and running Windows 10 see a message telling them that they must install the Contoso application. Once they accept the installation, the application gets installed.