Plan for Software Center

Applies to: System Center Configuration Manager (Current Branch)

Users change settings, browse for applications, and install applications from Software Center. When you install the Configuration Manager client on a Windows device, it automatically installs Software Center as well.

For more information on the other features of Software Center, see the Software Center user guide.

Configure Software Center

Update your Configuration Manager sites and clients to version 1906 or later to benefit from the latest improvements.

Review the following improvements to Software Center:

Important

These iterative improvements to Software Center and the management point are to retire the application catalog roles.

  • The Silverlight user experience isn't supported as of current branch version 1806.
  • Starting in version 1906, updated clients automatically use the management point for user-available application deployments. You also can't install new application catalog roles.
  • In the first current branch release after October 31, 2019, support will end for the application catalog roles.

Starting in version 1802

Starting in version 1806

  • Specify the visibility of the application catalog website link on the Installation Status tab of Software Center. For more information, see Software Center client settings.

  • Application catalog roles are no longer required to display user-available applications in Software Center. This change helps you reduce the server infrastructure required to deliver applications to users. Software Center now relies upon the management point to obtain this information, which helps larger environments scale better by assigning them to boundary groups.

    Note

    If you're currently using the application catalog, and update Configuration Manager to version 1806, it continues to work. The application catalog website point and web service point roles are no longer required, but still supported. The Silverlight user experience for the application catalog website point is no longer supported. For more information, see Removed and deprecated features.

    Start planning to remove the application catalog roles from your infrastructure in the future. Take advantage of the Software Center improvements to use the management point, and simplify your Configuration Manager environment.

Starting in version 1902

Starting in version 1906

  • Software Center now communicates with a management point for apps targeted to users as available. It doesn't use the application catalog anymore. This change makes it easier for you to remove the application catalog from the site.

  • Previously, Software Center picked the first management point from the list of available servers. Starting in this release, it uses the same management point that the client uses. This change allows Software Center to use the same management point from the assigned primary site as the client.

  • The management point has Software Center endpoints to support these new features. It now checks the health of these endpoints every five minutes. It reports any issues via status messages for the SMS_MP_CONTROL_MANAGER site component.

  • You can't add new application catalog roles to the site. Existing roles continue to work. Only existing clients use the application catalog for user-available deployments. Updated clients automatically use the management point for all deployments.

  • You can add up to 5 custom tabs to Software Center. For more information, see Software Center client settings.

Summary of infrastructure requirements per version

Use the following table to help understand the requirements for Software Center depending upon the specific version of Configuration Manager:

Device type Site version Infrastructure
Azure AD-joined device
(or "cloud domain-joined")
1802 or 1806 Management point for all app deployments
Hybrid Azure AD-joined device on the internet 1802 or 1806 Cloud management gateway and management point for all app deployments
On-premises Active Directory domain-joined device 1802 Application catalog required for user-available apps through Software Center
On-premises Active Directory domain-joined device 1806 Management point for all app deployments

Important

To take advantage of new Configuration Manager features, first update clients to the latest version. While new functionality appears in the Configuration Manager console when you update the site and console, the complete scenario isn't functional until the client version is also the latest.

Replace toast notifications with dialog window

Sometimes users don't see the Windows toast notification about a restart or required deployment. Then they don't see the experience to snooze the reminder. This behavior can lead to a poor user experience when the client reaches a deadline.

Starting in version 1902, when software changes are required or deployments need a restart, you have the option of using a more intrusive dialog window.

Software changes are required

When you deploy an application as required with a deadline in the future, on the User Experience page of the Deploy Software Wizard, select the following user notification options:

  • Display in Software Center and show all notifications
  • When software changes are required, show a dialog window to the user instead of a toast notification

Configuring this deployment setting changes the user experience for this scenario.

From the following toast notification:

Toast notification that Software changes are required

To the following dialog window:

Dialog window for Required software changes

Restart required

In the Computer Restart group of client settings, enable the following option: When a deployment requires a restart, show a dialog window to the user instead of a toast notification.

Configuring this client setting changes the user experience for all required deployments that require a restart of the following types:

From the following toast notification:

Toast notification that Restart required

To the following dialog window:

Dialog window to Restart your computer

Important

In Configuration Manager 1902, under certain circumstances, the dialog box won't replace toast notifications. To resolve this issue, install the update rollup for Configuration Manager version 1902.

Branding Software Center

Change the appearance of Software Center to meet your organization's branding requirements. This configuration helps users trust Software Center.

Configure Software Center branding

Customize the appearance of Software Center by adding your organization's branding elements and specifying the visibility of tabs.

For more information, see the following articles:

Branding priorities

Configuration Manager applies custom branding for Software Center according to the following priorities:

  1. Software Center client settings. For more information, see About client settings.

  2. Organization name client setting in Computer Agent group. For more information, see About client settings.

Application catalog branding priorities

Important

The application catalog's Silverlight user experience isn't supported as of current branch version 1806. Starting in version 1906, updated clients automatically use the management point for user-available application deployments. You also can't install new application catalog roles. In the first current branch release after October 31, 2019, support will end for the application catalog roles.

If you're using the application catalog, branding follows these priorities:

  1. Software Center client settings. For more information, see About client settings.

  2. If you connect a Microsoft Intune subscription to Configuration Manager, then Software Center displays the organization name, color, and company logo that you specify in the Intune subscription properties. For more information, see Configuring the Microsoft Intune subscription.

    Important

    Hybrid mobile device management is a deprecated feature.

  3. The organization name and color that you specify in the application catalog website point properties. For more information, see Configuration options for application catalog website point.

  4. Organization name client setting in Computer Agent group. For more information, see About client settings.

See also