Software Deployment with Windows #Intune Beta July #sysctr


July 11th Microsoft announced the beta of the next there next release of Windows Intune.

Some key new features include:

  • Simplify the task of distributing software and updates – In addition to Microsoft patches and updates, you can now use Windows Intune to deploy third-party applications and updates to your managed PCs.
  • Manage all your software licenses. If you need a better way to manage all your software licenses, look no further. Now you can upload and track Microsoft Retail and OEM licenses and third-party license agreements in addition to Microsoft Volume License agreements.
  • Get better hardware reporting. We’ve made it simple for you to view or create reports on hardware data—including manufacturer, chassis type, available disk space, installed memory, and CPU speed.

In this post I will elaborate on the operation of software distribution, something that many have looked forward to it. I assume a scenario that all your workstations are currently already managed by Windows Intune.

Upload Software

In our scenario we will deploy the Service Manager 2010 Admin Console targeted to all my managed clients Which are currently a Windows XP Professional SP3 and Windows 7 Enterprise SP1.

  1. First we have to upload the installations source files to Windows Intune. From the System Overview I browse to Software section and select Step 1. Upload Software. By default 2 GB of cloud storage is available for upload your software source files.

  2. Then the Windows Intune Software Publisher will be started.

  3. After downloaded the Windows Intune Software Publisher you have to sign in to the Windows Intune Software Publisher part.

  4. When successfully signed-in with your Live-ID a single file, additional files and subfolders can be uploaded. In this example we’re including the x64 platform folder of Service Manager 2010 setup files.

  5. In the next step information is required regarding publisher, name and description. These information fields are mandatory and are not automatically detected as it´s with MSI´s in Configuration Manager.

  6. Based on your deployment scope you have to define to what architecture and target operating system your software is deployed to. Software can be deployed to Windows XP, Windows Vista and Windows 7 operating systems or a combination of them. In our case the Service Manager 2010 Admin console will be installed to x64 architecture and Windows 7 operating systems.

  7. By defining detection rules Windows Intune is able to detect whether the software is already installed. These detection rules are based on file existence, MSI product code or by registry key.

  8. As we want only to install the Service Manager 2010 Admin console we have to provide some command line arguments. Command line arguments can be used for MSI´s, EXE´s, VBS and so on.

  9. And last but not least custom return codes can be configured to interpreter the installation return codes J

  10. After reviewing the summary of your software will be uploaded.

  11. Uploading your software to Windows Intune Cloud storage takes a while depending on your internet connection and size of your software source files.

  12. The wizard can be closed when your software is successfully uploaded to Windows Intune.

Deploy Software

As we have successfully uploaded our software to Windows Intune we want to deploy Service Manager 2010 Admin console to our Windows Intune managed clients.

  1. Browse to the Software section and select Managed Software. You will see an overview of all managed software, their deployment status, licenses status, etc.

  1. Right click on the software to deploy, in our case Service Manager 2010 SP1 Administrative Console and select Deploy

    

  1. Now we have to select the computer group to deploy our software. This step is common known as creating an Advertisement in Configuration Manager. One or more groups can be elected to target our software distribution. In our case we created already a computer group Inovativ to deploy the software. General software which is target at All Computers group can be inherited to underneath computer groups. This might be very useful for mandatory or tier defined software.

    The software will be targeted to Inovativ computer group were both our managed clients are member of. The deadline will be set to As soon as possible but can be set to various values (One week, Two Weeks, One month, custom, None (which is equal to non-mandatory).

  2. Our last step in the process of deploying software is to trigger our Windows Intune Center if there are any updates available.

  3. Literally in a few moments after triggering the Windows Intune Center looking for available updates a balloon appear in our icon tray right below. Double clicking on the icon we are noticed updates are ready to be installed. Yeah right! You might thinking J

  4. Seeing is believing.

  5. Always imported to a control freak – where are the log files located to keep track of the process? The Windows Intune log files can be found at C:\Program Files\Microsoft\OnlineManagement\Logs. Below is a section of the updates.log where you can see as well there are 8 updates available as told us earlier by the GUI.

  1. Not surprising you we will install the updates including Service Manager 2010 Admin console. As you probably might know managing your Windows Intune clients are based on the Windows Update process. Windows Intune policies and Software installations are downloaded by Windows Updates.
  2. After successfully installing all updates and Service Manager 2010 Admin console a reboot is required.

As you can see it is a straight forward process where you are able to deploy software in relative short time to your managed clients. I am really satisfied the quality of the product. As always there room to improve the product. For example Windows Intune isn’t able you to use the inventory data to make queries and define software dependencies. But that should not spoil the fun. I am looking forward to the upcoming release of Windows Intune J As you might know this is still a beta version.

There are several ways for you to provide feedback, the main ones are:

  • Beta Forum. Visit our forum to post questions, participate in discussions, and find answers to commonly asked questions. Our forums are moderated by the Windows Intune engineering team, so this is a great source of accurate information.
  • Feedback form: If you have specific feedback to share about your experiences with Windows Intune, we urge you to submit it here. Due to the quantity of feedback we receive, we can’t respond to everyone, but be assured we review everything that is submitted. This is how you can influence the direction we take with Windows Intune, and help us make it a great service that helps you solve your IT management challenges. Please, if possible enter only one feedback item per submission (you can enter as many submissions as you like).

In my next Windows Intune post I will go under the hood of the Windows Intune client. Which components and services are involved and how to troubleshoot.

Windows Intune Beta Product Guide

Windows Intune beta Now Available

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One thought on “Software Deployment with Windows #Intune Beta July #sysctr

  1. I haven’t done any hands-on work with Intune yet. My background has been mostly with SCCM. How does Intune fit with OSD or does it? Do you still need a separate internal PXE/OSD/MDT setup to do on-site imaging?

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