In a nut shell: Windows Intune Extensions are new features which will be delivered by your Windows Intune Cloud Services (Windows Intune Connector) into your Configuration Manager site.
What are Windows Intune Extentions?
With extensions you are able to introduce new capabilities through Windows Intune are available from within the Configuration Manager console. Configuration Manager administrators can enable individual extensions to gain access to these new capabilities without waiting for the next service pack or major product release to introduce that functionality.
To use extensions, you must first install the Windows Intune connector site system role in your hierarchy and have a Windows Intune subscription. The Windows Intune connector is responsible for contacting Microsoft to download the available extensions. After the Windows Intune connector downloads available extensions, the extensions are available in the Configuration Manager console where you can select one or more to enable in your hierarchy.
After you enable an extension, the capabilities that it introduces appear seamlessly as regular options and settings in the Configuration Manager console alongside existing options and settings. For example, after you enable the extension for email profiles, a new node named Email Profiles appears under Company Resource Access in the Compliance Settings node in the Assets and Compliance workspace. This new option enables you to configure and deploy email profiles to devices along with the other available profiles.
Under the hood
The AdminConsole directory is an important location (%program files%\Microsoft Configuration Manager\AdminConsole) from a Windows Intune Extensions perspective. The extensions are located in this directory from where the installing take place. Further this directory is your starting point for throubleshooting by reviewing the log files. These logfiles are not located as you might expect through the default server log file location.
|Log files||%program files%\Microsoft Configuration Manager\AdminConsole\AdminUILog\FeatureExtensionInstaller.log|
|Downloads||%program files%\Microsoft Configuration Manager\AdminConsole\Downloads|
|Extensions||%program files%\Microsoft Configuration Manager\AdminConsole\XmlStorage\Extensions|
The extensions consists of binaries, languages, xmlstorage and installer.
Browsing the xmlstorage you find updated forms and deployment types which consists of updated properties like detection methods and requirements for updated platforms.
Another example of updating your Configuration Manager site ‘on the fly’ is adding platform support. Having a closer look at DeviceSettingsConfig.xml you see support for Windows Phone 8.1 is added to your Configuration Manager 2012 R2 site.
And as a result of installing the Windows Intune Extensions we have the ability to manage Windows Phone 8.1 devices through Configuration Manager & Windows Intune from now on!
FAQ about Windows Intune Extensions.
Q: Who sees the notification that extensions are available?
A: All admins, but only admins with sufficient permissions can enable them
Q: What admin permissions are required?
A: SiteModify on all sites in hierarchy
Q: How often is the notification shown?
A: Once per console to each admin, or until the extension has been enabled
Q: Can I configure which admins get the notification?
A: Not at this time
Q: Where can I find logging info to troubleshoot?
A: AdminUI.ExtensionInstaller.log; FeatureExtensionInstaller.log; admin console log;
Q: What happens with new console installations?
A: Console will see that the extension is available, and will download and install it.