Leveraging Active Directory to Manage Software Pushes in SCCM


You're a tech support provider for a department with a diverse pool of software applications in use. Every staff or faculty member does not need every piece of software; or perhaps you don't have licenses for a particular application to be installed on everyone's computer in your area. When requests for such software to be installed come in to your office, how are you handling them now? Do you have to visit the person's office and install the software from a DVD? Do you have to grant them access to a share on your file server so they can grab the software and try to install it themselves (possibly generating follow up requests as they struggle through the installation)?  

You can leverage SCCM to automatically handle this type of software installation based on a few Active Directory security groups. The following information will show you how.

Make Preparations in Active Directory

This step is easy. The basic principle here is to create a Global security group for each software title that you want to manage with this method. Populate this security group with the Active Directory computer objects of the computers you want to have the particular software installed on.

ITS recommends a standard naming convention for such Active Directory security groups: SCCM-Dept-SoftwareTitle. Where Dept is the abbreviation used in SCCM for your department and SoftwareTitle is the piece of software to grant access to.

Create Your Collection in SCCM

Now you'll setup a dynamic collection that queries the Active Directory group you created above. To do so, follow these steps:

  1. Create a new query-based collection.
  2. For the query, have it look for system resource, system group name.
  3. Choose the security group that you created in the above step.
  4. Have the collection update on a schedule, like every three hours.

(Screen shots and more information on this process coming soon)

Create the Advertisement

Create an advertisement for the software in question and assign it to the collection you created above.

(Screen shots and more information on this process coming soon)

The Result

The result is anytime you need to install, say, Adobe Creative Suite 5, on a staff or faculty member's computer, simply add their workstation object as a member to the appropriate security group and it will populate into the collection in SCCM. Once it's in the collection it will pick up the advertisement you created above and automatically push out and install the software.



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