Friday, September 5, 2008

Config Manager Software Updates

Why is config Manager's software update process so confusing?  Today I finally figured it out.  It's because an advertisement can get content from multiple packages!  Think about it.  In a traditional software distribution you have 3 objects to worry about.
1. Collection - Target computers
2. Package- contains the files and the commands (programs) that you want to distribute to clients and execute.
3. Advertisement- Matches the Package to a collection to execute at a specific time.
Now in a Software Update you have 4 objects:
1. Update list- A type of template its just a simple list of updates worthy of attention.  This is the object that doesn't exist in normal software distribution.  It's designed to make life easier since you can group together updates in a way that fits your business needs.
2. Deployment Templates- A template of settings that may or may not apply to a particular collection.
3. Deployment Package- Very similar to a regular package this item contains the updates but doesn't have any command line options since the sccm client will kick off the wua to do the install.  It is basically just a storage location.
4. Deployments- located under Deployment Management- this is actually just a very special advertisement.  It contains it's own list of updates that are not what necessarily what is in an update list or deployment package.  The reason for my confusion.  Basically it is an independent object that can grab updates from multiple packages.

The basic thing to remember is that adding content to a Deployment Package, does not add that content to the actual Deployment (advertisement).  After updating an existing package the updates must be either added to an existing deployment by dragging an update list onto the deployment, or creating a new deployment.

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