Application management in System Center 2012 Configuration Manager provides both Configuration Manager administrative users and client device users with the tools to manage applications in the enterprise.

Important
A device, in Configuration Manager, is a collective term that includes any kind of computer such as a desktop, server, or a portable computer, and mobile device, such as a phone or tablet.

An application in Configuration Manager contains the files and information that are required to deploy software to a device. Applications are similar to packages in Configuration Manager 2007, but contain more information to support smart deployment. An application must contain one or more deployment types which contain the installation files for a software package. By using deployment types with applications, you can create one application which contains multiple installation files for a software package on different platforms such as a Windows computer or an iOS device. Configuration Manager can then use rules that you configure to determine which software package gets installed on which device.

Applications in Configuration Manager support user-centric management so that you can associate specific users with specific devices. Instead of having to remember the name of a user’s device, you can now deploy software to the user and to the device. This functionality can help you make sure that the most important software is always available on each device that a specific user accesses. If a user acquires a new computer, you can automatically install the user’s applications on the device before the user logs on. For more information, see How to Manage User Device Affinity in Configuration Manager.

Applications in Configuration Manager support state-based monitoring, by which you can track the last application deployment state for users and devices. The state messages display information about individual devices. For example, if an application is deployed to a collection of users, you can view the compliance state of the deployment and the deployment purpose in the Configuration Manager console. You can monitor the deployment of all software by using the Monitoring workspace in the Configuration Manager console. Software deployments include software updates, compliance settings, applications, task sequences, and packages and programs. For more information, see How to Monitor Applications in Configuration Manager.

Application deployments are regularly re-evaluated by Configuration Manager. For example:

You can configure the re-evaluation interval for application deployments by using the Schedule re-evaluation for deployments client setting. For more information, see About Client Settings in Configuration Manager.

For an example scenario that shows how you might deploy and manage the life-cycle of an application in your environment, see Example Scenario for Managing Applications by Using Configuration Manager.

Use the following sections in this topic to help you learn more about application management in Configuration Manager:

The Application Management Workflow

The elements in this table outline the application management process in Configuration Manager:

Operation Description More Information

Create an application

Use the Create Application Wizard to create applications in Configuration Manager.

For more information, see How to Create Applications in Configuration Manager.

Create deployment types for the application

Use the Create Deployment Type Wizard to create one or more deployment types that contain the installation files and commands for the software package.

For more information, see the Steps to Create a Deployment Type section in the How to Create Applications in Configuration Manager topic.

Perform a simulated deployment of the application

Use simulated deployments to test the applicability of an application deployment to computers without actually installing or uninstalling the application.

For more information, see How to Simulate an Application Deployment in Configuration Manager.

Deploy the application

Use the Deploy Software Wizard to deploy the application to devices.

For more information, see How to Deploy Applications in Configuration Manager.

Monitor the application

You can monitor the deployment of applications in the Configuration Manager console, and by using reports.

For more information, see How to Monitor Applications in Configuration Manager.

Deploy new versions of the application

Configuration Manager provides tools to help you produce new versions of an application and to supersede older versions of an application.

For more information, see How to Manage Application Revisions in Configuration Manager and How to Use Application Supersedence in Configuration Manager.

Uninstall the application

Deploy an application with a deployment action of Uninstall to remove the application.

For more information, see How to Uninstall Applications in Configuration Manager.

Typical Elements of an Application

Deployment Types Supported by Configuration Manager

Monitoring Application Deployments

Application Catalog, Software Center, and Company Portals

User Device Affinity

Packages and Programs in Configuration Manager

Support for Windows Embedded Devices That Use Write Filters

Using App-V Virtual Applications with Configuration Manager

What’s New in Configuration Manager

What’s New in Configuration Manager SP1

What’s New in System Center 2012 R2 Configuration Manager

See Also