User device affinity in Microsoft System Center 2012 Configuration Manager is a method of associating a user with one or more specified devices. User device affinity can eliminate the need to know the names of a user’s devices in order to deploy an application to that user. Instead of deploying the application to all of the user’s devices, you deploy the application to the user. Then, user device affinity automatically ensures that the application install on all devices that are associated with that user.

You can define primary devices. These are typically the devices that users use on a daily basis to perform their work. When you create an affinity between a user and a device, you gain more software deployment options. For example, if a user requires Microsoft Office Visio, you can install it on the user’s primary device by using a Windows Installer deployment. However, on a device that is not a primary device, you might deploy Microsoft Office Visio as a virtual application. You can also use user device affinity to predeploy software on a user’s device when the user is not logged in. Then, when the user logs on, the application is already installed and ready to run.

In addition to following the procedures in this topic, you can configure user device affinity when you deploy an operating system to a computer. For more information, see How to Associate Users with a Destination Computer.

You must manage user device affinity information for computers. User device affinities are automatically managed by Configuration Manager for the mobile devices that it enrolls.

How to Manually Configure User Device Affinity

Use the following procedures to manually configure the affinity between users and devices from the Configuration Manager console.

To configure primary users for a device

To configure primary devices for a user

How to configure the site to automatically create user device affinities

Use the following procedure to enable your Configuration Manager site to automatically create user device affinities from usage data that is reported by client devices.

Configuration Manager reads data about user logons from the Windows Event log. To be able to automatically create user device affinities, you must enable the following two settings from the local security policy on client computers to store logon events in the Windows Event log.

  • Audit account logon events

  • Audit logon events

You can use Windows Group Policy to configure these settings.

If an error causes the Windows Event log to generate a high number of entries, this can result in a new event log being created. If this occurs, existing logon events might be no longer be available to Configuration Manager.

To configure the site to automatically create user device affinities

How to import a file that contains user device affinities

You can import a file that contains user device affinities to enable you to create many relationships at one time. For this procedure, the subject devices must have been discovered and exist as resources in the Configuration Manager database, otherwise this procedure will fail.

Use this procedure to import a file containing user and device affinities to System Center 2012 Configuration Manager.

To import a file that contains user device affinities

How to allow users to create a user device affinity

Use these procedures to allow users to create their own user device affinity from the Application Catalog.

To configure the site to allow users to create a user device affinity

To configure a user device affinity

How to Manage User Device Affinity Requests

When the client setting Automatically configure user device affinity from usage data is set to False, an administrative user must approve all user device affinity assignments. Use the following procedure to approve or reject a Configuration Manager user device affinity assignment.

To approve or reject a user device affinity assignment

See Also