Create collections in System Center 2012 Configuration Manager to represent logical groupings of users or devices. You can use collections to help you perform many tasks including application management, deploying compliance settings, or installing software updates. You can also use collections to manage groups of client settings or use them with role-based administration to specify the resources that an administrative user can access. Configuration Manager contains several built-in collections. For more information, see Introduction to Collections in Configuration Manager.

A collection cannot contain both users and devices.

The following table lists the rules that you can use to configure the members of a collection in Configuration Manager.

Membership rule type More information

Direct rule

Direct rules let you choose the users or computers that you want to add as members to a collection. This rule gives you direct control over which resources are members of the collection. This membership does not change unless a resource is removed from Configuration Manager. Configuration Manager must have discovered the resources or you must have imported the resources before you can add them to a direct rule collection. Direct rule collections have a higher administrative overhead than query rule collections because you must make changes to this collection type manually.

Query rule

Query rules dynamically update the membership of a collection based on a query that Configuration Manager runs on a schedule. For example, you can create a collection of users that are a member of the Human Resources organizational unit in Active Directory Domain Services. Unlike direct rule collections, this collection membership is automatically updated when new users are added to or removed from the Human Resources organizational unit.

For example queries that you can use to build collections, see the section Example WQL Queries in the topic How to Create Queries in Configuration Manager.

Include collection rule

The include collection rule let you include the members of another collection in a Configuration Manager collection The membership of the current collection is updated on a schedule if the membership of the included collection has changed.

Exclude collection rule

The exclude collection rule let you exclude the members of another collection from a Configuration Manager collection. The membership of the current collection is updated on a schedule if the membership of the excluded collection has changed.

If a collection includes both include collection and exclude collection rules and there is a conflict, the exclude collection rule takes priority over the include collection rule.

Use the following procedures to help you create collections in Configuration Manager. You can also import collections that were created at this or another Configuration Manager site. For information about how to export collections, see How to Manage Collections in Configuration Manager.

For Configuration Manager SP1 only: For information about creating collections for computers that run Linux and UNIX, see the Collections of Linux and UNIX Servers section in the How to Manage Linux and UNIX Clients in Configuration Manager topic.

To create a device collection

To create a user collection

To import a collection

See Also