The software updates feature in System Center 2012 Configuration Manager provides a set of tools and resources that can help you manage the complex task of tracking and applying software updates to client computers in your enterprise.

Software updates in System Center 2012 Configuration Manager are composed of two main parts. The first part is the metadata, which is the information about each software update. Metadata is stored in the site server database. The second part is the software update file, which is what client computers download and run to install the software update.

There are three main operational phases. The synchronization phase is when the software update metadata is synchronized from the upstream Windows Server Update Services (WSUS) server, or from Microsoft Update, and inserted into the site server database. The compliance assessment phase is when client computers scan for software update compliance and report their compliance state for synchronized software updates. The deployment phase is when software updates are selected for deployment by the administrator, the software updates policy is sent to client computers, and then the software update files are downloaded to and installed on client computers.

For information about using Software Updates in System Center 2012 Configuration Manager, see

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