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Device Categories feedback on why it is largely unusable

The device categorisation feature as introduced in v1606 in principle is a great idea only it has a couple of major flaws in implementation that make it in practical terms largely unusable in a production environment:

1. As it currently stands, it seems that there is no way to get devices to automatically choose a category without offering the choice to the user at enrolment time. Which is kind of what we would want for most people much of the time. Sure you want to have the choice for some users but also for ease and simplicity of use in enrolment you sometimes want to define a user such that all their devices end up with a particular category and without the option to pick the wrong category. You only really want the enrolment choice for people you define as special cases where they could have multiple category types on offer.
2. As far as I can see (and it is hard to be sure without actually doing it in production), the moment you create any category at all, even for testing purposes and even if it is not used to populate a collection yet, any user from then on is going to be offered at the point of enrolment the screen where they have to choose between whatever categories you have created, regardless of whether they are only for testing, in development or ready for production use. So it would be hard to develop this without it being quite visible for anyone enrolling devices and potentially confusing them into picking categories that are not ready for production use yet or are simply not appropriate for them. you really need the option to hide certain categories from certain types of users which you could define by say user based collection memberships.

Sure you can have a test CM2012 environment, however that often is of limited us unless you also have test AD and then have both kept in close production lockstep with your production environment. You would also need an additional Intune subscription just for testing and that simply is going to be a hard business case to make in a lot of organisations.

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Iain Fairbairn shared this idea  ·   ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →

2 comments

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  • Ansgar Geers commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    As a Workaround you can use PowerShell:
    $SiteServer = 'YOUR SITESERVER'
    $SiteCode = 'YOUR SITECODE'
    $CollectionName = 'DISPLAYNAME OF COLLECTION'

    $Collections = Get-WmiObject -ComputerName $SiteServer -Namespace "ROOT\SMS\site_$SiteCode" -Class SMS_Collection | where {$_.Name -like "$CollectionName"}
    $SMSClients = Get-WmiObject -ComputerName $SiteServer -Namespace "ROOT\SMS\site_$SiteCode" -Query "SELECT * FROM SMS_FullCollectionMembership WHERE CollectionID='$($Collection.CollectionID)' order by name" | select *

    # I have not found a way, at the Moment, to find a Automatic Way to get the Device Category ID´s
    # So change the Category on one Device and get the Id with Powershell

    $CATID = 'XXXXXXXX-XXXX-XXXX-XXXX-XXXXXXXXXXXX'

    Foreach($SMSCLient in $SMSClients)
    {
    $SMSClient.Name
    $SMSClient.Resourceid
    $SMSClient.MDMDeviceCategoryID
    Invoke-WmiMethod -Class SMS_Collection -Name SetDeviceCategory -ArgumentList "$($CATID)","$($SMSCLient.ResourceId)" -ComputerName $Siteserver -Namespace "ROOT\SMS\site_$SITECODE"
    $CHECKCat = Get-WmiObject -ComputerName $SiteServer -Namespace "ROOT\SMS\site_$SITECODE" -Class "SMS_R_SYSTEM" -Filter "Name='$($SMSClient.Name)'"
    $CHECKCat.MDMDeviceCategoryID
    }

    hope i right
    cheers
    Ansgar Geers

  • John C commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    Some additional feedback I have on this feature ...

    To make changes to a device category for a specific device, that can be done via the SCCM administration console ... but it appears multiple devices cannot be selected and changed at once.

    Also it appears there's not a way to add/update this via the SCCM Powershell module, either individually or in bulk. I've tried to update this value for a specific device record in SMS_R_System using WMI, but that fails, with a "Generic failure" error.

    In all cases where bulk updating is necessary, either to add this value to a large number of existing devices that were created pre-Device Category, or just update existing values, they would not be able to do so easily, and they would have to be done one at a time which would be time consuming and prone to error.

    Adding a way to do this in bulk would make this feature a whole lot more useable and flexible, as well as save administrators countless hours if they need to update a large number of records, as opposed to updating each one individually.

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