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How can we improve Configuration Manager?

Combine Software Center and Application Catalog into a Single application

We would like to see a single web portal, preferably HTML-based, to marry the Software Center and Application Catalog. We deploy both types of offerings, and a single place for users to get new software would be great.

416 votes
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  • Jason Kellar commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    is there any intention of bringing the approval process out of the browser and into the software center?

  • hiway65n commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    I like the combined as seen in TP3, however definitely need to keep the ability to hide the catalog portion in software center (like you can also do currently in TP3) since in our environment we use a custom take that uses a third party catalog to choose software and we have some custom work behind the scenes that use the web services of the CM catalog. So keeping a way to hide the catalog in the client software center is best since we created processes around it not being in software center.

  • Matt Schultz commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    Also, a giant policy refresh button... with visible status... in the combined dialog would be very helpful!

  • cgsilver commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    Hi, I second the Idea to have separate tab for Updates and showing appwiz stuff there too.
    Patches in Applications, with the current view, don't make much sense. In Installation Status the view is OK, however the ability to install not all but more than one (selecting w checkboxes like in current SC) is really missing (or at least ctrl/shift selection possibility).
    But all in all I have good feelings about this new Software Center!
    I'll keep testing :)

  • Anonymous commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    It looks good on a first glance. However, pls pls pls add a separate tab for Updates! In scenarios where you have to enable manual installation. I know there is filter, but updates and software are not the same...
    Also Installed software and updates (appwiz.cpl/from registry) would be nice to show in Software Center IMHO :)

  • Js commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    This is great, however you need to provide integration with SCSM/portal too. Approval workflows etc

  • Peter Lockington commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    One place for software self-service would be much easier for our users, and preferably web-based like the Application Catalog. We will be making our standard desktop Windows 10 with Edge as the default browser, so Silverlight is a problem.

  • A. G. commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    Even better if you do it modularized: so it could be client based, web based and also be integrated in a Service Manager Self Service Portal using SCSM and SharePoint (please also do it compatible for SharePoint 2016 and onwards).
    What is nice with Software Center: you can specify Plattform requirements, if not met, it doesn't even show up in the list. It would be nice to have that functionality for the new portal, regardless of deployment to user or device.

  • Thorsten commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    It would be a good idea, if the combined portal always displays the current state, i.e. if an application (appmodel or legacy package/program) is available or already installed. App evaluation and execution history lookup should be done before user clicks "Install".

    In CM2012R2, for user-based deployments, Software Center only displays apps, that I have installed by myself from the catalog. As a result, other users of the same machine unnecessarily reinstall legacy packages, because they do not know, if it is installed. (This is only ok for programs or deployment types which run with user rights / installation behavior "Install for user".)

  • Nathan McNulty commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    While I understand InTune is the future of MDM, merging these into an HTML-based (non-Silverlight) web app, you would technically be able to support all platforms (Windows, OS X, Linux, iOS, Android, and Windows Phone) from a single web app. I believe this would bring consistency to the end user and flexibility to the administrator by have a single, unified location that users can go to install (and request!) apps.

    The other huge advantage of going with a web based app is that you only have to code one product that you know will always support whatever future platforms may come along instead of having to write native code from scratch that attempts to look similar to other platforms.

  • MH101 commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    I agree with Rube's comment below: "I would like the ability to control which users and devices get to even see the portal."

  • Justin King commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    My biggest "worry" about integrating into the software center is that has a polling interval whereas the app catalog queries on log in/refresh and thus feels instant to the user. The later is much MUCH friendlier to users when talking to helpdesk who can grant permissions and simply ask the user to hit F5. With the software center you have to hop into the control panel .. find the appropriate policy task ... etc.

    If a "fat client" ends up being them model MS uses please consider a refresh button right in the software center. Honestly though ... wouldn't a little HTML5 be 1000x better?

  • Fabio RINCON commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    The application portal should also function for Apple/Mac computers with same end-user experience no matter what browser they are using. We have an extremely large environment and a growing number of OSX users that could self serve better. Being a K-12 school district with over 170k students, I wonder if it would be possible to one day leverage this portal to self-serve books to students.

  • Greg commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    Agree. This is an un-intuitive approach and not "user experience" sensitive

  • Chris Cools commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    I totally agree with Rube, please provide a way for us, administrators, to control who gets to see the portal. We need this on certain devices that are setup for continuity reasons and shouldn't be modified in any way by a user. No uninstalls, no additional installs. There are ways to ensure this but they require additional management and makes us treat devices (or sometimes users) in other than the mainstream ways. Giving us a simple policy setting 'hide portal on device / for user' would simplify life hugely. Thanks, looking forward to the unified solution!

  • Rube Rahman commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    As you look to revamp this, I would add that the display of the Software Center portal should be configurable as a client-side policy setting. Right now, you can either choose to install it during client install or not. I would like the ability to control which users and devices get to even see the portal.

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