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Anyone any thoughts on software reclaimation / automating software uninstalls ...

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Two years ago we started deploying all our software via permanent user collections (using UDA). This has done a good job of ensuring that all users have the software they need. However, of course, because removing a user from a collection doesn't automatically remove the software we now have machines with software the user no longer needs, and I'm sure we wont be the only ones with this problem.


I've heard of one organisation getting around this by permamnently deploying uninstalls to collections that are a reverse of the deployment collections, but I have a couple of issues with this:


1. I can see this would work of device collections, but what about user collections / UDA ? I.e. What would happen if a device had both an uninstall and an install deployed to it because it had a primary user in both the install and uninstall collection? I'd hope the install would win?


2. I wonder how well this would scale? I can see this working on a small scale but we have 600 application deployments / 10,000 users. We wouldn't want to uninstall everything we deploy but I can see we could end up with at least 1000 deployments in total...


Anyone any thoughts or experience on doing anything like this?


I'm also waiting on Microsoft's input on this so we'll see what they say.



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  1. Yes, the install wins;
  2. I don't think I would want to target the double amount of deployments to many users. I would try to make the uninstall deployment collections a bit more restrictive. Search for the installed software on the users primary device in combination with the membership of the user.

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Hi and thanks,


Glad the install would win. Chatting with the guy who is piloting the solution I outlined, workstations display all the uninstalls in Software Centre the first time they are built (obviously) but then things clear up quite quickly once the clients work out what's actually installed / not installed.


Regarding restricting the uninstall collections down to only primary users whos machines have the software, I can see how that would help. Much easier for those targetting devices rather than users. I'm hoping someone might help us all out by posting up an example query, as that's beyond anything I've done thus far. Surely I'm not the first to be asking for something like this(?) Maybe UDA wasn't as widely embraced as I thought it would be? :(

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