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System Center Configuration Manager Technical Preview 1711 now available !



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Introduction

Microsoft (together with a bunch of Microsoft MVP's in Seattle) have released the latest Technical Preview release of System Center Configuration Manager namely System Center Configuration Manager Technical Preview 1711.

There are two main versions (of Configuration Manager) available:

  •     System Center Configuration Manager (Current Branch)
  •     System Center Configuration Manager (Technical Preview)

System Center Configuration Manager (Current Branch) is designed for use in production, for managing anything from small to very large Enterprises whereas System Center Configuration Manager (Technical Preview) is for lab environments only and is limited to 10 clients. The Technical Preview releases are released monthly, and contain the latest and greatest features being trialed in the product, and usually these new features are the result of feedback from uservoice.

Current Branch releases on the other hand are released only a few times per year and contain stable, tested features that are mature enough to release into production environments.

System Center Configuration Manager Technical Preview 1711 is now available. This release offers the following new features: 

  • Run Task Sequence step – This release includes improvements to the new Run Task Sequence step, which runs another task sequence creating a parent-child relationship between task sequences. See the online documentation  for more details about the improvements. This is currently the feature with the third highest number of votes on UserVoice
  • Allow user interaction when installing applications as system – Now users can interact with an application installation user interface in system context even during a task sequence. This feature is a popular request on UserVoice.

This release also includes the following improvement for customers using System Center Configuration Manager connected with Microsoft Intune to manage mobile devices:

  • New options for compliance policies – You can now configure new options for compliance policies for Windows 10 devices. The new settings include policies for Firewall, User Account Control, Windows Defender Antivirus, and OS build versioning.

Installing this release

So how do you get Technical Preview installed ? There are two methods:

    Upgrade from a previous installation of Technical Preview (as shown in this guide).
    Do a clean install of Technical Preview 1703 (the latest TP baseline)  by using the following guide  and replace the base version in that guide with the  TP1703 release and then upgrade.

Upgrading to this release

Once you have a Technical Preview release installed, in the Configuration Manager console browse to Administration, Overview, Updates and Servicing as shown below. Click on Check for Updates (in the ribbon)

check for updates.png

Next, click on the OK button.

checking for updates.png

After refreshing the console, you can see the update is available.

available to download.png

As instructed, if you want more details about what’s happening, you can read the DMPDownloader.log available in <drvletter>:\Program Files\Microsoft Configuration Manager\Logs, you can use CMTrace to do so.

dmpdownloader log.png

And refresh the console by clicking on the Refresh icon in the ribbon, you should see the update pack is downloading,

state downloading.png

and once it is downloaded the state will change to Ready to Install.

ready to install.png

Installing the update

Right click the update and choose Install update pack.

install update pack.png

A wizard appears. Click Next.

wizard.png

the Features included in the update pack will be listed.

features.png

Select your client update settings and click Next

client update settings.png

accept the EULA and configure the software assurance expiration date

eula.png

and click through to the completion

wizard complete.png

Monitoring the Upgrade

At this point you should monitor the CMUpdate.log available in <drvletter>:\Program Files\Microsoft Configuration Manager\Logs, you can use CMTrace to do so. This log will detail the installation of the update pack.

cmupdate log.png

You should also pay attention to the following log files present in the root of C:\.

  •     CompMgrProv.Log
  •     ConfigMgrPrereq.log
  •     ConfigMgrSetup.log

and after refreshing the console, the state of the update pack will change to Installing.

state installing.png

Clicking on Show Status will give you detailed info about the state the Installation is in, it is broken down into 5 distinct phases in the top pane:

  •     Download
  •     Replication
  •     Prerequisite Check
  •     Installation
  •     Post Installation

show installation status.png

Selecting a phase will highlight what state the update is in, including what (if any) problems it has. And after a while it should progress through to the Post Installation phase, And after refreshing the console you’ll be informed that a new version is available namely version 5.00.8582.1000.

new version of the console.png

and after a while the new console is installed.

tp1711 installed.png

After Installing this version, you can check your Upgrade history by navigating to the Updates and Servicing node, and clicking on History in the ribbon.

history.png

Related reading

https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/sccm/core/get-started/capabilities-in-technical-preview-1711

https://cloudblogs.microsoft.com/enterprisemobility/2017/11/17/update-1711-for-configuration-manager-technical-preview-branch-available-now/

 

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