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Applications vs Packages

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#1 Kevin79


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Posted 16 April 2012 - 01:56 PM

What is the difference between Applications and Packages in SCCM 2012?

#2 PR.



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Posted 18 April 2012 - 03:47 PM

Yer, I'd like to know to, I've set up a load of packages as they were in SCCM2007 but it seems to offer software via the Application Catalog and Software Center you need to use "Applications" instead

#3 nitcoolish



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Posted 19 April 2012 - 10:00 AM

Yes. I find that any msi/exe file which i can implement using a package, I can do the same with Applications.
However some clear distinctions would be that applications provide better requirements handling (file system/registy/installer properties) than packages.
Also, the deployment type need not be manually configured for an application as it intrinsicly defines the each type.

Are there other differences? Licensing etc?

#4 willisj318


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Posted 19 April 2012 - 03:13 PM

Applications can more easily be assigned to groups, users or collections instead of collections. Applications are used with device affinity. You can use rules with applications. You can require approval if desired. You can use applications to alert for comliance.

Packages is the old way, it is virtually the same as it was in 2007.

#5 DavidRandall



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Posted 20 April 2012 - 09:49 PM

Conceptually, start by thinking of it like this:

Package = "run a command"
Application = "keep a program installed on this system"

As @willisj318 states, there are other features in the system that are tied to applications (versus packages). However, in the end, ConfigMgr has no idea what running the "install command" did in a package. I could run a batch file, format a disk, set some environment variables, uninstall an MSI, or install an application. Once it ran the command, it was unaware of the change made.

Applications (and the application model that they are based on) capture much more about the intent that you as an administrator have for that application. For example, you can define requirement rules for the application. The system determines at install time whether the application meets the requirement rules. Typically, in ConfigMgr 2007 or in MSI's themselves, you had to define collections with those requirement rules, or create custom actions in the MSI to enforce the requirements. A requirement can also be the presence of another application (e.g. a dependency) - so the system will automatically install a required program if it's not present. Applications also can be enforced to be removed (and they will get removed again if the user re-installs them). Applications can be superseded with a new version and have the old version automatically removed. Applications can have their versions tracked over time and you can revert the system back to a previous version if needed. There are many advantages to applications, and we encourage you to look at moving your applications into the application model, out of packages. There may be some need to retain packages (they do work effectively at running scripts or doing simple "tasks").

Software Center can deploy and manage both packages and applications, but the Installed Software tab in Software Center only shows applications (reason being - a package could be simply a script that was run, not a real application that was installed). The Application Catalog supports both packages and applications, but there is limited information for a package that can be shown to users in the application catalog.

Some additional info is here: http://technet.micro...y/gg699359.aspx under the "Software Deployment" section.

Hope that helps!

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#6 Wallacetech



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Posted 31 October 2012 - 06:09 PM

Hi Dave.

I am interested in what you said about forcing applications to uninstall. Could you provide more information on that

#7 michaelhbt



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Posted 01 April 2014 - 10:58 PM

I know this thread is a little old, but I have come across a situation where an application wouldnt work.

I am trying to deploy HKCU settings using a simple "regedit /s file.reg"

I published the application to a user collection and the

user experience is set to 'Install for a User','only when the user is logged on'


The result is that the regentries appear in the SYSTEM HKCU Hive


When I recreate the application as a package, set it to

Run only when user logged in and 'Run with User rights'


The result is that it appears in the currently logged in Users HKCU hive.


What am I missing?

#8 Peter33


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Posted 02 April 2014 - 02:07 PM

That's actually a case where i would use Compliance Settings instead of packages or applications.

#9 Bofinn



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Posted 20 June 2014 - 02:07 PM

When I deal with HKCU reg settings I use a task sequence.  Check the box "run this step as the following account" and use:  %computername%\User and enter the password.

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