giving something back after taking a lot :-)

Maik Koster at

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Offline Domain Join with MDT

June 25, 2012

Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2 come with a new feature called “Offline Domain Join”. With this, you get the possibility to join a computer or member server to the domain, even if that computer/server currently isn’t connected to the domain. Why would I need that, you might ask. Well, think about remote workers or remote technicians, that might only have a VPN connection to your network. Or you have (or are) an external company (OEM, etc.), preparing the new computers at a remote location and...  ... Read the full post or  be the first to comment. Filed under: , , , ,

MDT 2012 released - MDT Web FrontEnd Version 2 – First Beta released

April 17, 2012

A long time ago in a Deployment galaxy far, far away … only a few Jedi were left to fight the dark forces of manual operating system installations. They created powerful tools to support their fight and hardened them in tough battles against habit and ignorance. New young Jedis saw their heroic efforts, and joined their fight and over the years the light forces got stronger and stronger. Now its time for YOU to join. Today the Microsoft Deployment Toolkit 2012 has been released (Download at http...  ... Read the full post or  be the first to comment. Filed under: , , , ,

Deployment Web service 7.3 - SCCM Client Center support

August 30, 2011

With the release of version 7.3 of the Deployment Webservice ( Download ) a completely new part has been added, integrating some functions of Roger Zanders awesome SCCM Client Center Automation library for Deployment usage. This library enables you to execute certain SCCM Client related task directly on a client like forcing Software updates or refreshing the Machine Policy. The offered functions are mainly identical to the ones offered in the SCCM Client Center Integration Pack for Opalis . And...  ... Read the full post or  be the first to comment. Filed under: , , ,

Deployment Web service 7.3 – Basic security

August 30, 2011

With the updated Version 7.3 ( Download ) just being published, the growing number of available functions, covering more and more demands in todays deployments, it’s not only an advantage of having such a huge toolset available. In its default implementation, the Web Service is configured to execute actions under certain user account. While this makes it pretty easy to troubleshoot and verify the functions are working, everyone with access to this web service will now be able to execute actions,...  ... Read the full post or  be the first to comment. Filed under: , , , ,

Deployment Web service – Version 7.3 published

August 30, 2011

Today I published version 7.3 of the Deployment web service. Beside some small bug fixes and minor additions, three new features have been added: 1. SCCM Client Center support A completely new web service part has been added that’s exposing a couple of functions (55 to be accurate) from the SCCM Client Center automation library written by Roger Zander , giving the possibility to execute certain tasks on a client like pushing Software updates, refreshing the machine policy etc. A full list of functions...  ... Read the full post or  be the first to comment. Filed under: , , , ,

Deployment web service - Version 7.1 released

August 12, 2010

I’m happy to announce the release of Version 7.1 of the Deployment web service . The biggest and probably most useful change in this release is the implementation of NLog as logging provider. As already described in a previous post Add logging to your applications - NLog for beginners it’s now possible to influence the logging at runtime. With this version the Active Directory and the SCCM/SMS parts of the Deployment web service have been updated with this new logging capabilities already. The MDT...  ... Read the full post or  be the first to comment. Filed under: , , , ,


April 20, 2010

I’ve always been a big fan of the PrettyGoodFrontEnd written by Johan Arwidmark . Originally written as a FrontEnd for ZTI deployments on SMS with BDD 2007 it has recently been updated for ConfigMgr (SCCM) 2007 Deployments with MDT 2010 integration. Similar to the Custom Boot Wizard I’ve mentioned already a couple times on this blog, Johan is now also using webservices to query the necessary information from MDT, Active Directory and ConfigMgr (SCCM). For this he wrote his own webservice reduced...  ... Read the full post or  be the first to comment. Filed under: , , , , , ,

Testing your Wizard files, Gather steps, customsettings.ini, etc

April 19, 2010

As you might have read already on other Blogs as well, it is quite easy to test the processing of your gather step and the customsettings.ini. What I would like to add here is, that you can also use the same way to test your custom wizards and scripts as well. It’s easy to set up: - Create a folder that you would like to use for Testing/Debug purposes (“MDT_Testing” or similar). You can also create several folders if you require to test different scenarios - Copy the following files from the {MDTInstallationDirectoy...  ... Read the full post or  be the first to comment. Filed under: , , , ,

Deployment Webservice - Version 7 published

April 17, 2010

While it seems as I can’t make it to this years MMS in Las Vegas due to a huge plume of volcanic ash over Europe ( BBC News: Volcanic ash - Europe flights grounded for third day ) I thought I can at least do something useful and publish an update to the Deployment Webservice with some long requested new functions. I actually just wanted to publish an update to the current version but in the end there were so many new functions requested and added that it makes more sense to increment the version...  ... Read the full post or  be the first to comment. Filed under: , ,

Moving Computers in Active Directory during MDT Deployments – Step by Step

April 08, 2010

In a former article I explained in quite detail how to move computers in Active Directory using a webservice . As I got a couple requests for an updated and more condensed Step by Step guide I also took the opportunity and rewrote the sample scripts to fit to the new MDT 2010 script templates. If you have used this scripts already before, you just need to be aware, that they got renamed so you might want to check your Task Sequence steps if they call the right script. Set up the webservice The scripts...  ... Read the full post or  be the first to comment. Filed under: , , , ,

Version 1.0 of the MDT Web FrontEnd released

March 01, 2010

Finally it’s done! I’m very happy to announce the release of version 1.0 of the MDT Web FrontEnd . It took a bit longer than expected since the last Beta from November 2009 but a lot of nice things needed to be added.   But first, what is the MDT Web FrontEnd ? The MDT Web FrontEnd is a web based alternative for the MDT configuration database. It is 100% compatible to current MDT 2008, MDT 2008 Update 1 and MDT 2010 database installations running on SQL 2005 or 2008. Optionally (and recommended...  ... Read the full post or  be the first to comment. Filed under: , , , ,

Using a custom Boot wizard to boot known and unknown computers in SCCM and choose a Task Sequence to run – Step by Step

January 13, 2010

In some recent posts I wrote about how to create a custom boot wizard. During these posts I used an example which would be able to boot any known and unknown computer from SCCM, reads a list of available Collections having an OSD Task Sequence advertised to choose from, then drop the computer into one of these collections on the fly and wait until the Advertisement would be available for the computer before handing over to the Task Sequence engine which would then query the SCCM Server for an advertised...  ... Read the full post or  be the first to comment. Filed under: , , , , ,

Some things I don’t like about the MDT Database

August 31, 2009

Actually I really like the idea of the MDT Database and the flexibility it brings into your deployments. But there are a couple of things which are, let’s say not optimal, and some drove me nuts during the creation of the web frontend. Combined Primary Keys change during time The “Settings_Administrators”, “Settings_Applications”, “Settings_Packages” and “Settings_Roles” tables are all built according to the same schema. They have a combined Primary...  ... Read the full post or  the 2 comments. Filed under: , , ,

MDT Web Frontend goes Beta

August 22, 2009

I`m happy to announce that the MDT Web Frontend finally has reached Beta status. A Big Thank You to Jason Scheffelmaer who did a lot of testing and with whom I could exchange a lot of ideas on how to implement and improve certain parts. The FrontEnd is now a full feature replacement of the Deployment Workbench Database Part (2008. Support for 2010 will come soon). Plus it contains already some features like Search for Locations(even after Gateways)/MakeModels/Roles/Computers Drag&Drop Re-ordering...  ... Read the full post or  be the first to comment. Filed under: , ,