System Center 2012 Configuration Manager R2–Web Applications

Now that we have System Center 2012 Configuration Manager R2 in our hands, I thought I’d take a walk with guides over some of the many hot spots we’ve been blessed with in this release. Check out the What’s New in R2 guide for an overview of all the new features and enhancements.

 

Here’s a walkthrough of one of the new Application Types in the Application Model that came with ConfigMgr 2012 R2, it is called a Web Application.

 

This new Application Type essentially lets you deploy Web URL’s to Devices and Users, and using the Application Models Supercedence you can easily update the URL to your web application, or retire the Application completely if so desired.

 

Let’s check it out by creating a new Application.

 

From a ConfigMgr 2012 R2 Console, navigate to the Software Library, expand Application Management and then Applications.

 

From the Ribbon Select Create Application:

 

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From the Type drop down select Web Application, as you can see the Application Models reach is growing, as is evident from the list of Application Types:

 

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Finally, enter the web URL for the web application then Select Next:

 

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That’s the Application created, now further configuration is required (to produce the Deployment Type), Select Next:

 

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Punch in the name that you want shown to the User, add in anything else that’s needed for your environment and Select Next:

 

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Hit Next after confirming the summarised information:

 

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After a few moments of tick-tick we’re done.

 

Back to the Console, the web App shows in the Application List:

 

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Now if you open the newly created Application and visit the Application Catalog tab you can bring in an image as an Icon file which will show to the user in both the Software Center and the Application Catalog.

 

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The Application also has a Deployment Type, let’s open it:

 

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Below you can see the Name of the Deployment Type, this is not what will be shown to the User:

 

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Note that the Web Application URL is greyed out, not editable once the DT has been created. If you want to change this URL you’ll have to replace.

 

If we deploy this to a device or a user, we can pick it up in Software Center or the Application Catalog respectively, and lo and behold there’s our Icon showing up along with the ability to install this Web App:

 

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If we check the new web shortcut by visiting Start in Windows 2012, we can see it shows with the correct name, but the Icon stops at the Software Center\Application Catalog:

 

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I’ve not tested this on Windows Server 2008 R2 to see where it ends up in the Start Menu, but I assume it’ll be present there too.

 

I know a lot of you including my previous clients will all be interested in this new Application Type, but the inability to specify an Icon for the shortcut that hits the Start Menu is let down. This is often how Users get use to finding what they need, be it via a fleeting scan of the shortcuts on the Desktop or the new Start Menu, instead they will just see a shortcut to Internet Explorer.

 

I did play around with this in beta and didn’t think to look at how to configure the Icon. There may be a way to do this, I’ll ask around if an ICO file can be used and passed down somehow, and will raise a request for this as a feature update at a future release if it’s not doable.

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