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SOLVED Requiring updates for optional software

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We have several optional applications that are deployed as "Available" for users to install if they want. Once a user installs the available application, how do we enforce updates on it? Right now, if a user installs one of these, updates to the app don't automatically install.
Your updates deployment should be set to required with an applicable deadline. Your clients will also need to be in a collection which have the updates deployed to said collection. Ensure the previously mentioned criteria is met and then run the applicable scan cycles for the client. Additionally you should use a query based membership model to ensure that clients which are installing the applications end up in a collection targeted with updates.

Be careful of setting up too many collections with incremental updates as well. It won't be a specific factor for this purpose but SCCM does not handle a large number of collections with incremental updates enabled very well. MS actually has specified limits (the values escape me at the moment.) You can trigger the same update of the collection manually after adding clients. The time it takes for the process to trigger in an automated manner will be dependant on the schedule used by the client. Without having further detail that is the best generic info I can provide.
Ok, maybe I didn't make that very clear. Some of our software is optional. We deploy it as "Available" and the user installs it if they want it. Once they install the optional software, what is the best way to require updates? Software inventory? If we use the software inventory for a collection query, what happens if someone uninstalls the the optional application after software inventory has made the device a member of the collection in which the software is required? Does SCCM reinstall the software or does it do software inventory first and discover the machine no longer belongs in the collection?
As Garth pointed out, hardware inventory is actually what will collect the necessary details about the system\applications. The name of these two inventory types can be misleading to folks who haven't dealt with SCCM much in the past. It was a challenge for myself as well. This is the most basic summary of an approach I would take to accomplish this.

  1. Create a collection which utilizes query-based membership rules. The query should look for the optional applications you mentioned.
  2. Deploy the updates to the above collection with a required status. This can be done manually or via ADR's. The important part is that the updates have an enforceable deadline and a required status. Even if the deadline is in the past SCCM will recognize this and install the updates.
What I am referencing as an enforceable deadline is that it will need to not conflict with any maintenance windows or custom client settings regarding deployment deadlines. This includes allowing a user to defer the installation of said updates.
Thank you! I really appreciate the detailed explanation, blame... I've been trying to come up to speed in SCCM for over a year now and I would have gone the software inventory route without this forum. It is a bit confusing... not sure what sw inventory is for, but I'll turn it off. We extended hardware inventory to watch some registry keys, so this should make sense when I get in there. Thanks again to both of you!
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