Pre-Deploy Applications to a Users Device with User Device Affinity in Configuration Manager Current Branch

In this post, we will review the process for pre-deploying an Application to a users device before they ever log into that device.  In order to accomplish this, we need to utilize User Device Affinity (UDA), and User based Application deployments.

There are 3 primary methods for associating a user to a device in Config Mgr.  These methods are:

  1. Automatic
    This method automatically associates a user to a device based on a threshold defined in Client Settings.
    The default settings imply that if a user has logged in for a total of 2880 minutes (6 – 8 hr business days) in the span of 30 days, then they will become a Primary User of this device.
  2. Manual via Administrator
    This method will allow for Config Mgr administrator to assign a Primary User to a device from within the Config Mgr console.  This can be accomplished from either the User or Device object.
    assign UDA computers
    assign UDA user
    primary device
  3. Manual via User
    This method will allow a User to define the ownership of the device via the Software Center on the device itself.UDA2

Once the association has been created we can create our Deployment.  Keep in mind we are deploying to a User based collection, and we are going to have to make this a required deployment in order for it to automatically install before the user even logs into the device.

On the Deployment Properties section of the deployment wizard, we will make our deployment Required.  Once that option is configured, we will see an option that says “Pre-deploy software to this users primary device”.  When this option is selected, software will automatically deploy to a device that has a User Affinity defined that matches a User in the collection that the Application is deployed to.

At this point, the deployed Application will install when the policies on the client device have refreshed.

Note:  This process will also initiate immediately after an OS deployment task sequence.

This deployment is targeted to a user through a user collection that has one direct membership user rule for this deployment. Normally this user would have to wait until after OS deployment for this required software to arrive and install.

With pre-deployed software, the process is nearly the same, but the user doesn’t have to wait for the remaining software to arrive after logging in. The user logs on to the newly imaged (primary) device, and all the software will be installed and ready for use. This happens  because the pre-deployment process initiates immediately after OSD. The machine policies will be applied including the machine-based software deployments, but now it will also receive details about the primary user and that users policies. Any mandatory software deployments will be installed automatically because by this time it will actually know what user is going to use the computer (given the UDA information is accurate). Any pending software deployments will have its content downloaded to the computer and will be available to the user.

The end result for such device would be: a fully installed computer that also installed user-based applications that were configured as ‘pre deploy-able’.


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