This is the second part of a two-part article on System Center Updates Publisher (SCUP) 2011. This part details how you can create a custom catalog for automating third-party product updates.

Third-party SCUP catalogs ^

By default, only three vendor catalogs are pre-loaded into SCUP, albeit entirely for free:

  • Adobe
  • Dell
  • HP

Other OEMs, such as IBM or Samsung, seem reluctant to provide catalogs as of yet. Fujitsu, however, has a catalog for its Primergy servers.

Thankfully, you can find other third-party vendor packages available elsewhere, but ironically there are two companies that provide update catalogs for many popular third-party applications such as Oracle Java and 7-Zip. They are Shavlik (Shavlik Patch for Microsoft System Center) and PatchMyPC.

Custom software update catalogs ^

Perhaps the best thing about SCUP is the ability to create your own updates to deploy up to three file types:

  • EXE
  • MSI
  • MSP

This can ultimately allow you to deploy updates for drivers, applications, or even BIOSes, although the latter is not recommended if you use BitLocker.

If SCUP has an Achilles heel, it’s that the command line is restricted, by design, to avoid mistakes. Unfortunately, this adds an unwanted restriction: you can’t use the dash “-” or full stop “.” characters in the command string. Microsoft is planning a fix in a future update.

Create a SCUP catalog ^

Creating an update is simple enough and is very similar to creating packages within Configuration Manager. You start with a source folder, provide the filename and path, and then populate the mandatory fields for the version, description, and name. Microsoft recommends including all metadata as well as the mandatory information. Note that “Binary Language” is simply the target language and affects WSUS synchronizing.

The interesting part in the wizard is in the following three steps: prerequisite rules, updates, and supersedence rules. You can simply skip the prerequisite rules. They are obsolete and kept for flow only. Any rules you add here will be grouped into the “IsInstallable” logic. Best practice is to just use the rules in the Installable Rules section instead.

Note that you also get the facility to require certain updates to be installed, on the prerequisites step.

Create Software Update Wizard

Create Software Update Wizard

The next step in the wizard is supersedence. This is where you can select what patches to install, in what order, prior to the main update.

SCUP detectoids ^

The final stage includes two very similar steps: installable rules and installed rules.

  • Installable rules determine if the update is applicable.
  • Installed rules determine if the update was successful.

SCUP applicability rule (detectoid)

SCUP applicability rule (detectoid)

These last steps allow you to choose whether an update installs according to specific rules. You can make these rules as simple or as complex as you like, and you can include file or registry checks. Amusingly, Microsoft has invented a new word for these rules: detectoids. If you type WSUS into the search field, you will see a list of predefined detectoids that check language (even Welsh), OS version, and more (see screenshot).

Once you have completed the wizard, you simply need to publish the custom catalog and wait for your updates to appear in the ConfigMgr console’s Update node (see Figure 2: SCUP integration into Configuration Manager). You can then deploy them just as you would any other Windows update.

Summary ^

The key to SCUP is using up-to-date catalog files for any major software vendors you use in your business. Even using Adobe’s catalog alone, though, will reap rewards. Once you include hardware vendors such as HP and Dell, or even your own custom catalogs, the savings can be huge. At the very least, you can spend your time working on more profitable and far more interesting work than patching software.

2 Comments
  1. Neeraj 7 years ago

    Hi,

    I completed my SCUP environment and tried to publish Adobe update to WSUS.
    After following mentioned steps, it was successful at SCUP side, means there is no error at SCUB side but I didn't find update entry at WSUS side, Please let me know what can be cause for this scenario.
    Below are SCUP logs entries:
    - - - - - - - -
    Publications workspace: Starting publish wizard for publication 'AdobeReader11'
    Publish: Preparing list of selected updates for publishing.
    Update 'Acrobat 11.0.09 Update (UpdateId:'7f517bc7-5ff6-4765-81fd-f3f28a3213a9' Vendor:'Adobe Systems, Inc.'
    Evaluating dependency on item Updates Publisher
    Update with id '59653007-e2e9-4f71-8525-2ff588527978' was not found in the database, unable to fully evaluate it and it's dependencies. Updates Publisher
    Update with id '3e0afb10-a9fb-4c16-a60e-5790c3803437' was not found in the database, unable to fully evaluate it and it's dependencies. Updates Publisher
    Found total of 2 dependencies (may include duplicates). Updates Publisher
    2 dependencies were not found in scup database during dependency evaluation for update 'Acrobat 11.0.09 Update (UpdateId:'7f517bc7-5ff6-4765-81fd-f3f28a3213a9'
    PublishItem BEGIN--- Publishing 0 (duplicates removed) dependencies for update 'Acrobat 11.0.09 Update (UpdateId:'7f517bc7-5ff6-4765-81fd-f3f28a3213a9' Vendor:'Adobe
    END Publishing dependencies for update 'Acrobat 11.0.09 Update (UpdateId:'7f517bc7-5ff6-4765-81fd-f3f28a3213a9' Vendor:'Adobe Systems, Inc.' Product:'Adobe Acrobat')'.
    Publishing update 'Acrobat 11.0.09 Update (UpdateId:'7f517bc7-5ff6-4765-81fd-f3f28a3213a9' Vendor:'Adobe Systems, Inc.' Product:'Adobe Acrobat')'. Updates Publisher
    Evaluating software update 'Acrobat 11.0.09 Update (UpdateId:'7f517bc7-5ff6-4765-81fd-f3f28a3213a9' Vendor:'Adobe Systems, Inc.' Product:'Adobe Acrobat')' for publishing as MetadataOnly. Updates Publisher
    Item 'Acrobat 11.0.09 Update (UpdateId:'7f517bc7-5ff6-4765-81fd-f3f28a3213a9' Vendor:'Adobe Systems, Inc.' Product:'Adobe Acrobat')' is already published on the update server and has not changed so no action will be taken. Updates Publisher
    Skipping software update 'Acrobat 11.0.09 Update (UpdateId:'7f517bc7-5ff6-4765-81fd-f3f28a3213a9' Vendor:'Adobe
    Building dependency graph for update 'Reader 10.1.9 Update (UpdateId:'69c5a0e6-ef3a-4890-bf3d-2ac9a526953e' Vendor:'Adobe Systems, Inc.' Product:'Adobe
    No dependencies found for update 'Reader 10.1.9 Update (UpdateId:'69c5a0e6-ef3a-4890-bf3d-2ac9a526953e' Vendor:'Adobe Systems, Inc.' Product:'Adobe Reader')' Updates Publisher
    Found total of 0 dependencies (may include duplicates). Updates Publisher
    Update ''Reader 10.1.9 Update (UpdateId:'69c5a0e6-ef3a-4890-bf3d-2ac9a526953e' Vendor:'Adobe Systems, Inc.' Product:'Adobe Reader')'' has no dependencies. Updates Publisher
    Publishing update 'Reader 10.1.9 Update (UpdateId:'69c5a0e6-ef3a-4890-bf3d-2ac9a526953e' Vendor:'Adobe Systems, Inc.' Product:'Adobe Reader')'. Updates Publisher
    Evaluating software update 'Reader 10.1.9 Update (UpdateId:'69c5a0e6-ef3a-4890-bf3d-2ac9a526953e' Vendor:'Adobe Systems, Inc.' Product:'Adobe Reader')' for publishing as FullContent. Updates Publisher
    Item 'Reader 10.1.9 Update (UpdateId:'69c5a0e6-ef3a-4890-bf3d-2ac9a526953e' Vendor:'Adobe Systems, Inc.' Product:'Adobe Reader')' is already published on the update server and has not changed so no action will be taken. Updates Publisher
    Skipping software update 'Reader 10.1.9 Update (UpdateId:'69c5a0e6-ef3a-4890-bf3d-2ac9a526953e' Vendor:'Adobe Systems, Inc.' Product:'Adobe Reader')'. Updates Publisher
    PublishProgress Publish operation completed. Updates Publisher
    Publish: Background processing completed. Updates Publisher
    WizardBase: closing Publish Software Updates Wizard wizard. Updates Publisher
    Publications workspace: Publish wizard completed. Updates Publisher

  2. Girts 5 years ago

    How is possible create  new SCUP catalog (for example Java). And publish it for other strangers SCCM/SCUP servers. To complement the new Java version, automatically appear other SCUP, after sync.

Leave a reply

Please enclose code in pre tags

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

*

© 4sysops 2006 - 2022

CONTACT US

Please ask IT administration questions in the forums. Any other messages are welcome.

Sending

Log in with your credentials

or    

Forgot your details?

Create Account