Robert Marshall's Blog


Home for my ConfigMgr and Industry related ramblings


Owner of SMSMarshall Ltd, active Enterprise Management MVP

    • Fri, Mar 11 2016

    ConfigMgr Build 1602– Deploy overview

    Today I see that ConfigMgr current Branch B1602 released, I installed it onto 1511 today, and thought I’d put together a brief guide to provide a light overview of the installation process, showing how easy it is now that it is integrated into the product . Configuration Manager as a Service (CaaS) really is kicking in, with the flow of change ramping up. The actual Updates and Servicing feature entirety relies on the...
    • Sat, Mar 5 2016

    ConfigMgr B1511 and On-Premise MDM

    I thought I’d cover On premise Mobile Device Management using ConfigMgr Build 1511. So let’s take a look. The simplified list of the pro’s and con’s of mobile device management versus full client management, laid...
    • Tue, Feb 23 2016

    ConfigMgr–Updates and Servicing - Servicing KB3122637 using the Easy Setup Channel

    Microsoft have just released a hotfix (KB3122637) to resolve an issue around support for the Exchange Connector, that impacts both the older and new version of ConfigMgr. I’ll use this hotfix to demo the Updates and Servicing feature , also known as the Easy Setup Channel, and it really does make an administrators life easier. This is something I’ve wanted for a very long time, to integrate updates so that we don’t have...
    • Sun, Jan 10 2016

    System Center Store–Proxy blocking resolved

    I solved two problems affecting System Center Store this week. System Center Store uses a specific URL to fetch the zipped and encrypted XML Manifest file from the web, this URL (a Microsoft owned domain, SharePoint farm) is rated as Script\Medium risk by BlueCoat, which causes it to be blocked by some companies Proxy servers, depending on how they have configured the categories for blocking. This caused the tool to fail...
    • Tue, Jan 5 2016

    How do I find all these great ConfigMgr free tools

    Some time back I wrote a free content downloader (superb if I don’t say so myself!) that currently contains 141 of the finest tools, scripts and ‘things’ that make us engineers go “Cool”. Key features that make me want to reuse this tool are: No need to have to remember all the web locations for various tooling and content when I visit a customer Takes the clicks and pain out of getting content and tooling, just select...
    • Fri, Jan 1 2016

    MVP Enterprise Management - 2016

    Dear Robert Marshall, Congratulations! We are pleased to present you with the 2016 Microsoft® MVP Award! This award is given to exceptional technical community leaders who actively share their high quality, real world expertise with others. We appreciate your outstanding contributions in Enterprise Mobility technical communities during the past year. Very pleased to be informed that I am an MVP for another year. This...
    • Fri, Dec 18 2015

    Guide to creating your own ConfigMgr tools – Part 4

    In the following series of blog posts I will introduce you to C#, Visual Studio and the ConfigMgr SDK, and show you how to produce your own custom tooling easily. The motivation behind this series of postings is to enable you to create communi...
    • Sat, Sep 26 2015

    Checking out Visual Studio 2015 and Azure integration

    I’ve been looking at Azure Services for hosting an ASP.NET Application, and wanted to get an understanding of how to set this stuff up. I’m relatively new to wiring things up in Azure, and thought it’d be a good idea to log what I needed to do while going about getting Visual Studio publishing into Azure. Here’s how I did it. I originally set this up last night on my main development machine, my recollection of the steps...
    • Mon, Aug 31 2015

    Files for my SDK and Development with ConfigMgr 2012 WMUG session

    I promised to upload my session files, and here they are. You’ll find a bunch of files in the downloaded ZIP file I recommend that you start with the Slides, although there isn’t “me” talking over them they are still useful aids, and once you get to the Live Demo slide get busy opening and following the Word document I snagged the two DLL’s from a ConfigMgr 2012 R2 Console installation folder, your usage of them will...
    • Sat, Aug 8 2015

    Win7 download of Win10 – Domain Joined – Unmanaged WUA

    There’s reports that Microsoft Windows 7 devices that are Domain Joined, and have unmanaged WUA\WSUS settings can lead to Win10 being downloaded, wasting about 3GB in the process. If the ConfigMgr Agent is on the device but the Software Updates Management feature is not switched on, the Client will not be configured with WSUS settings, and will result in the download taking place the next time Microsoft Updates is checked...
    • Tue, Aug 4 2015

    Hyper-V and Windows 10

    Have you seen the new stuff we get with Hyper-V in Windows 10 ? Windows PowerShell Direct (Trevor Sullivan PowerShell MVP must be loving that!) Hot add and remove for network adapters and memory (this is very cool as we don’t need a management layer to perform the task,we can do it natively) Production checkpoints (VSS based checkpoints, wow!) Hyper-V Manager improvements (updated management protocol, WS-MAN based) Connected...
    • Mon, Aug 3 2015

    WMUG Event – 24th August – London - Enterprise Client Management for the Modern World

    WMUG has an event lined up, going to be awesome, hopefully see you there! Join WMUG on a day of Enterprise Client Management for the Modern World. Featuring 2 x Microsoft Enterprise Client Management MVPs in Robert Marshall and Gerry Hampson alongside the rest of the WMUG team and our event sponsor Secunia. 24th August – London The agenda will be as follows: Time Subject Speaker 08:30 Registration & Coffee 09:00 Welcome...
    • Sun, Aug 2 2015

    System Center Store

    Every now and then you get to make something really cool, and recently, it was my turn to get a sip of cool when I produced an awesome tool called ConfigMgr Store. A .Net 4.0 based app written in C# that centralised dozens of tools into one interface, making it easy to download tools, scripts and documentation by just ticking them off and clicking a download button. Removes all that hard work to get your toolset together...
    • Sun, Aug 2 2015

    Windows Update Agent – Windows 10 – New logging format

    ConfigMgr 2012 admins running Windows 10 should be learning a bit about what is going on with the Windows 10 Windows Updates Clients new logging feature, Event Tracing for Windows This is how you use to read it, with the WindowsUpdate log: This is how you read it now in Windows 10, from a binary encoded ETL file: More info on...
    • Mon, Jul 27 2015

    ConfigMgr Inbox Monitor update coming soon

    Has been a while since I wrote a blog post, I’ll get back into it as I have so much to share. In the meantime, while I build up the ‘momentum’, here’s a shot or two of my Inbox Monitor 1.4.3 tool which is currently being finished off and should be released in a day or two. Key features: Now Multi-threaded, the tool is more responsive during heavy file recursion, grid population and file streaming Logging to a textual...
    • Sat, May 16 2015

    CMStore for ConfigMgr

    Wrote another tool, like I do. So many loose ends such as my programming guides are becoming neglected, will return to them soon, but for now, check this puppy out. This tool, CMStore for ConfigMgr helps you download all the other tools out there, from Microsoft to Community tooling. Currently the store has over 70 entries ranging from Scripts, Executables, documents to full downloads of Microsoft resources. The manifest...
    • Wed, Apr 15 2015

    LocationAware V3 Overview Video

    Made a quick video to show installation, configuration and deployment of LocationAware for ConfigMgr V3, check it out below (Please visit the site to view this video) Should get you up and running in minutes, Enjoy
    • Mon, Apr 13 2015

    RELEASED: LocationAware for ConfigMgr 2012 R2 – Version 3

    I released LocationAware 3.0 today, this marks its transition to a fully free product available to the community for, free! This has to be the biggest project I’ve ever undertaken, the complexity behind authoring an agent (LocationAware Agent), a control module (LocationAware Wizard) as well as an Installer, and making sure it integrates with ConfigMgr has been challenging, and exciting, and worth it. Making this thing...
    • Mon, Apr 13 2015

    UPDATE: LocationAware for ConfigMgr 2012 R2 – Version 3 – Free Edition

    LocationAware V3 for ConfigMgr 2012 R2 has been released - Visit here Made awesome progress, but this project is huge, the biggest I’ve ever developed to be honest, and when I think I’m there I always discover new things to ...
    • Sat, Apr 4 2015

    LocationAware for ConfigMgr 2012 R2 – Version 3 - Free

    LocationAware V3 for ConfigMgr 2012 R2 has been released - Visit here I’ve decided to make LocationAware free at version 3. I’m in the final stages of rounding off the coding on a fully home-brew Wizard-based Console, and making modifications to the Agents behaviour. I decided to roll my own Wizard for the sheer control and flexibility it provides me rather than using the Visual Studio...
    • Wed, Mar 25 2015

    Roll your own MSI for testing with the ConfigMgr 2012 Application Model

    Do you have Visual Studio 2013 installed? Want to roll your own MSI? All you need to do is download the free Visual Studio Installer extension and create a new Visual Studio Installer Project. It’s incredibly simple using the Setup Wizard. If you need an MSI with no licensing restrictions, for demoing the Application Model in ConfigMgr then this is a perfect way to go about it. A step by step guide in the form of a KB...
    • Sun, Feb 22 2015

    Guide to creating your own ConfigMgr tools – Part 3

    In the following series of blog posts I will introduce you to C#, Visual Studio and the ConfigMgr SDK, and show you how to produce your own custom tooling easily. The motivation behind this series of postings is to enable you to create...
    • Mon, Feb 9 2015

    Creating a tool on the weekend and using it at a customer site the next day

    I didn’t actually have a strong-use case for developing the Content Location Request Generator tool, I only wrote it as I was helping a guy along the way with his C# and ConfigMgr 2012 R2 CCM Messaging SDK learning, turns out I actually had a great use-case on the first customer I visit after coding the tool! Customer complained that updated package source does not arrive at ConfigMgr Clients … time to check things out...
    • Sat, Feb 7 2015

    ConfigMgr Tool: Content Location Request Generator Console Edition

    I just finished writing a Console based edition of CLRGen for Windows. You provide command line arguments, an MP name, PackageID and Package Version and get a response, useful for automation via Orchestra etc to test if the Management Point is responding, the XML response could be parsed or detected. Usage Example: Let me know if you find a use for it, give me a shout on Twitter @RobMVP !
    • Sat, Feb 7 2015

    Automating ConfigMgr – Merging a DLL into your Executable

    The last tool I wrote, CLRGen , is based on the ConfigMgr 2012 R2 CCM SDK DLL , and communicating with a Management Point using a HTTP Sender, which is not the same as a ConfigMgr Sender. All very fancy and new stuff, very easily approachable if you have the time, patience and a web browser :-) I thought I’d share a technique I just learnt for compiling an executable that includes an embedded resource, the CCM SDK DLL...