Application Approval Workflow in System Center 2012

When and How to use it (Part I)

The following blog is about the experience of one of the A-Team members, Anil Malekani, while working with the partner. He was configuring Application Approval Workflow and was successful in implementing it. The post is divided into two parts. The first one will talk about the scenario when you can use Application Approval Workflow and in the second one, about how to configure it.

With System Center Configuration Manager 2012 we have three different methods to make applications available to end users:

1. Create applications from the Software Library with multiple deployment types and make them a required deployment for users/devices.

a. Here end users don’t have to do anything and they get applications which are deployed by the IT.

b. If users need any additional application they write to the IT helpdesk

2. Create applications from Software Library with multiple deployment types and publish them to users. Make applications available on the Application Catalog without any need of an approval.

a. Here users can go to application catalog from a new device and install the required application without asking anyone. The desired deployment type will be given to the user depending on the conditions met.

b. Licensing should be done adequately to make an application available for a user on his multiple devices.

3. Create Application from software Library with multiple deployment types and publish them to users. Make applications available on the application catalog with a requirement for Admin Approval.

a. Users go to the Application catalog and request applications

b. Configuration Manager admin finds the approval request under the Application Management > Approval Request, and either approves or declines the application request

c. If Admin approves the application request, then the application will be deployed to the end user

d. The Admin has to keep a track on approval requests and has to use Configuration manager console to provide approvals

Now if you are looking for a better solution to manage application allocation and distribution then you probably need to look at Application Approval Workflow (AAW). With AAW you can add an approval criteria and a whole new set of approvers for every other application delivered by Configuration Manager 2012.

Just to give an example:

1. For an application XYZ1 requested, a user's manager can provide approval. This will help to manage licenses at the team level.

2. For an application XYZ2 requested, a department head can provide approval. This will help to manage license at the department level.

3. For an application XYZ3 requested, first user's manager can approve and then the department head can provide second approval. Then the application will be deployed.

In all of the above scenarios, you can configure to notify Approvers and requestors when required. For example, you can notify Approvers when they need to approve a new request and you can notify requestor when they got an approval.

The next post will explain how to configure the AAW and how to work with it. Stay tuned!

- A-Team