System Center 2012 Configure Manager includes an application catalog web site, which allows end users to select the applications that they want to install.  As part of this, they provide the ability to specify that approval is required before the software can be installed, a required feature in most enterprises.  If you aren’t familiar with the application catalog, the blog posting at http://blogs.technet.com/b/ptsblog/archive/2011/12/20/configuration-manager-2012-rc-configure-software-catalogue-portal-and-publish-applications.aspx goes through the flow (although it’s slightly out of date, it gets the point across).

But out of the box, approvals come from exactly one source:  the ConfigMgr administrator.  What if you want others to do the approvals (mainly because you have better things to do)?  That’s where the newest free solution accelerator comes in.  The Application Approval Workflow solution accelerator was announced on the Service Manager blog at the beginning of this week:

http://blogs.technet.com/b/servicemanager/archive/2012/03/26/application-approval-workflow-aaw-solution-accelerator-beta-now-available.aspx

The solution works by leveraging three different System Center 2012 products:

  • Configuration Manager, for showing the application catalog and accepting user requests.
  • Service Manager, which handles the approval requests using the “service request” functionality.  Approvers can be defined for each application, groups of applications, groups of users, etc.
  • Orchestrator, which is responsible for doing the behind-the-scenes work coordinating the activities between Configuration Manager and Service Manager.

The beta ends soon, so download quickly.  Expect to see more about this at MMS 2012 too.