Application groups in Configuration Manager is a pre-release feature which has evolved greatly from release to release. Configuration Manager 2002 is no different. Two of my three most wanted features are in the latest release, required uninstall and reverse uninstall order of applications. Let’s have a look at how it looks.
Let’s start with the basics Application Groups are group of applications that we can control the install order of and show them in Software Center as a single application. In my simple test scenario 7-Zip and CMpivot as shown below.
Required uninstall was something that we really needed and it is here, it was available in Technical Preview before and it adds a much needed feature.
Uninstall order has now changed so that the applications installed are uninstalled in a reverse order. When troubleshooting or monitoring Application groups we have a new log file we can use “AppGroupHandler.log”. We will also see the installation take place in “Appenforce.log”. But in this scenario we will use the “AppGroupHandler.log” file to see what is happening. I have deployed my Application Group as displayed earlier as available.
When we install my “Tools v2” application group we can see the following in “AppGroupHandler.log”
At the same time in the “AppEnforce.log” file we can see the applications being installed, 7-zip first and then CMpivot.
When we uninstall our Application Group we can see the change made in MEMCM 2002 and the applications are uninstalled in the reverse order.
We can once again track the progress in the AppGroupHandler.log file
And the Appenforce.log file, and we can clearly see that the Applications are uninstalled in the reverse order.
These new changes in MEMCM 2002 are great! The only thing I miss now to start using it fully instead of Task Sequences is the possibility to install app Groups during OS deployment in a Task Sequence. In Configuration Manager 2002 we also got Task Sequences as a Deployment Type in the App model! Which gives a tons of possibilities and also icons for those Task Sequences we use for Application installations which makes choosing between Application Groups and Task Sequences really hard.