The new edition to the System Center Configuration Manager Legacy is System Center 2012 Configuration Manager (SCCM 2012). There have been quite a few improvements over its predecessor, System Center Configuration Manager 2007 (SCCM 2007).  These improvements stretch from the big picture improvements in hierarchy to the more granular improvements in custom client settings. This product has made many leaps and bounds from its SMS days. Here are some of the big picture changes that were made.

MOF changes

No more sms_def.mof to extend hardware inventory. It is as simple as just checking a box now for what hardware inventory you are looking for, but testing is very necessary still to make sure you are getting specifically what you want. Ability to export and import inventory setting is now possible.

Management Point (MP) Enhancement

More than 1 MP per site to extend the number of clients each site can handle and help with redundancy. Clients will choose which one they want based off of capability and proximity.

Distribution Point (DP) Improvements

Addition of Software Center

This new tool improves end user experience by giving them limited ability to manage settings for interacting with SCCM, empowering them with self-service. With the end user having the ability to setup “business hours”, this will help with reducing the downtime associated with updates, software distribution, and OSD since the end user decides when they want it done. This replaced the run advertised programs in SCCM 2007.

 

The big picture changes are going to make a very big impact Site/Hierarchy wide. The granular changes being made on a client and feature level will surely make life easier on admins. Here are some of the more critical changes made with SCCM 2012.

Role Based Administration

Permissions can now go across sites and be made granular with security scopes. This is a much needed improvement since it was really difficult with previous versions to separate permissions properly.

Centrally managed client settings

Once a change is made to client settings than they are made hierarchy wide with the default settings or you can be granular and mix in some custom client settings for specific collections. Remember, the custom client settings take precedence over the default settings.

Application Distribution vs. Package Distribution

Packages contain source files that are run off of command line through programs. Applications now have a dependency intelligence that is built into the agent which will

Software Updates Improvements