Integrating your users with SMS

One aspect in deploying SMS can be to let your user base interact with the SMS environment. Many organizations don’t take advantage of a lot of the new features in SMS since older versions of the product had caveats of being site-wide settings or not working properly. Good examples of this are the Software Updates functionality of letting the user define their own schedules or using the individual program settings pop up a taskbar notification to open up Add / Remove Programs. An easy way to lower support costs in your organization is by minimizing the need for Desktop Technicians to visit desktop systems by creating standing Advertisements for applications that might be available company-wide and putting start menu links to access the SMS control panel applets easier. In SMS 2.0 you could do it easily however this process has changed a bit in SMS 2003 since you have more options. One way to do this would be to use the Rundll32.exe application as in SMS 2.0 and just use the new Run Advertised Programs applet like so:

RunDLL32.EXE shell32.dll,Control_RunDLL %WINDIR%\system32\ccm\smsrap.cpl

I don’t like this UI though, something about it just rubs me wrong. So lets see if we can do something more nice, nice:

control %WINDIR%\system32\appwiz.cpl,Add/Remove Programs,1

Much better. Now you can create a Start Menu link for your users and build process around this. Its all about education at that point. New users can be instructed to go there for reinstalling software and email communications when you want to give users the ability to run Advertisements early can include instructions pointing to these links.

22 thoughts on “Integrating your users with SMS

  1. I was just googleing about the RunDLL32.EXE shell32.dll,Control_RunDLL %WINDIR%\system32\ccm\smsrap.cpl and found your site:) What I am looking for now is a way to select the Catagory group from a command line.

    Any ideas? in either the Add or Remove or the RAP?

    thanks in advance,


  2. Thanks, that is what I heard also, when I asked a few years ago when we ran SMS 2.0 but wondered if it had changed any with SMS 2.5.

  3. It IS possible, if you use Group Policies, and enter the name of the Category in “Specify default category for Add New programs”.

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