ConfigMgr Actions and What They Do

I’ve been meaning to actually write down what the ConfigMgr actions do, so that I don’t have to go through the whole list when trying to get things to happen. Turns out there isn’t all that much out there, and most of it comes from a single source which is located in a blog written by Eswar Koneti in 2014. Click here to see that info.

I’ve tried to update it as much as possible, and also link to the Microsoft documentation where it talks about the specific actions. This list is also based on Eswar Koneti’s work, so all the correct stuff in her is his, any mistakes are mine.

The Actions, and what they do:

  • Application Deployment Evaluation CycleThis action causes the computer to check which applications are supposed to be installed, and also checks to see if they are actually installed on the computer or not. Running this action could potentially cause an install or uninstall of an application (if an application is required) so it may cause some performance considerations on the computer when run.
  • Discovery Data Collection Cycle  – causes the client to generate a new discovery data record (DDR). When the DDR is processed by the site server, Discovery Data Manager adds or updates resource information from the DDR in the site database. This process is similar to running Heartbeat Discovery on a specific client.
  • File Collection Cycle  – This is a part of ConfigMgr inventory functionality. If the software inventory client agent finds a file that should be collected (as defined in the Client Settings), the file is attached to the inventory file and sent to the site server. This action differs from software inventory in that it actually sends the file to the site server, so that it can be later viewed using Resource Explorer.
  • Hardware Inventory Cycle – collects all WMI information from the computer and prepares it to be sent into the ConfigMgr database. This includes but is not limited to hardware info, software info, and client info. This is a part of ConfigMgr inventory functionality.
  • Machine Policy Retrieval & Evaluation Cycle The ConfigMgr client downloads its policy from ConfigMgr on a schedule. By default, this value is configured to every 60 minutes and is configured with the option Policy polling interval (minutes). action initiates ad-hoc machine policy retrieval from the client outside its scheduled interval.
  • Software Inventory Cycle Software Inventory collects information about files on client devices. Software inventory can also collect files from client devices and store them on the site server. Software inventory is collected when you select the Enable software inventory on clients setting in client settings. You can also schedule the operation in client settings. This action will cause the Software Inventory to run and collect the data for addition to the ConfigMgr database. This is a part of ConfigMgr inventory functionality.
  • Software Metering Usage Report Cycle collects the data that allows you to monitor and client software usage. Software metering needs to be configured in ConfigMgr before this will have the desired effect.
  • Software Updates Deployment Evaluation Cycle initiates a scan for software updates compliance. Before client computers can scan for software update compliance, the software updates environment must be configured in ConfigMgr.
  • Software Updates Scan Cycle Just after a software update installation completes, a scan is initiated to verify that the update is no longer required and to create a new state message that indicates the update has been installed. When the installation has finished but a restart is necessary, the state will indicate that the client computer is pending a restart. This action initiates this scan.
  • User Policy Retrieval & Evaluation Cycle Similar to Machine Policy Retrieval & Evaluation Cycle, but this action initiates ad-hoc user policy retrieval from the client outside its scheduled interval.
  • Windows Installer Source List Update Cycle causes the Product Source Update Manager to complete a full update cycle. When you install an application using Windows Installer, those Windows Installer applications try to return to the path they were installed from when they need to install new components, repair the application, or update the application.

I hope this helps, and now I have a place to look for the info when I can’t remember which does what.