Capabilities in Technical Preview 1703 for Configuration Manager

Applies to: Configuration Manager (technical preview branch)

This article introduces the features that are available in the Technical Preview for Configuration Manager, version 1703. You can install this version to update and add new capabilities to your Configuration Manager technical preview site. Before installing this version of the technical preview, review the introductory topic, Technical Preview for Configuration Manager, to become familiar with general requirements and limitations for using a technical preview, how to update between versions, and how to provide feedback about the features in a technical preview.

The following are new features you can try out with this version.

Deploy volume-purchased iOS apps to device collections

You can now deploy licensed apps to devices as well as users. Depending on the apps ability to support device licensing, an appropriate license will be claimed when you deploy it, as follows:

Configuration Manager version App supports device licensing? Deployment collection type Claimed license
Earlier than 1702 Yes User User license
Earlier than 1702 No User User license
Earlier than 1702 Yes Device User license
Earlier than 1702 No Device User license
1702 and later Yes User User license
1702 and later No User User license
1702 and later Yes Device Device license
1702 and later No Device User license

You can now provide end users with a direct link to an application in Software Center. This means they no longer must open Software Center and search for an application before they can install it. This is available only for Configuration Manager applications, not packages and programs or task sequences.

Try it out

Use the following URL format to open Software Center to a particular application:

Softwarecenter:SoftwareId=Application Identifier

How to get the application identifier of an application.

  1. In the Configuration Manager console, click Software Library.
  2. In the Software Library workspace, expand Application Management, and then click Applications.
  3. In the Applications view, right-click one of the column headers, and then, from the list, select CI Unique ID. You'll see that the unique ID of each application is now shown in the list.
  4. Note the CI Unique ID of the application you want to provide a link to, for example: ScopeId_1672B0CD-912A-4613-9BAB-D4EF2696D416/Application_970b1fef-1f38-405c-ad37-c753400b895f/2
  5. Then, remove any text following the application GUID, in this case /2. This leaves you with the application identifier.
  6. Finally, to finish constructing the link, precede it with Softwarecenter:SoftwareID=. Using the example above, the final link will read: Softwarecenter:SoftwareId= ScopeId_1672B0CD-912A-4613-9BAB-D4EF2696D416/Application_970b1fef-1f38-405c-ad37-c753400b895f.

By using this link, end users can open Software Center directly to the application you specified.

PFX certificates for Configuration Manager Windows client computers

You can now deploy PFX certificate profiles you imported to Configuration Manager client computers running Windows 10.

Try it out

Use the instructions in How to create PFX certificate profiles to import a PFX profile, deploy the profile, and then check if the certificate was installed for the targeted user.

Configure Azure Services wizard

Technical preview 1703 introduces the Configure Azure Services wizard. This wizard provides a common configuration experience that replaces the individual workflows to set up the cloud services you use with Configuration Manager. This is done by using an Azure web app to provide the subscription and configuration details that you otherwise enter each time you set up a new Configuration Manager component or service with Azure.

With technical preview 1703, only Windows Store for Business (WSfB) is configured by using this wizard. Other cloud services are configured by using their separate workflows.

Prerequisites and planning

When you set up a connection between Configuration Manager and the Windows Store for Business, you must provide a folder where app content synchronized from the store will be kept. To ensure that this folder is secure and that its content can be deployed to devices, make sure the following permissions are in place:

  • The computer on which you install the service connection point site system role (the top-level site in the hierarchy) must have read and write permissions to the folder you specified when using the Computer$ account.

  • The app author must have read permissions to the folder you specified.

  • The Computer$ account of each computer that hosts an instance of the SMS Provider must be able to use the folder you specified.

In Microsoft Entra ID, register Configuration Manager as a web application or Web API management tool. This creates the client ID that you will need later.

Use the wizard to configure the WSfB cloud service

  1. In the console, go to Administration > Overview > Cloud Services Management > Azure > Azure Services, and then choose Configure Azure Services to start the Azure Services Wizard.

  2. On the Azure Services page, select the service you want to configure, and then click Next. With this preview, only WSfB can be configured.

  3. On the General page, provide a friendly name for the Azure service name and an optional description, and then click Next.

  4. On the App page, specify your Azure environment, and then click Browse to open the Server App window.

  5. In the Server App window, select the server app you want to use, and then click OK. Server apps are the Azure web apps that contain the configurations for your Azure account, including your Tenant ID, Client ID, and a secret key for clients. If you do not have an available server app, use one of the following:

    • Create: To create a new server app, click Create. Provide a friendly name for the app and the tenant. Then, after you sign-in to Azure, Configuration Manager creates the web app in Azure for you, including the Client ID and secret key for use with the web app. Later, you can view these from the Azure portal.
    • Import: To use a web app that already exists in your Azure subscription, click Import. Provide a friendly name for the app and the tenant, and then specify the Tenant ID, Client ID, and the secret key for the Azure web app that you want Configuration Manager to use. After you Verify the information, click OK to continue.

  6. Review the Information page and complete any additional steps and configurations as directed. These configurations are necessary to use the service with Configuration Manager. For example, to configure WSfB:

    1. In Azure you must register Configuration Manager as a web application or Web API and record the client ID. You also specify a client key for use by the management tool (which is Configuration Manager).

    2. In the WSfB console you must configure Configuration Manager as the store management tool, enable support for offline licensed apps, and then purchase at least one app.

    Click Next when you are ready to continue.

  7. On the App Configurations page, complete the app catalog and language configurations for this service, and then click Next.

  8. After the wizard completes, the Configuration Manager console shows that you have configured Windows Store for Business as a Cloud Service Type.

You can now use the remainder of the Current Branch content for managing apps from the WSfB to synchronize, create and deploy, and monitor Windows Store for Business Apps.

Modify a cloud service configuration

You can view and edit the properties of a cloud service to modify the configuration.

In the console go to Administration > Overview > Cloud Services Management > Azure > Azure Services, and then choose Configure Azure Services, select a Cloud Service and then choose Properties.

Convert from BIOS to UEFI during an in-place upgrade

Windows 10 Creators Update introduces a simple conversion tool that automates the process to repartition the hard disk for UEFI-enabled hardware and integrates the conversion tool into the Windows 7 to Windows 10 in-place upgrade process. When you combine this tool with your operating system upgrade task sequence and the OEM tool that converts the firmware from BIOS to UEFI, you can convert your computers from BIOS to UEFI during an in-place upgrade to the Windows 10 Creators Update. For details, see Task sequence steps to manage BIOS to UEFI conversion.

Collapsible task sequence groups

This version introduces the ability to expand and collapse task sequence groups. You can expand or collapse individual groups or expand or collapse all groups at once.

Client settings to configure Windows Analytics for Upgrade Readiness

Beginning with this version, you can use device client settings to simplify the configuration of the Windows diagnostic data necessary to use Windows Analytics solutions like Upgrade Readiness with Configuration Manager. Configuration Manager can retrieve data from Windows Analytics that can provide valuable insights into the current state of your environment based on the Windows diagnostic data reported by your client computers. Windows diagnostic data is reported by client computers to the Windows diagnostic service, and then relevant data is subsequently transferred to Windows Analytics solutions that are hosted in one of your organization's OMS workspaces. Upgrade Readiness is a Windows Analytics solution that can help you prioritize decisions about Windows upgrades for your managed devices.


  • You must have configured your site to use the Upgrade Readiness cloud service.

Configure Windows Analytics client settings

To configure Windows Analytics, in the Configuration Manager console go to Administration > Client Settings, double-click Create Custom Device Client Settings and then check Windows Analytics.

Then, configure the following after navigating to the Windows Analytics settings tab:

  • Commercial ID
    The commercial ID key maps information from devices you manage to the OMS workspace that hosts your organization's Windows Analytics data. If you have already configured a commercial ID key for use with Upgrade Readiness, use that ID. If you do not yet have a commercial ID key, generate your commercial ID key.

  • Set a Diagnostic data level for Windows 10 devices

  • Choose to opt-in to commercial data collection on Windows 7, 8 and 8.1 devices

  • Configure Internet Explore data collection On devices running Windows 8.1 or earlier, Internet Explorer data collection can allow Upgrade Readiness to detect web app incompatibilities that could prevent a smooth upgrade to Windows 10. Internet Explorer data collection can be enabled on a per internet zone basis.