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Local Publishing

Applies To: Windows Server Update Services

The WSUS API allows you to create and publish custom updates, applications, and device drivers for your organization. The process of authoring and distributing this kind of update is called local publishing. Local publishing is best performed by organizations that have dedicated development and testing resources, since the planning, implementation, testing, and deployment of custom updates is a complex and time-consuming process.


The WSUS user interface will not display locally-published updates, and will distribute only the updates that are available on Microsoft Update and Windows Update. If a WSUS server has locally-published updates, in some cases updates may not display correctly in the WSUS administration console.

There are products, in particular Microsoft Configuration Manager with System Center Updates Publisher, which have update creation wizards and other aids to the creation and deployment of custom updates that are not available with WSUS.

Microsoft Configuration Manager with System Center Updates Publisher offers the following features:

  • Full status messages from clients

  • The update deployment policy is applied to each client

  • Multiple updates can be deployed simultaneously

  • Reports to track deployments

  • Many update editing features

  • Clients download only the necessary binaries from the deployment package

  • Batch installation, efficient scanning

  • Ability to update Internet-facing clients

  • Ability to set up maintenance windows

  • Wake-on-LAN capable

  • Integration with Operating System deployment and device compliance settings.

For more information about how to do local publishing with these products, see Enable third-party updates in Microsoft Configuration Manager and System Center Updates Publisher. Configuration Manager also has the ability to import third-party update catalogs from software and hardware vendors should you choose not to create your own locally-published updates.

Overview of the local publishing process

The local publishing process is divided into seven separate steps:

  1. Set up the update server and clients to trust locally-publish updates

  2. Create the update binary (a Windows Installer package or an executable)

  3. Create the update metadata, specifying when and how the update should be installed

  4. Publish the update to the update server

  5. Test the update by deploying it to a set of test clients

  6. Deploy the update to all clients

  7. Revise and version the update

For more information about this process, see the following topics:

Setting Up the Trust Relationship

Authoring Updates

Publishing Updates

Testing Updates

Revising and Versioning Updates