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About Software Updates Metadata

Applies To: System Center Configuration Manager 2007, System Center Configuration Manager 2007 R2, System Center Configuration Manager 2007 R3, System Center Configuration Manager 2007 SP1, System Center Configuration Manager 2007 SP2

Software updates in Configuration Manager 2007 consist of software update files and metadata. The software update file is the actual file that the client computer downloads, such as an executable (.exe) or Windows Installer (.msi) file, and then installs to update a component or application. The metadata provides the information about the software update, such as name, description, products that the update supports, update classification, article ID, download URL, applicability rules, and so on.

Software Update Products, Classifications, and Languages

Software updates are synchronized based on product (or product family), classification, and language. Each of these can be configured in the Software Update Point Component Properties dialog box, which can be accessed by using the following procedure.

To open the Software Update Point Configuration Properties dialog box

  1. In the Configuration Manager console, navigate to System CenterConfiguration Manager / Site Database / Site Management / <site code> - <site name> / Site Settings / Component Configuration.

  2. Right-click Software Update Point Component, and then click Properties.

Products Synchronized by Configuration Manager

The metadata for each software update defines what products are applicable to the update. A product is a specific edition of an operating system or application (for example, Microsoft Windows Server 2003). A product family is the base operating system or application from which the individual products are derived. An example of a product family is Microsoft Windows, of which Microsoft Windows Server 2003 is a member. You can specify a product family or individual products within a product family. The products are configured from the Products tab of the Software Update Point Component Properties dialog box on the active software update point highest in the Configuration Manager hierarchy, which is most often the central site.

noteNote
When software updates are applicable to multiple products and at least one of the products has been selected for synchronization, all the products will appear in the Configuration Manager console even if some have not been selected. For example, if Windows Server 2003 is the only operating system that you have subscribed to and a software update applies to product "Windows Server 2003" and "Windows Server 2003 Datacenter Edition," both products will show up in the Configuration Manager repository.

Update Classifications Synchronized by Configuration Manager

The metadata for each software update defines what classification type the update is a member of. The update classification represents what type of software the software update will update on client computers. For any given product or product family, software updates can be defined with many different update classifications. The following update classifications are currently available for software updates in Configuration Manager:

  • Critical Updates: Specifies a broadly released update for a specific problem that addresses a critical, non-security-related bug.

  • Definition Updates: Specifies an update to virus or other definition files.

  • Drivers: Specifies an update to software components designed to support hardware.

  • Feature Packs: Specifies new product features that are distributed outside of a product release and typically are included in the next full product release.

  • Security Updates: Specifies a broadly released update for a product-specific, security-related issue.

  • Service Packs: Specifies a cumulative set of hotfixes that are applied to an application. These hotfixes can include security updates, critical updates, software updates, and so on.

  • Tools: Specifies a utility or feature that helps to complete one or more tasks.

  • Update Rollups: Specifies a cumulative set of hotfixes that are packaged together for easy deployment. These hotfixes can include security updates, critical updates, updates, and so on. An update rollup generally addresses a specific area, such as security or a product component.

  • Updates: Specifies an update to an application or file currently installed.

The update classifications are configured from the Classifications tab of the Software Update Point Component Properties dialog box on the active software update point highest in the Configuration Manager hierarchy, which is most often the central site.

Update Language

The metadata for each software update defines what languages the update file is applicable to, and it provides the summary information for the software update in one or more languages. The summary information includes the title and description for the software update and is configured from the Languages tab of the Software Update Point Component Properties dialog box on the active software update point highest in the Configuration Manager hierarchy, which is most often the central site.

ImportantImportant
It is very important that you select all of the summary details languages that will be needed in your Configuration Manager hierarchy. When the active software update point on the central site is synchronized, the selected summary details languages determine what software update metadata is retrieved. If the summary details languages are modified after the synchronization has run at least one time, the metadata is retrieved for the modified summary details languages for only new or updated software updates. The software updates that have already been synchronized will not retrieve metadata for different languages unless there is a change to the update on Microsoft Update.

Software Updates Metadata After a Site Upgrade

During a site server upgrade, supported software updates are migrated into the Configuration Manager 2007 database and the Expired attribute for each update is set to Yes, putting them in an expired state. Before Configuration Manager client computers are able to scan for software update compliance and before software update deployments can be created at the site server, the updates must be put back into an active state by running software updates synchronization. For more information about planning software updates for an upgrade, see Planning the SMS 2003 Software Updates Upgrade. For more information about synchronizing software updates in Configuration Manager, see About Software Updates Synchronization.

Software Updates Supersedence

Supersedence occurs when a new software update contains the same fixes that were in a previously released software update. In the past, new and previously released software updates, which contained the same fix, might have both been marked as required when the only one that was necessary was the newer software update.

In Configuration Manager 2007, when new software updates are released that contain fixes for previously released updates, Microsoft Update is refreshed with information relating to the new software update and any software updates that it supersedes. As client computers scan for software update compliance, any required software updates that supersede previous updates are returned with the compliance state but the previously released software updates are not returned. The exception to this is when a Service Pack contains a required software update. The Windows Update Agent returns both the software update and the service pack with a required compliance state. This provides administrators with the flexibility to deploy individual software updates or full service packs.

See Also

For additional information, see Configuration Manager 2007 Information and Support.
To contact the documentation team, email SMSdocs@microsoft.com.
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