End-User Experience: Best Practices

Use the best practices in this section to manage end-user experience and ensure fast uptake and low support costs.

Prepare end users with awareness and training prior to deployment

For best results and to avoid unnecessary calls to your support department, you should prepare end users to expect the software updates that you distribute to SMS client computers before you begin the distribution. This initial training can include appropriate screenshots and instructions.

Educate end users with branding and documentation attached to software update packages

The Customize the organization page of the Distribute Software Updates Wizard allows you to brand the software update package and include an optional .rtf file for display on SMS client computers during software update installation. You can use this file to help your end users understand the importance of the software updates being installed or to include instructions on scheduling the installation or required system restarts.

Note that if you are specifying a name for your organization in this page other than the default "Your system administrator," any text that you specify is not localized. Therefore you should ensure that this text is easily and intuitively recognized by all end users, regardless of locale.

Disable Automatic Updates for SMS client computers by using Group Policy

If automatic updates are enabled on a site where software updates are also being deployed with the SMS software update management components, users are likely to be confused, and it will also be difficult for you to perform service-level tracking of software update compliance. For this reason, it is best to disable the Automatic Update service.

Customize the software update description text for end users

By manually editing the software update authorization list (for example, PatchAuthorize.xml), you can provide richer and more detailed summary information for each software update than the pre-populated information that is provided by default. This information is displayed in the Details page when the software update installation notification appears on the client. To edit the authorization list, navigate to the package source folder and open the .xml file in a text editor such as Notepad. Edit the text between the <Summary> and </Summary> XML tags.

Customize software update advertisements to minimize user interaction

The Environment tab in the Program Properties page contains settings that allow you to specify that the program should run only when no user is logged on. Setting this property on your software update installation programs will increase the probability that users will not be interrupted by software update computer restarts. This is especially important for computers running the SMS Legacy Client.

For More Information

Did you find this information useful? Please send your suggestions and comments about the documentation to smsdocs@microsoft.com.