Flexera App Portal Components

Posted August 22, 2013 by systemcenterconsultant
Categories: Flexera App Portal, SCCM Tools

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,

 

There are several components that make up the App Portal environment: App Portal Web Service; App Portal Web Site; App Portal Service; App Portal Database.

App Portal Web Service: The App Portal Web Service (ESDWebService) is an IIS web service that is used to interact with the host SCCM environment (2007 or 2012). The web service is configured to run as the Local System account on the SCCM server in which it is installed. In SCCM 2012, this web service needs to be installed on the CAS (or Primary Site Server in a single server hierarchy). In SCCM 2007, the web service needs to be installed on the CEN and each Primary Site Server.

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App Portal Website: The App Portal Web Site (ESD) is an IIS website that both the users and administrators connect to in order to generate requests, perform administrative functions, and check status on existing requests. This website can be installed on the SCCM server, or on its own web server. The App Portal Web Site is the single point to connect for both administrators and users.

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App Portal Service: The App Portal Service (ESDService) is installed on the same server as the App Portal Web Site. This service is used to interact with the App Portal Web Services installed on the SCCM environment. This Windows Service runs as the service account specified during installation.

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App Portal Database: The App Portal maintains its own SQL database. It is recommended that this database exist on the same SQL server as the “primary” SCCM database (e.g. CAS, CEN, or primary depending on version and hierarchy).

The App Portal can be deployed as a single, two, or three tier application. The web service, website, service, and database all exist on one server as a single tier application. Two servers split the App Portal components in a two tier configuration. This is usually accomplished by the website and service existing on one server while the web service and database are present on the second server. In a three tier model the website and service exist on one server while the web service and database are split out onto two additional servers.

The following diagram displays the App Portal as a single tier application.

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The following diagram displays the App Portal as a two tier application.

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The following diagram displays the App Portal as a three tier application.

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Introduction to Flexera App Portal

Posted June 28, 2013 by systemcenterconsultant
Categories: Flexera App Portal, SCCM Tools

Tags: ,

In today’s world, people have the ability to connect to an online store to purchase and download content for their devices.  Most corporate environments currently do not provide this experience for their users.  You may know this as an example of the Consumerization of IT.

The Flexera App Portal provides a single location for users to connect to request software, operating systems, and more.  Some key features of the App Portal include:

  • Support for SCCM Task Sequences: Distribute an Operating System (OS) intelligently to your organization by enabling the end user to schedule their deployment.  Extend the built-in functionality within SCCM to perform role-based application deployment.  Automatically communicate to your end users through email to notify them that their system is ready for migration.  Enable scheduling constraints to further control your rollouts.
  • Actions Based on Group Membership: You can use the App Portal to add users or computers to one or more security or distribution groups.  This extends the possibilities outside of native SCCM quickly and easily.  Imagine granting access to a network share or virtual application at a click of the button (once approved of course).
  • Integration with External Systems: App Portal integrates with more than just FlexNet Manager Platform.  It has built in features to enable integration with Orchestrator and WorkFlow Manager.  Also, App Portal can trigger external commands through the request process by leveraging APIs with other systems.  This enables the App Portal to integrate with help desk ticketing systems.
  • Robust Approval Workflow: Approvals can be implemented granularly for any item.  Approvals can contain multiple levels (e.g. manager, purchasing, etc…).  There are multiple approval actions available.  Finally, there are multiple ways to review approval requests (e.g. email notifications, web view, etc…).
  • Software Leasing: Enable users to lease a software title for a period of time, and then automatically reclaim that license at the end of the lease.  This is a great way to reduce cost of expensive software that your users need infrequently.

Further, with integration with FlexNet Manager Platform (FNMP), App Portal provides

  • License Availability Check and Reservation: When integrated with FNMP, App Portal checks for available licenses for your organization.  If a license is available, App Portal will reserve that license during the approval and fulfillment processes.
  • License Reclamation: App Portal can utilize installation and usage data from FNMP to perform license reclamation for your organization.  This enables you to eliminate unused software in your organization, which ultimately, helps towards lowering the operational costs of IT.

I do want to mention that SCCM 2012 introduces the Application Catalog that provides a mechanism for the user to select available software through a website.

As you can probably tell, there are a great number of ways in which App Portal can extend the capabilities of your SCCM environment.  I look forward to providing some “how to” on the next installment of this series: Introduction to Flexera App Portal.

Welcome to my first post

Posted June 28, 2013 by systemcenterconsultant
Categories: General

There are a lot of blogs, forums, and general posts on the Internet that cover Microsoft System Center Configuraiton Manager (SCCM).  This is different from them.  This blog will focus on leveraging 3rd party software and utilities (some paid; some free) to extend how you use SCCM.

This blog is meant to provide technical how to style formats.  Some of these posts will be task based (e.g. how to create blah blah blah) as well as solving business problems (e.g. how to reduce maintenance costs of time money productivity).  My goal is to help you make your life better working with SCCM.

So, what will I focus on?  Well, what I know of course (or what I am learning).  I am an experienced consultant who has had the opportunity to work in a wide range of environments with SCCM.  I’ll be posting frequently on Flexera App Portal, as well as Adaptiva OneSite.  There will be posts about other products and utilities as well. 

So, with that, Welcome!  Thanks for stopping by.