In this post I will be covering the topic on how to customize Software Center. Software Center can be customized using client settings. As part of customization we can control look and feeling of Software center which can be done as branding the organization name, color scheme and other options.
What is Software Center
Software Center is an application which is part of SCCM / Configuration Manager client installation. Once installed, we have options to see what applications, updates and operating systems are targeting to the device. This also gives the option to check for Device Compliance within the Software Center along with other options.
This is how Default Software Center looks like:
Any deployments targeted to the device / user will only be visible under Software Center to one user only, the user which has lowest session ID, ie. The first user who has logged into the system.
Software Center can be launched by click on start menu > Microsoft Endpoint Manager > Software Center. The default location of Software Center is c:\windows\ccm\SCClient.exe, which can also be easily launched by running following under Windows Run Command:
ccm/clientux/scclient.exe (New SCCM Client – new look)
ccm/scclient.exe (Old SCCM client with old look)
New SCCM Client vs Old SCCM Client
Customize Software Center using Client settings
As part of customization, we can change the color scheme of software center. We have option to customize software center logo as well by specifying company’s logo. We can also change font color.
Login to SCCM server, launch Configuration Manager console and navigate to \Administration\Overview\Client Settings.
Create new Client Settings (or modify existing one) by right clicking Client Settings > Create Custom Client Device Settings.
Under General, specify the name of the Client settings.
Check the box Software Center and select it. Under Custom Device Settings, we can see:
Select the user portal: Software Center, with drop down menu we have another option as well ie. Company Portal to customize software Center notifications, Select Company Portal doesn’t mean Software Center will be replaced. This is used for notification purpose only for any deployment notifications which will be launched by using Company Portal, we can still use Software Center for launching and installing the applications.
Select these new settings to specify company information: change it to Yes.
Software Center settings Customize will be enabled, click on it.
Under Software Center Customization page, we have several options to customize:
Company name: By default the name displayed when launching Software Center is “IT Organization”, provide a name of your organization.
Color scheme for Software Center: To set the Background color
Foreground color for Software Center: To change the color of Company Name and color of font for other notifications.
Select a logo for Software Center: Specify the company logo, make sure following dimension and size values are met or else you will see the error:
The maximum dimensions for the image are 400 pixels wide and 100 pixels tall and the file cannot be larger than 750 KB in size.
Supported format for logo is bmp, jpg, png.
Other self explanatory options available are:
Hide unapproved applications in Software Center
Hide installed applications in Software Center
Hide Application Catalog link in Software Center.
Click on 2nd tab ie Tabs to show what options you want to make visible in Software Center. By default all visible tabs are added, you may remove so as to hide them from users. We also have option to add up to 5 custom tabs.
Click on Add Tab¸ this can be handy let’s say company’s internal link / external.
Click on Defaults tab, with other settings:
Default application filter: All and Required
Default application view: Tile view and List view
We are done with the Software Center settings. As there are other options also available under Software Center application when launched at user side. When we click on Options we can see
- Work information
- Power management: We can further control this setting by enabling it under Client Settings.
- Computer maintenance
- Remote control: Can again be enabled by enabling Remote Tools under Client Settings
Once Power management & Remote Tools are enabled, we can see heaps of other settings which can be controlled.
- Allow power management of devices
- Allow users to exclude their deice from power management
- Allow network wake-up
- Enable wake-up proxy
- Wake-up proxy port number (UDP)
- Wake on LAN port number (UDP)
- Windows Defender Firewall exception for wake-up proxy
- IPv6 prefixes if required for DirectAccess or other intervening network devices. Use a comma to specify multiple entries.
- Enable Remote Control on clients: Disabled
- Firewall exception profiles
- Users can change policy or notification settings in Software Center
- Allow Remote Control of an unattended computer
- Prompt user for Remote Control permission
- Prompt user for permission to transfer content from shared clipboard
- Grant Remote Control permission to local Administrators group
- Access level allowed
- Permitted viewers of Remote Control and Remote Assistance
- Show session notification icon on taskbar
- Show session connection bar
- Play a sound on client
- Manage unsolicited Remote Assistance settings
- Manage solicited Remote Assistance settings
- Level of access for Remote Assistance
- Manage Remote Desktop settings
- Allow permitted viewers to connect by using Remote Desktop connection
- Require network level authentication
Deploy Client Settings
Our Client settings are ready to be deployed. We need to target the Custom Client settings to existing collection which will create local policy for the devices under that collection and apply the settings based upon the settings we have specified.
Right click Custom Software Center and click Deploy.
Select the collection and click on OK.
Client Settings are successfully deployed now.
Verify Custom Client Settings
Login to the workstation and wait for machine policy to arrive or else initiate manually by launching Configuration Manager (Shortcut: control smscfgrc), navigating to Actions and click on Machine Policy Retrieval & Evaluation Cycle and click Run Now.
Once policies are correctly applied, launch Software Center. We can see the modified Software Center settings are correctly applying now.