SCUP Rule Testing

Microsoft System Center Update Publisher is a method to get third-party updates deployed through SCCM and an internal update server.   As I started working with it this summer, I had issues creating applicability rules.   When you create a collection in SCCM you get immediate feedback about the accuracy of your rules.   You either have the number of computers were expecting or you weren’t. 

With SCUP, I wasn’t getting any feedback until I published the rule to the internal update server, imported that to SCCM and waited for computers to check in.   This is not a good way to work.    Fortunately Greg Ramsey of Dell helped me out on the myitforum.com SMS/SCCM mailing list.

We’re using SCUP 4.5, but SCUP 4.0 has the ability to test the rules much more easily.  I installed SCUP 4 to a test computer, imported the update I had created in 4.5, then exported it.  The export command in 4.0 has an option to export the update to a XML with a script. 

Run the script on each computer to determine if the patch is considered applicable or not.   This is a much quicker way to verify that your update’s applicability rules are written correctly.   If you make any changes to your rules, export and bring that change back to your production SCUP 4.5.

UPDATE – As it turns out, this wasn’t as great of a tool as I hoped.   It clearly reported not applicable on machines with no Adobe Reader as I desired.   SCCM unfortunately saw the patch as applicable.   Fortunately I fixed the applicability rules before any damage was d0ne.