Hello everyone! We are happy to let you know that update 1612 for the Technical Preview Branch of System Center Configuration Manager has been released. Technical Preview Branch releases give you an opportunity to try out new Configuration Manager features in a test environment before they are made generally available. This month’s new preview features include:

  • Azure Active Directory onboarding – Creates a connection between Configuration Manager and Azure AD to be used by other cloud services, such as the Cloud Management Gateway.
  • Windows Hello for Business toast notification – A new Windows 10 toast notification added to let end users know that they need to take additional actions to complete Windows Hello for Business PIN setup.
  • Enhancement for online-licensed apps from the Windows Store for Business – You can now deploy online-licensed apps with a deployment purpose of “Available” to Windows 10 PCs managed with the Configuration Manager client.
  • Express files support for Windows 10 Cumulative Update – Configuration Manager can now support Windows 10 Cumulative Update using Express files.
  • Ability to block installation of an application if specified executables are running – You can now configure a list of executable files (with the extension .exe) in Deployment Type Properties which, if running, will block installation of an application. After installation is attempted, a user will see a dialog box asking them to close the processes that are blocking installation, and then try again.
  • Ability to retry task sequence – If a step doesn’t work properly in the task sequence wizard, you can now click “Previous” to retry the process.
  • OData endpoint data access – Configuration Manager now provides a RESTful OData endpoint for accessing Configuration Manager data. The endpoint is compatible with OData version 4, which enables tools such as Excel and Power BI to easily access Configuration Manager data through a single endpoint. Update 1612 for the Technical Preview Branch supports read-only access to objects in Configuration Manager.
  • Data Warehouse for historical reporting – The Data Warehouse enhances reporting for Configuration Manager by storing long-term data for historic reporting.  This enables you to look at compliance, application deployment, and more, with reports that show trends over a period of time.

This release also includes the following changes for customers using System Center Configuration Manager connected with Microsoft Intune to manage mobile devices:

Update 1612 for Technical Preview Branch is available in the Configuration Manager console. For new installations please use the 1610 baseline version of Configuration Manager Technical Preview Branch available on TechNet Evaluation Center.