Here’s a great little integration gem I found and just had to share, which highlights a good relationship between the Task Sequence – Apply Software Updates Step and the Software Center.

As part of Corporate Software Updates process it is commonplace to first advertise your new set of monthly updates to a deployment testing or pilot set of systems, however you don’t necessarily want to automate or enforce the deployment of these updates.  You may want to install them at your own leisure or in a more controlled or selective fashion, which the Software Center is great for – but sadly we don’t have any multi-select ability, nor can we queue them up.  If you press the ‘Install All Required’ button in the Software Center, this only applies to ‘Required’ updates – not updates deployed as ‘Available’ – so you will see a similar screen as below;

So what can we do if we just want to install all remaining/available updates in one go without clicking on each one and waiting for the install to finish?  Enter – the ‘Task Sequence’ !

Simply create a custom Task Sequence with just the step to “Install Software Updates” and deploy this to the collection you use for Software Updates deployment testing / pilot.  When this deployment arrives at your system, you can run it and rather nicely it will trigger the installation of all of those Software Updates that you can see in your Software Center – with the download/install/restart status of each being shown right there in front of you.

This is a great little piece of integration between components – something which I find a little lacking between the Application Catalog and the Software Center.

The only downside to this is that a reboot will be triggered automatically if one or more of the updates requires a restart, you just need to be aware of that – which is why my Task Sequence Deployment is named accordingly, to let the user know what they are clicking on.