Remote Access Support Tool available through SCCM’s Software Center!

Have there been times where a 3rd party service provider requires remote access to an Application Server (or any server) to work on an upgrade or to diagnose an issue?

Because we’re all security conscious System Admins (right?), we DO NOT want to install any ‘remote application’ that could potentially expose/compromise the environment, let alone that server.

To reduce the surface attack space on our servers, we (Vigilant.IT) have verified remote applications that we have published to our Software Center. This doesn’t mean that we are installing as soon as it’s available in Software Center; we are simply making the remote application available should we need it.

Our primary remote application we use with our many 3rd party service providers is TeamViewer. In this instance we have used GmbH’s Quick Support version of TeamViewer which is ideal in terms of security and minimal surface attack space. We want to install the application on the server, but simply run the executable from the Software Center.

Let’s start off with identifying the process –

What: Make TeamViewer QS available within Software Center.

When: ASAP.

Why: To have available should a 3rd party service provider require remote access to a server in your environment.

How: SCCM’s Application Deployment.

Prerequisites; We’ve created a custom TeamViewer Quick Support application using the TeamViewer website creation portal. Browse here to create your own customised version of TeamViewer Quick Support.

Ours look like below (obviously with an ID and Password);


Here’s how we’ve done it!

Creating the Application

Browse to Software Library and Select Overview > Application Management > Applications.


Right click on the clear space in the middle panel and select Create Application.


Select ‘Manually specify the application information‘ radio button and select Next >


Fill in the information below. If you are deploying TeamViewer QS or another remote application, update the form as you see fit relating to your choice of application. Once updated, select Next >


In the Application Catalog, fill in the details as below.

The Application Name is standard to our naming convention here, but, should you not have one, simply name the application as you see fit.


Under Localized Description, I’ve added a little insight on what we are wanting to achieve. Add in the Keywords respective to the application we’re/you’re building.

(Note: In this example, I have pre-installed TeamViewer (unattended support) to be able to select the icon. If you already use TeamViewer, continue on. If not, simply download and install to collect the appropriate icon/image).

Once updated, we are now going to add a little icon image to our application. Select Browse…


Browse to location of the executable for TeamViewer. Once identified select it and select Open.


Once selected you should be now, able to select the TeamViewer Icon. Select the icon and select OK.


Your Application Catalog should look like below, if you’re deploying TeamViewer. If not, do a quick review and make sure all information is correct.

Select Next >


Once selected we are now going to create a Deployment Type for our TeamViewer Application. Because we are going to use a script based installer select Script Installer and select ‘Manually specify the deployment type of information’. Select Next >


Fill in the details below and select Next >


Fill in the information below as you would according to the way you’ve setup your SCCM environment.


Content Location: (would be the repository where you would keep your applications, i.e. Primary Site Server, Management or Distribution Point Servers).

Select the folder the TeamViewer executable is located on your specific server and hit Select Folder. (as you can see, we have other Applications available)


Now under Specify the command used to install this content, browse to the TeamViewer executable and Select Open.


Once selected hit Next >

Under Detection Method, we’re going to create a rule which will determine whether or not the application is applicable to the server we’re going to deploy against. Select Add Clause…


As we’re deploying the Quick Support version of TeamViewer, we’ll need to find the location in which the application is ‘installed’.

We’re going to use the Setting Type; as File System. Remember, we’re going to interrogate the location in which the application is installed.

With the QS version of TeamViewer, we know that the installation file path is as follows; %AppData%\Local\Temp\TeamViewer. We’re going to look for a folder called ‘Version9’ (or whatever version you’re using at the time).

Leave the first radio button selected. Select Ok.


Now that we’ve got a detection method, select Next >


Under User Experience, select the following and then select Next >;

Installation behavior; Install for user

Installation program visibility; Normal

I’ve left the Maximum allowed run time (minutes); 15

Estimated installation time (minutes); 0


Under Requirements, select Add..


Select Operator; Equals and Value; False. Select Ok.


Select Next > as we’re not configuring any dependencies.


Review the Summary information and select Next >


It should complete successfully.




Distributing Application to Distribution Point Servers

Now that we’ve created the Application within the SCCM Application section, we now need to Distribute the Application to our Distribution Point servers.

Right Click on the Application that we’ve just created and select Distribute Content in the dropdown menu.


Leave the following tick box ‘Detect associated content dependencies and add them to this distributionenabled and select Next >


Select Next >


Here I’m going to select the Distribution Point Group.


Because I want the Application to be available to all our Distribution Groups, I’ve selected ALL DP Groups within our environment.


Select Next >


Review the summary of the distribution deployment and select Next > once you’re happy.



You can review the status of the distribute content process by selecting the TeamViewer QS Application and reviewing the Content Status section (i.e. pie graph).




Deploying /Making Available the Application to Collection Groups.

We’ve distributed the application to the appropriate Distribution Point servers, we can now start pushing it out /deploying it to our respective collection groups.

Right click on the Application and select Deploy.


Select the Browse… button and select the collection you would like to deploy to.


Select your collection group you would like to push out to.


Once selected hit the Next > button.


In the Distribution Points section, you should see that your DPs and/or Distribution Point Groups are pre-selected. If they’re not, select the appropriate DPs or Distribution Point Groups.

Once completed, select Next >


Under Deployment Settings, we’ll leave the action and purchase as default (below). Remember, we want this application to be ‘available’, not ‘required’.

Select Next >


Under Scheduling leave it as default, hit Next >


Again, you can leave this section, User Experience as default and select Next >


Leave the Alerts section as Default as well, and select Next >


Review the Summary section and make sure you’re happy with the information. Once reviewed, select Next >


You should see the deployment to the collection group, successful.




 Test Deployment Phrase

We will now look at installing this onto one of the servers that is in the Test Collection Group.

One the server in question, browse to ‘Software Center‘.


Generally, you should give the server a minute or two prior to seeing the application appear within the Software Center.


You should see the below image state that the application is available to Install. As you can see, I have initiated the installation.


Once installed, you should see your customised remote application, appear and ready for your 3rd party service company to connect.



Office 365 – The Way Forward

As companies of all shapes and sizes begin to understand and accept that the way forward is operating from the so-called ‘cloud’, having your data stored on a server in your office (in a cupboard hidden away) is definitely legacy, old practice, and limiting. You could say this was so 2000’s era!

Now with a lot of major companies out there offering their form of ‘cloud’ services, Amazon, Google and Dropbox just to name a few, we look at one in particular, Microsoft’s Office 365 suite.

Office 365 in a nutshell offer a range of services and plans – Storage (OneDrive/SharePoint), Mail (Exchange), Conferencing (Lync), Security (Exchange Online Protection).

Microsoft offer Home and Small Business options which target the 1-10 employees. Yes, even though some of you out there may be at the 1-10 employee stage at the moment, in terms of allowing for growth and expansion, I would avoid these plans because, when the time comes and you do expand, migrating to bigger plans (i.e. Enterprise) is time consuming and not easy (i.e. manual export/import anyone?).

The Enterprise Plans – The Enterprise plans are definitely my recommendation when looking to utilise the Office 365 services. For example, if you are a company that needs to hold onto all emails for legal reasons, Information Rights Management and Legal Hold is available within the Enterprise plans. Also, each E plan comes with an unlimited mailbox size.