Let’s see the list of features released in ConfigMgr 2106 Technical Preview. Microsoft has released the fourth Technical Preview Version after announcing SCCM 2103 Production Version this year.
ConfigMgr 2106 technical preview version comes with many improvements and new features. Features available in a previous version of the technical preview remain available in later versions.
The technical preview introduces new functionality that Microsoft is working on and features that aren’t yet included in the current branch of Configuration Manager.
Features added to the Configuration Manager Production Version 2103 remain available in the technical preview branch.
Important ⚠️- The technical preview branch of Configuration Manager is not supported for use in a production environment. The technical preview is licensed for use only in a lab environment.
Let’s try out all the new features in this technical preview version. Help the Configuration Manager product team send your valuable feedback about the new features before the Microsoft product team finalizes the features.
Download Technical Preview
When installing a new technical preview site, use the latest baseline version. After installing a baseline version, use in-console updates to update your installation with the most recent ConfigMgr 2106 Technical Preview version.
Microsoft supports each technical preview version up until three successive versions are available. For example, when version 2106 was released, version 2103 was no longer in support. Each install is active for 90 days before it becomes inactive.
Let’s check how to build Microsoft Endpoint Configuration Manager aka MECM Technical Preview LAB – How to Build Configuration Manager Technical Preview LAB | SCCM
Configuration Manager Console Improvements
Starting with the ConfigMgr 2106 Technical Preview release, the following improvements to the Configuration Manager console –
Navigate to collection
You can now navigate a collection from the Collections tab in the Assets and Compliance > Devices node. Select View Collection from either the ribbon or the right-click menu in the tab.
Maintenance Window Column
A Maintenance window column was added to the Collections tab in the Devices node. That will help SCCM Admin to check the deployment for an individual device.
Display assigned users
If a collection deletion fails due to scope assignment, the assigned users are displayed.
Renamed Co-management node to Cloud Attach
Here you can see the below changes to better reflect the additional cloud services with this technical preview release –
- The Co-management node has been renamed the Cloud Attach node.
- In the ribbon button, Configure Co-management is renamed to Configure Cloud Attach.
- The Co-management Configuration Wizard was renamed to Cloud Attach Configuration Wizard.
Implicit Uninstall of Applications
In this ConfigMgr 2106 Technical Preview release, you can enable an application deployment to support implicit uninstall. If a device is in a collection, the application installs. Then when you remove the device from the collection, the application uninstalls.
- On the Deployment Settings page of the Deploy Software Wizard, configure the following options:
- Action: Install
- Purpose: Required
- Enable Uninstall this application if the targeted object falls out of the collection
Microsoft .NET Requirements
ConfigMgr 2106 technical preview version requires at least .NET Framework version 4.6.2 for site servers, specific site systems, clients, and the console.
It’s recommended to install the latest version, 4.8, as A later version of Configuration Manager will require .NET version 4.8. To ignore warnings during prerequisite check during setup installation, It’s better to install the latest version of .NET version 4.8 in your environment.
Convert a CMG to the virtual machine scale set
In the Configuration Manager Technical Preview release, any customer with a CMG that uses the classic cloud service deployment can convert to a virtual machine scale set. When you convert a CMG, you can’t change all settings.
- In the Configuration Manager console, go to the Administration workspace, expand Cloud Services, and select the Cloud Management Gateway node.
- Select a CMG instance whose Status is Ready. In the ribbon, select Convert. This action opens the Convert CMG wizard.
Audit mode for potentially unwanted applications
An Audit option for potentially unwanted applications (PUA) was added in the Antimalware policy settings. Use PUA protection in audit mode to detect potentially unwanted applications without blocking them. PUA protection in audit mode is useful if your company conducts an internal software security compliance check.
To use the Audit option for potentially unwanted applications:
- Go to Assets and Compliance > Endpoint Protection > Antimalware policy.
- Choose the set of antimalware policies you want to change, or create a new custom antimalware policy.
- Select the Real-time protection settings page.
- Set the Configure detection for potentially unwanted applications setting to Audit
List additional third-party updates catalogs
There’s now a documentation page with links to catalog providers to help you find custom catalogs that you can import for third-party software updates. Selecting More Catalogs opens a link to a documentation page containing a list of additional third-party software update catalog providers.
In the Configuration Manager 2106 technical preview console, Navigate to Software Library > Software Updates > Third-Party Software Update Catalogs and Choose More Catalogs from the ribbon in the Third-party software update catalogs node.
You can also right-click on the Third-Party Software Update Catalogs node to move to the More Catalogs menu.
Intune role-based access control for tenant attach
Starting with Configuration Manager technical preview version 2106, you can use Intune role-based access control (RBAC) when displaying the Client details page for tenant attached devices in the Microsoft Endpoint Manager admin center.
To use Intune role-based access control for tenant attach, In the Configuration Manager console, Go to Administration > Cloud Services,> Cloud Attach and select Configure Cloud Attach to open the Cloud Attach Configuration wizard.
If you already have tenant attach enabled, open the properties for CoMgmtSettingsProd. On the Configure upload tab (or page in the wizard), enable the option Use Intune role-based access control (RBAC) when you view Configuration Manager devices and take action in the Microsoft Endpoint Manager admin center and click Ok.
New prerequisite check for SQL Server 2012
When you install or update the site, it now warns of the presence of SQL Server 2012. The support lifecycle for SQL Server 2012 ends on July 12, 2022. Plan to upgrade database servers in your environment, including SQL Server Express at secondary sites.
Client encryption uses AES-256
Starting in this release, when you enable the site to Use encryption, the client uses the AES-256 algorithm. This setting requires clients to encrypt inventory data and state messages before sending them to the management point.
Improvements for managing automatic deployment rules
The following items were added to help you better manage your automatic deployment rules:
Updated Product parameter for New-CMSoftwareUpdateAutoDeploymentRule cmdlet
-Product parameter for
New-CMSoftwareUpdateAutoDeploymentRule was updated. When there are multiple products with the same name,
-Product now selects all of them.
Script to apply deployment package settings for automatic deployment rule
If you create an ADR with the No deployment package option, you’re’ unable to go back and add one later. To help you resolve this issue, Configuration Manager has a script for a Community hub.
About Author – Jitesh, Microsoft MVP, has over five years of working experience in the IT Industry. He writes and shares his experiences related to Microsoft device management technologies and IT Infrastructure management. His primary focus is Windows 10 Deployment solution with Configuration Manager, Microsoft Deployment Toolkit (MDT), and Microsoft Intune.