SCCM Collections are critical in SCCM environment. We should be careful while creating or modifying collections. The collections can create performance issues in your environment. I have a couple of posts about How to create collections (static and dynamic) in this series of posts. This post is part of SCCM Education series of posts! In this post, we will discuss SCCM collections (static).
SCCM Version Used for this post and video = Production Version 1802
SCCM Education Posts
- Walkthrough of SCCM Console
- How to Promote Pre-Production SCCM Client to Production
- What is Collection, How to Create SCCM Static Collections Part 1(this post)
- How to create dynamic collections? Create Collection Folders Part 2
- Create AD Group Based SCCM Collection
What is SCCM Collections?
Collections help you to organize SCCM resources. The SCCM resources in this context are devices and users. You can organize or tag SCCM resources into manageable units using the collection.
Collections = Manageable Units
Collections can be created to match your client management requirements. These collections can be used to perform operations on multiple resources at one time.
SCCM Resources = Devices & Users
What are the Types of SCCM Collections?
This question is a tricky question. I can’t claim that I’m giving you the correct answer. But following are my thoughts. There are two types of collections Built-in collections and Custom collections.
- SCCM admins create custom collections.
- Built-in collections are out of box collection which will already be there when you install an SCCM environment.
More details about identifying built-in collections are explained in the video tutorial below. Also, other different types of collections in SCCM are explained below.
We have another type of collections which are Static collections and dynamic collections. Static collection SCCM is explained in the below section of this post.
Built-in Collections = Collections created at the time SCCM installation
Custom Collections = Created by SCCM Admins
Video Tutorial – How to Create Static SCCM Collection
What is User and Device SCCM Collections?
Device and User collections are another different types of collections. Device collections are only for managing devices. User collections are for managing users. We can’t add user resources into device collection and device resources into user collection. A collection can contain users or devices. But a collection cannot have both the user and devices. Static collection SCCM is explained in the below section of this post.
User Collection = Only for Users
Device Collection = Only for Devices
What are the types of SCCM Collection Membership rules?
The membership rules are the brain of the collection. Collection membership rules define the character of each collection. Membership rules define which user or device should be part of a particular collection. Depending on the logic given in membership rule, a device or user will get added to a particular collection. Static Collection SCCM is explained in the below section.
Members of a collection are specified by using direct rules, query rules, or both.
Following are the membership rules:-
- Direct rule – Use to choose the users or computers that you want to add to a collection. This membership does not change unless you remove a resource from SCCM
- Query rule – Dynamically update the membership of a collection based on a query that SCCM runs on a schedule
- Include collection rule – Include the members of another collection in an SCCM collection
- Exclude collection rule – The exclude collection rule let you exclude the members of another collection from an SCCM collection.
What is Static SCCM Collection?
There are two types of collection in SCCM. Built-in and custom collections are those two(2) types of collections. We can’t edit or change the built-in collections. However, we can create custom collections as per our business requirements.
I don’t recommend to create two(2) separate Install and Uninstall collections for each application.
Try to avoid creating many creating loads of collections this could impact entire SCCM environments performance. We can discuss about Collection Best practices in next week’s post.
There are two(2) types of collections in Custom Collections. Static collections and Dynamic collections are those two types of collections. In this post, we will discuss about the static collection in SCCM. Members of a collection are specified by using direct rules, query rules, or both.
Static collection SCCM is a group of devices or users which won’t get dynamically changed. The static collection uses direct membership rules, and direct membership rule defines a specific resource.
The members of the static collection will remain CONSTANT unless there is immediate action to change the membership. We can manually or programmatically change the members of the collection. But SCCM won’t change it automatically.
Static Collection = Direct Membership Rule
How to Create Static SCCM Collections?
As I explained in the Video tutorial, you need to use a direct membership rule to create a static collection. In the following sections, I will explain how to create Static Collections in SCCM. You can use the same method to create static Device collection and static User collection.
- Navigate to SCCM console – Assets and Compliance – Device Collections
- Right click and select “Create Device Collection” from Device Collections node
- On the General page provide a Name and a Comment. Then, in Limiting collection, choose to Browse to select a limiting collection. The collection will only contain members from the limiting collection.
- On the Membership Rules page of the Create Device Collection Wizard, in the Add Rule list, select the type DIRECT membership rule for this collection. You can configure multiple rules for each collection.
- On the Membership Rules page of the Create Device Collection Wizard, in the Add Rule list, select Direct Rule.
- On the Search for Resources page of the Create Direct Membership Rule Wizard, specify the following information: 7-11 steps.
- Check the drop down options for Resource class: Select the type of resource you want to search for and add to the collection. Select from System Resource values to search for inventory data returned from client computers.
- Check the drop down options for Attribute name: Select the attribute associated with the selected resource class that you want to search for. For example, if you want to select computers by their NetBIOS name, select System Resource in the Resource class list and NetBIOS name in the Attribute name list.
- I didn’t select the option. But I would recommend testing this in your environment before selecting this option. Select Exclude resources marked as obsolete – If a client computer is marked as obsolete, do not include this value in the search results.
- I didn’t select the option. But if it’s required for your environment, feel free to use this option. Exclude resources that do not have the SCCM client installed – these won’t be displayed in the search results.
- Enter the Value: Enter a value for which you want to search the selected attribute name. You can use the percent character % as a wildcard. For example, to search for computers that have a NetBIOS name beginning with “M”, enter M% in this field.
- On the Select Resources page, select the resources that you want to add to the collection in the Resources list, and then choose Next.
- Click on Close and Close to complete the creation of the static collection.
How to Manually add a Device or a User to Static Collection in SCCM?
- Right-click on the device or user which you want to add to an existing device or user collection
- Click on the option called “Add Selected Items“
- Select the following option depending on the selected item “Add Selected Items to Existing Device Collection” or “Add Selected Items to Existing User Collection“
Best Practices – Static SCCM Collections
Wait for 2-3 minutes to get members populated in the Collection
Don’t take any actions like Update Membership or Refresh immediately after collection creation
Do NOT use “Use Incremental updates for this collection” option for static collections
No Need to Enable – “Schedule a full update on this collection“. I don’t think this option makes much sense for a static collection
Check and evaluate your collections with Collection Evaluation Viewer tool https://www.anoopcnair.com/collection-evaluation-viewer