Flexera App Portal – Catalog Items

For this part of the series on the Flexera App Portal, we are going to add some items to our catalog. This is more of a process that you might think, with many options to customize the process for the end user and approvers. Many of the options in the App Portal are the same that you see when you deploy an application in SCCM. The differences come in when setting up the approval process.

Catalog Items Basics

Applications, Packages, and Task Sequences can be configured as catalog items in App Portal. This is where the value is added to SCCM. Out-of-box SCCM can only do approval requests for applications, and not packages or task sequences. Even for applications, the ability for approvals is limited.

The main limitation to the out-of-box SCCM method is the fact that different approvers cannot be specified for certain applications. This means that if a user is designated an application approver, they can approve all applications in SCCM. This may work in some environments, but this is probably not sufficient in an environment of great size. App Portal expands on this ability by allowing approvals for packages and task sequences, as well as being able to designate different approvers for different items.


To add a new catalog item, go to the Admin tab of App Portal, then Catalog Management and select “New Software Catalog Item”. You will see the tabs across the top for Applications, Packages, and Task Sequences.


I have Adobe Reader XI selected. To open the catalog options, double-click on the application. There are a few key options on the “General Tab”. This first important option is Category. You must select something here to add the application to your catalog. Next, check the “Require Approval for Install?” box and click save at the top. You are now presented with this dialog:


Click “Create Deployment”. You can now see that the other tabs have been enabled. The SCCM deployment box should automatically come up. These options are exactly the same as they are in SCCM. A key option here to make sure you select is a site. There must be a site selected to continue.


After you have set these options accordingly, click the “Save” button. We now have our deployment created. App Portal will now go back and create the deployment and collection for this deployment of Adobe Reader. You will be able to see the CollectionID and AdvertID under the “Deployment” sub tab of the “SCCM” tab.

Next, lets go to the Visibility tab. This is where you make the application visible to end-users. You can set access based on group/OU membership in AD, an AD property, or a SCCM collection. To add any of these, simply select the corresponding tab, then “Add Condition”. This will present you with the normal search box where you can search and select the appropriate item and add it.

You also have the option to include/exclude. This means that you set an application to show up for everyone within a group, or everyone outside of group. This option is available for all conditions. I want to allow “All Systems” to install Adobe Reader.


The second sub tab of the Visibility tab is “Alternate Message”. Here, instead of an application just not showing up for end users, you can specify a message to display with the application name. This message might contain why this application is not available to a particular set of end users.

Approvals do not apply to the Visibility tab – anything listed here will not require approval to install.

Next, lets go to the “Approval” and “Approval Process” tabs. The Approval tab works exactly like the Visibility tab, only items listed here are subject to approvals. The Approval Process tab is where you assign the workflow that we created last week. To do this, click the “Add Workflow” button and select your workflow.


You can then simulate the workflow for a particular user or computer under the “Simulate” tab.

The “Security Group” tab allows you to add the user/computer to a group in AD after a successful install. This can be useful if you want to base a collection in SCCM off of successful installs for deploying updates.

Now lets skip to the “Notifications” tab. This tab shows you all of the times a user or an approver will be notified about an event. You can modify these at your discretion, and also modify what the email messages will say.

Finally, the “Permissions” tab allows you to specify any other users that have rights to modify this catalog item.

Packages and Task Sequences

The only difference between Applications and Packages and Task Sequences is that for Packages and Task Sequences, you must select the programs to install. After setting the category and require approval checkbox, you are presented with this screen:


Here, you select the Install program, Uninstall program, and Repair program. If you do not have an uninstall or repair program, keep the default “- No program selected -” selected.

For a task sequence, select “*” for install and keep the default for uninstall and repair. Everything else is the same for Applications, Packages, and Task Sequences.

After you have created your catalog items, you can click on the “Current Catalog Items” node to display everything being published through your App Portal.


Come back next week for more on the Flexera App Portal.



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