One of the key, new consumerization features of System Center Configuration Manager (ConfigMgr) 2012 is the ability to setup a corporate "App Store" where end-users can "shop" for corporate-approved applications to be installed at the user's whim. This is huge value where ConfigMgr admins only need to provide software bits in an internal directory on a server, then in ConfigMgr configure the application's properties and make the software available. End-users can just browse the web directory listing of available applications and acquire applications needed for specific jobs and functions. ConfigMgr admins can even limit application "stock" to ensure that corporate licensing is also adhered to.

Using Service Manager and Orchestrator, many have developed an email approval process where software can only be installed with manager approval. This not only ensures the company remains within software licensing guidelines (keeps the company out of legal troubles), but also helps IT identify when new licenses need to be purchased. If an application is "out of stock" a request from a manager can initiate the purchase of additional licenses.

Service Manager and Orchestrator together are a great solution, however, it also means that ConfigMgr admins have to learn and manage two new products. 3rdparty vendors also offer solutions for this and bring more robust features into the mix. 1E has their Shopping product and Flexera Software offers App Portal.

But, Coretech has just released an updated version of their FREE email approval add-on for ConfigMgr 2012. Kent Agerlund, IT/Dev Connections 2013 speaker and post-con presenter, sent me an email today to alert me about it.

The value of the Coretech solution is that it works directly with ConfigMgr 2012. There's no additional System Center application required to install and manage nor do you have to pay for a 3rdparty option. There's some manual configuration that needs to be done, i.e., the add-on installation is not completely automated, but this add-on may solve ConfigMgr admins' requirements to provide approval processes for enterprise app stores.

You can download the solution here: Coretech Application E-Mail Approval Tool

 

P.S. If you need more features than just email approvals, definitely check out the robust solutions by 1E and Flexera Software. Just sifting through the features for each vendor's solution, you'll agree that they offer some huge value.

1E's Shopping: http://www.1e.com/it-efficiency/software/shopping-software-deployment/

Flexera's App Portal: http://www.flexerasoftware.com/products/application-packaging/app-portal-enterprise-app-store/