Monday, 28 December 2015

What is the Service Connection Point?

System Center Configuration Manager landing page

The Service Connection Point was introduced in Configuration Manager 1511.

So what is this all about?

A Service Connection Point connects Configuration Manager to Microsoft cloud services. It is used for Microsoft Intune subscription, and to update and service your Configuration Manager installation.

As the description suggests the Microsoft Intune connector is no longer supported. Remember one of the items in the pre-upgrade checklist: Uninstall the site system roles not supported by System Center Configuration Manager (eg Intune Connector).

A full description of the Service Connection Point can be found in this TechNet Library document. It provides the following functionality in the hierarchy:
  • Manage mobile devices with Microsoft Intune
  • Manage mobile devices with on-premises MDM
  • Upload usage data from your Configuration Manager infrastructure
  • Download updates that apply to your Configuration Manager infrastructure

Previously we saw the two dialog boxes below during the installation.

First we saw the Usage Data box. It tells us that Microsoft will automatically collect telemetry data in order to provide us with a seamless upgrade experience (for ConfigMgr as a Service). We are told that there are three levels (Basic, Enhanced and Full) and that the default setting is Enhanced. We cannot make any changes at this stage.

Next we got the option to add the Service Connection Point during the installation (note that this site system can only be installed at the top-tier site of the hierarchy). We see that connecting to the Configuration Manager cloud service will enable us to download CM updates and new features. Uploading usage data is necessary to enable the cloud service to provide the correct updates for your deployment. We can skip this for now if we like.

Here we see the Service Connection Point. Have a look at the properties.

We can choose an Online (persistent) or Offline (on-demand) connection. Online is the default and is recommended as the solution will just work automatically for you. If you choose Offline you must manually use the Service Connection tool (more about this later).

What happens if you chose not to add the Service Connection Point during the installation? No problem, you can do it afterwards.

Add a Site System as normal.

Continue through the wizard as required.

Choose the Service Connection Point.

Choose your mode.

Click Next to add the Site System.

Site System has been added. Let's have a look at some log files to see what is happening in the background.

Check out the ConnectorSetup.log file. See that the following prerequisite checks are carried out:
  • SqlNativeClient already installed
  • Passed OS version check
  • .NET Framework 4.0 Full profile is installed
  • .NET Framework 4.5 or later Full profile is installed
Then the service starts to register DLLs.

See that the installation has been successful. The following shares have been created.
  • Succesfully created share EasySetupPayload
  • Succesfully created share AdminUIContentPayload

See the new folders.

Now have a look at the hman.log file. We see that the SMS Dmp Connector site system has been created.

See files being extracted to the CMUStaging folder.

Have a look at the dmpuploader.log file. See connection to
We can see that telemetry data has been successfully uploaded.

The CMUpdate.log file tells us that there are no update packages for us yet. That will soon change and we will see the packages in the EasySetupPayload folder.

No CM updates yet. There are none available for now.

So what do we do if we don't want a persistent connection for the Service Connection Point? Yes, we can use the Offline mode we saw earlier.

In Offline mode we need to use the Service Connection Tool (command line tool) to connect to the Configuration Manager cloud service to manually upload usage information for your hierarchy, and to download updates.

You can find the service connection tool (serviceconnectiontool.exe) in the Configuration Manager installation media in %path%/smssetup/tools/ServiceConnectionTool folder. Have a look at this TechNet Library document for the correct usage of the tool.

I have one last bit of information to share. Earlier we discussed the Usage Data dialog box with the three levels (Basic, Enhanced and Full). We have no option to change that during the installation (Enhanced is chosen by default). So how do we change that afterwards?

Click on the blue drop down arrow in the top left corner of the console. Select Usage Data.

We are given a  full description of each of the levels and are given the option to choose the one we want.

I hope that this was a useful look a the Service Connection Point. Until next time....

1 comment:

  1. When initiating an Update through the SCP, in what context is the update run on the site - the system account of the respective site, the CAS or a different account? Will I have to provide specific rights to any accounts when the SQL DB is residing on a different system?
    Also, is there a way to control when Primary Sites in a hierarchy are updated, or is this done automatically without a disruption of service for the corresponding Primary Site?