Settings Catalog in Microsoft Endpoint Manager

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One of the newest features in Microsoft Endpoint Manager is the Settings Catalog. By using the Settings Catalog you can create your own device configuration profiles. This feature became available in preview worldwide this week. Now after selecting the platform “Windows 10 and later” or “macOS” a new option appears where you can select the new “Settings Catalog (preview)” or “Templates”. If you select “Templates” here you get the familiar option to select a Template name which was previously called a “profile type”.

In this post, I will compare the new capabilities of the settings catalog with the current device configuration templates.

 

Device configuration template

Before the Settings Catalog became available, it was only possible to use standard templates. Each template covers its own category. To configure multiple categories you must always use and assign multiple device configuration profiles. In addition, you could not select which settings you wanted to use, but the whole set was always added. For example, this meant that if you created a device configuration profile for Windows Defender Antivirus and a separate configuration profile it gave you two device restriction policies with all the settings, but you only used a subset of them. But also when you created a device configuration policy with multiple categories like in this example:

When you opened the configuration policy again you were shown all the available settings. You then had to open all the categories yourself to find the configured settings and if necessary edit them. It can sometimes be

 

Settings Catalog

By using the Settings Catalog, you select only the settings you want to use. This allows you to create your own Device configuration profiles. Because settings you do not use are not added, you keep a good overview of the deployed settings. One of the difficulties is that settings sometimes have a different name, this can make it difficult to convert the settings from a template to the settings catalog profile.

 

1. Go to “Devices”-> “Windows” -> “Configuration profiles”. Press “Create profile”

 

2.  Select platform “Window and later” and Profile type “Settings catalog (preview)”. Press “Create” to continue.

 

3. Enter a name and description (optional). Press “Next” to continue

 

4. in the “configuration settings” tab select “+add settings” to add settings.

 

5. The “Settings picker” now opens. Here you can search for the settings to add. By adding a filter (optional) you can avoid adding settings that do not apply to your environment.

 

6. At the top of the settings picker you can search for keywords. Then the categories that contain settings with these keywords appear. It is also possible to browse through the categories without using a keyword. In the bottom of the results overview you can select the settings you want to use by checking the check box or clicking on the “Select all these settings” button. When you are finished click on the cross in the upper right corner.

 

7. You will now return to the overview of selected settings. You must now configure these with the desired settings. Press “Next” to continue.

 

8. Assign the device configuration profile to a group and press “Next” to continue.

 

9. If applicable add a scope tag and press “Next” to continue.

 

10. Review the settings and press “Create” to create the configuration profile and assign to the group you’ve selected.

 

11. The new device configuration profile will appear as profile type “Settings Catalog” in the Configuration profiles overview.

 

12. By selecting the configuration profile you can see the deployment status of profile.

 

13. By pressing “view report” you can see the status of the individual settings for each computer.

 

Conclusion

Even though the Settings Catalog is currently still a preview feature, it promises great value for the future. Creating configuration profiles with only the settings you apply provides more overview and makes it easier to segment profiles.

Because the names/categories of the settings in the templates do not match the names in the settings catalog, it can be quite challenging at times to find the right setting. By the way, you can solve this by looking up the settings in the registry settings (HKLM) of an already configured machine.

I hope you liked this blog about the new Settings Catalog. Just leave a reply if you have questions or remarks about this post.

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