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Fine-Tuning MDT Deployments : Working with the MDT Database (part 4) - Extending the MDT Database with Custom Settings

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8/7/2013 6:37:39 PM

2.4. Extending the MDT Database with Custom Settings

In addition to working with the default tables and views in the database, you can extend the schema of the MDT database so that you can add custom values. In this scenario, you are going to add the name of an application server that differs for each location, so that you can automatically use this name when you configure the custom application during the installation of the workstation.

Before extending your MDT database, make sure that you have created a backup of the database in case something goes wrong. To create the new ApplicationServer variable, you must add a new column to the settings table called ApplicationServer, which will contain the name of the application server you are going to use in a specific location:

  1. Open SQL Server Management Studio, and in the Object Explorer browse to the MDT database => Tables => dbo.settings => Columns (Figure 5).

  2. Right-click Columns and select New Column.

  3. Type the name of the new column you want to define (in this case, ApplicationServer), select nvarchar(50) as the data type, and make sure that Allow Nulls is selected.

  4. Refresh all views that have a reference to the settings table by running the sp_refreshview stored procedure. You can do this by defining a new query in SQL Server Management Studio that contains the following lines:

    Execute sp_refreshview ComputerSettings
    Execute sp_refreshview LocationSettings
    Execute sp_refreshview MakeMode1Settings
    Execute sp_refreshview Ro1eSettings

  5. Execute this query against the MDT database by clicking "! Execute" on the main toolbar.

  6. You should now have a new option available on the Details tab of your computer settings, in your location settings, in your make and model settings, and in your role settings. Figure 6 details this.

    Figure 5. Microsoft SQL Server Management Studio
    Figure 6. Newly added option ApplicationServer

Next you must provide the name of the application server in the location settings:

  1. Select the Details tab and scroll all the way down to the ApplicationServer setting.

  2. Open the location for which you want to set the ApplicationServer setting.

  3. Modify its value with the name of the application server for that location.

Before you can use the new ApplicationServer value, you need to create a reference in your CustomSettings.ini file so that this value is queried:

  1. Open the CustomSettings.ini file using a text editor and find the Settings section. Find the Properties setting and modify its value from MyCustomProperty to App1icationServer, as follows:

    [Settings]
    Priority=CSettings, CPackages, CApps, CAdmins, CRo1es, Locations, LSettings,
    LPackages, LApps, LAdmins, LRo1es, MMSettings, MMPackages, MMApps, MMAdmins,
    MMRo1es, RSettings, RPackages, RApps, RAdmins, Defau1t
    Properties=App1icationServer
    
    					  

  2. You can now use the %App1icationServer% variable in your MDT task sequence step to install the application, providing %App1icationServer% as an argument for the installation procedure.

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- Working with the User State Migration Tool (part 4) - Applying the Data and Settings Using LoadState
- Working with the User State Migration Tool (part 3) - Gathering Data by Running ScanState
- Working with the User State Migration Tool (part 2) - Setting Up the Source Computer
- Working with the User State Migration Tool (part 1) - Using the USMT in Four Deployment Scenarios
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