This article describes an update to support Alternate Content Provider in Task Sequence in System Center 2012 Configuration Manager.
In an operating system deployment scenario, distribution point locations that are stored in task sequence variables are currently inaccessible to Alternate Content Provider. Therefore, applications that are written to use the Alternate Content Provider APIs in System Center 2012 Configuration Manager are affected.
To support Alternate Content Provider in Task Sequence, this update introduces the SMSTSDownloadProgram task sequence environment variable. The SMSTSDownloadProgram task sequence environment variable is specified as follows:
A predefined environment variable that contains the path of the downloader program (.exe file) will be set in the SMSTSDownloadProgram task sequence environment variable.
We recommend that you make the downloader program available on the boot image. Therefore, the downloader program can be run securely.
During the download process, the task sequence download library will check the environment variable to verify that there is a defined downloader program. If there is, the program will be used to perform the download.
The following command line parameters will be passed to the external downloader program:
Absolute path of the download folder
The Configuration Manager client expects at least one location. The location will be passed to the Alternate Content Provider because it can use the Configuration Manager distribution point in certain situations.
The Alternate Content Provider can return a fallback code or an error code. When a nonzero code is returned, the Configuration Manager client will fall back to Content Transfer Manager and Data Transfer Service.
Alternate Content Provider will work only in Windows Preinstallation Environment (Windows PE) mode.
A supported hotfix is available from Microsoft. However, this hotfix is intended to correct only the problem that described in this article. Apply this hotfix only to systems that are experiencing the problem described in this article. This hotfix might receive additional testing. Therefore, if you are not severely affected by this problem, we recommend that you wait for the next software update that contains this hotfix.
If the hotfix is available for download, there is a "Hotfix download available" section at the top of this Knowledge Base article. If this section does not appear, contact Microsoft Customer Service and Support to obtain the hotfix.
Note If additional issues occur or if any troubleshooting is required, you might have to create a separate service request. The usual support costs will apply to additional support questions and issues that do not qualify for this specific hotfix. For a complete list of Microsoft Customer Service and Support telephone numbers or to create a separate service request, visit the following Microsoft website:
Note The "Hotfix download available" form displays the languages for which the hotfix is available. If you do not see your language, it is because a hotfix is not available for that language.
To apply this update, you must have Microsoft System Center 2012 Configuration Manager with Cumulative Update 1 (CU1) installed. For more information about CU1 for System Center 2012 Configuration Manager, click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
2717295 Description of Cumulative Update 1 for System Center 2012 Configuration Manager
This update is applicable on the following roles:
Central administration site (CAS)
Note You cannot apply this update on System Center 2012 Configuration Manager clients directly. You must install the update on the System Center 2012 Configuration Manager site server, and then deploy the generated package to the clients.
If you close the Configuration Manager Administrator console before you apply this hotfix, you do not have to restart the computer.
Hotfix replacement information
This hotfix does not replace a previously released hotfix.
The English (United States) version of this hotfix installs files that have the attributes that are listed in the following tables. The dates and the times for these files are listed in Coordinated Universal Time (UTC). The dates and the times for these files on your local computer are displayed in your local time together with your current daylight saving time (DST) bias. Additionally, the dates and the times may change when you perform certain operations on the files.
System Center 2012 Configuration Manager file information notes
Note Some other files may be updated because of dependencies. However, the binaries of these files are not changed.
Microsoft has confirmed that this is a problem in the Microsoft products that are listed in the "Applies to" section.
For more information about Configuration Manager Alternate Content Provider, go to the following Microsoft website: