The awesome world of child task sequences

Like last week I’m staying in the world of new features of Configuration Manager, version 1710. This time it’s all about the awesome world of child task sequences. Awesome. To be a bit more specific, the awesome world of child task sequences, which refers to the newly introduced task sequence step Run Task Sequence. This opens up a whole lot of options, from using specific standards throughout all deployments until enabling different administrators from maintaining their own child task sequence. In this post I’ll go through a short introduction about the Run Task Sequence step, followed by the configuration options for the Run Task Sequence step. I’ll end this post with the end result of running a child task sequence, by showing how it’s logged.

Introduction

Starting with Configuration Manager, version 1710, it’s possible to add a new task sequence step that runs another task sequence. That is the Run Task Sequence step. This creates a parent-child relationship between the task sequences. Child task sequences are enablers for creating modular and re-usable task sequences. Before starting with using child task sequences, make sure to be familiar with the following:

  • The parent and child task sequences are combined into a single policy;
  • The task sequence environment is global;
  • The status messages are sent for a single task sequence operation;
  • The child task sequence writes entries to the same smsts.log file (like a group);

Note: Make sure to go through the information mentioned in the More information section, as the second link provides useful information about the abilities.

Configuration

Now let’s have a look at the available configuration options for using the Run Task Sequence step. The four steps below walk through those configuration options. After that, the parent task sequence can be deployed like any other task sequence. However, when deploying a parent task sequence, be aware that the criteria for showing the “high-impact” warning is not detected in Software Center when the child task sequence contains the “high-impact” steps. In that case, use the User Notification properties of the parent task sequence to force the “high-impact” warning.

1 Open the Configuration Manager administration console and navigate to Software Library > Overview > Operating Systems > Task Sequences;
2 Now either create a new task sequence by using Home > Create > Create Task Sequence, or select an existing task sequence and select Home > Task Sequence > Edit to open the Task Sequence Editor;
3 In the Task Sequence Editor, select Add > General > Run Task Sequence;
4

TS_RunTaskSequenceIn the Run Task Sequence step, it’s as simple as browsing to the task sequence and selecting it.

Note: It’s not possible to select a task sequence that contains a boot image reference. The boot image reference has to be on the parent task sequence.

Note: Keep in mind that any chain containing a disabled task sequence will fail and that the Continue on error won’t work for that step containing the disabled task sequence.

Result

Let’s end this post by having a look at the end result. I’ll do that by looking at the smsts.log file and by looking at the deployment status in the Configuration Manager administrator console. When looking at the deployment status, see screenshot below, the first section shows the start of the parent task sequence and the second section shows the start of the child task sequence, like a group within a normal task sequence.

TS_StatusMessage

When looking at the smsts.log, something similar is shown, see screenshot below. The start of the child task sequence is shown like the start of a group within the parent task sequence.

TS_SMSTSLOG

More information

For more information about the Run Task Sequence step, please refer to the following articles:

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