TsGui – Custom GUIs in SCCM

In SCCM, there are a couple of options for adding user interaction, aka Lite-Touch, to your task sequences:

Option 1 is using the Microsoft MDT lite touch tools. While this is can be a good option, MDT task sequences are generally bloated and unnecessarily complex. Using MDT introduces extra moving parts to the task sequence, and a whole learning curve that is, in my opinion, excessive for the added functionality. I avoid using the MDT task sequence options as a general rule unless deploying into an environment with an experienced SCCM engineer (which is often not the case).

Option 2 is a custom HTA file that is usually used for creating task sequence variables, based on user input. While they work very well and are nice and light weight, creating and maintaining these HTAs requires someone comfortable with the languages used in them (HTML, VBScript, JScript). They can also be reasonably slow to maintain. You have to make sure you haven’t made any errors anywhere in your code, and are also often not built to be run outside of a task sequence, meaning each test requires a full task sequence test run.

TsGui aims to remove the overhead involved with using HTAs in your SCCM task sequences, while retaining all their advantages. The program creates a custom GUI built from a relatively simple XML file, and can be setup, tested, and deployed in less than 30 minutes (see the introduction video below). Note that this setup requires no scripting knowledge. The simplicity allows the maintenance of the GUI to be moved to more junior engineers, or just makes your life easier.

Screenshot

The only real downside to TsGui is that it is built on .Net, which means you will need to add this to your pre-boot. If you need your pre-boot to be as small as possible, TsGui might not be for you.

I’ve been using TsGui in production for a number of months now and so far has worked brilliantly. Changes can be made much more quickly, and I’m much more confident handing it over to other engineers than I ever would be with an HTA file.

*Usual disclaimer: TsGui is provided as is, and offers no warranty. Use at your own risk.

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How to videos

 

TsGui is open source software, licensed under GPLv2. Source code is available here.