Using Smart Groups with Windows Imaging

What

With versions of FileWave earlier than 14, smart groups would not show in the imaging view of the FileWave admin.  With v14(+), smart groups are now available for image association.

When/Why

Why do smart groups improve the ability to image?  Before the advent of custom fields, the lack of smart groups in imaging didn't matter too much, but with custom fields FileWave can quite easily determine the make and model of a particular device or if the device is UEFI or MBR.  And this matters for smart groups, because then that allows us too much more easily assign the proper image and driver packs.

Consider the following simple (imaginary) environment:

  • 1000 Windows devices, all needing re-imaged this summer
  • 3 Make/model combinations (Lenovo P50, Dell 5550, HP 1210)
  • The Lenovo is UEFI, the others are all MBR
  • Two base Windows images: one for UEFI, one MBR

If we had to mass image the above, we only had two options previously: create image associations one by one, or associate to a group.  But, to associate easily to groups, the logical thing would be to create smart groups by device type rather than having to organize the devices manually.  Thus, the inability to use smart groups for imaging began to be a severe restriction for easy imaging association.  This restriction is no more.

How

Associating images & driver packs to a smart group is the same as any other imaging association, as shown below:

Smart groups will only show in the Imaging view if there are Windows devices in them.  Also note that the association is not really to the group, but rather just to the devices in that group at that exact moment. (This is the same way assigning images to a manual group has always worked.)