About patching applications released by Microsoft on Windows Server - AWS Systems Manager

About patching applications released by Microsoft on Windows Server

Use the information in this topic to help you prepare to patch applications on Windows Server using Patch Manager, a capability of AWS Systems Manager.

Microsoft application patching

Patching support for applications on Windows Server managed instances is limited to applications released by Microsoft.

Patch baselines to patch applications released by Microsoft

For Windows Server, three predefined patch baselines are provided. The patch baselines AWS-DefaultPatchBaseline and AWS-WindowsPredefinedPatchBaseline-OS support only operating system updates on the Windows operating system itself. AWS-DefaultPatchBaseline is used as the default patch baseline for Windows Server instances unless you specify a different patch baseline. The configuration settings in these two patch baselines are the same. The newer of the two, AWS-WindowsPredefinedPatchBaseline-OS, was created to distinguish it from the third predefined patch baseline for Windows Server. That patch baseline, AWS-WindowsPredefinedPatchBaseline-OS-Applications, can be used to apply patches to both the Windows Server operating system and supported applications released by Microsoft.

You can also create a custom patch baseline to update applications released by Microsoft on Windows Server machines.

Support for patching applications released by Microsoft on virtual machines (VMs) and on-premises instances

To patch applications released by Microsoft on virtual machines (VMs) and on-premises instances, you must turn on the advanced-instances tier. There is a charge to use the advanced-instances tier. There is no additional charge to patch applications released by Microsoft on Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (Amazon EC2) instances. For more information, see Turning on the advanced-instances tier.

Windows update option for "other Microsoft products"

In order for Patch Manager to be able to patch applications released by Microsoft on your Windows Server managed instances, the Windows Update option Give me updates for other Microsoft products when I update Windows must be activated on the instance.

For information about allowing this option on a single instance, see Update Office with Microsoft Update on the Microsoft Support website.

For a fleet of instances running Windows Server 2016 and later, you can use a Group Policy Object (GPO) to turn on the setting. In the Group Policy Management Editor, go to Computer Configuration, Administrative Templates, Windows Components, Windows Updates, and choose Install updates for other Microsoft products.

For a fleet of instances running Windows Server 2012 or 2012 R2 , you can turn on the option by using a script, as described in Enabling and Disabling Microsoft Update in Windows 7 via Script on the Microsoft Docs Blog website. For example, you could do the following:

  1. Save the script from the blog post in a file.

  2. Upload the file to an Amazon Simple Storage Service (Amazon S3) bucket or other accessible location.

  3. Use Run Command, a capability of AWS Systems Manager, to run the script on your instances using the Systems Manager document (SSM document) AWS-RunPowerShellScript with a command similar to the following.

    Invoke-WebRequest ` -Uri "http://s3.amazonaws.com/DOC-EXAMPLE-BUCKET/script.vbs" ` -Outfile "C:\script.vbs" cscript c:\script.vbs

Minimum parameter requirements

To include applications released by Microsoft in your custom patch baseline, you must, at a minimum, specify the product that you want to patch. The following AWS Command Line Interface (AWS CLI) command demonstrates the minimal requirements to patch a product, such as Microsoft Office 2016.

Linux & macOS
aws ssm create-patch-baseline \ --name "My-Windows-App-Baseline" \ --approval-rules "PatchRules=[{PatchFilterGroup={PatchFilters=[{Key=PRODUCT,Values='Office 2016'},{Key=PATCH_SET,Values='APPLICATION'}]},ApproveAfterDays=5}]"
Windows
aws ssm create-patch-baseline ^ --name "My-Windows-App-Baseline" ^ --approval-rules "PatchRules=[{PatchFilterGroup={PatchFilters=[{Key=PRODUCT,Values='Office 2016'},{Key=PATCH_SET,Values='APPLICATION'}]},ApproveAfterDays=5}]"

If you specify the Microsoft application product family, each product you specify must be a supported member of the selected product family. For example, to patch the product "Active Directory Rights Management Services Client 2.0," you must specify its product family as "Active Directory" and not, for example, "Office" or "SQL Server." The following AWS CLI command demonstrates a matched pairing of product family and product.

Linux & macOS
aws ssm create-patch-baseline \ --name "My-Windows-App-Baseline" \ --approval-rules "PatchRules=[{PatchFilterGroup={PatchFilters=[{Key=PRODUCT_FAMILY,Values='Active Directory'},{Key=PRODUCT,Values='Active Directory Rights Management Services Client 2.0'},{Key=PATCH_SET,Values='APPLICATION'}]},ApproveAfterDays=5}]"
Windows
aws ssm create-patch-baseline ^ --name "My-Windows-App-Baseline" ^ --approval-rules "PatchRules=[{PatchFilterGroup={PatchFilters=[{Key=PRODUCT_FAMILY,Values='Active Directory'},{Key=PRODUCT,Values='Active Directory Rights Management Services Client 2.0'},{Key=PATCH_SET,Values='APPLICATION'}]},ApproveAfterDays=5}]"
Note

If you receive an error message about a mismatched product and family pairing, see Issue: mismatched product family/product pairs for help resolving the issue.