In my blogs published before, I wrote about Patch Management in ConfigMgr 2012. How the setup is done, needed for automatically download and publish Software Updates. Have a good look at http://henkhoogendoorn.blogspot.com/2011/04/patch-management-in-configmgr-2012-beta.html for that.
A month later I can confirm that Patch Management is fully functional in ConfigMgr 2012. No need to select and publish Software Updates anymore, just let the magic happen!
Because I have configured Maintenance Windows on Server collections, software updates will be installed on saturdays only. A reboot of servers will be also possible on a few collections. Have a good look at http://henkhoogendoorn.blogspot.com/2011/04/maintenance-windows-in-configmgr-2012.html for that also.
All new software updates will be downloaded, deployed and installed automatically, and servers will be rebooted after that. No need to do any manually actions anymore. The choices will be made in the "Automatic Deployment Rules", which must be configured per collection.
When updates are available for servers, the following icon will be displayed in the system tray. The choice can be made between "Open Software Center" and "View Required Software" here.
When opening Software Center, software updates will be displayed which needs to be installed. Because of the Maintenance Window, "Past due - will be installed" is displayed here. When opening Required Software, the software installation settings can be configured.
When the Maintenance Window is reached, or software updates may be installed outside of Maintenance Window hours, installing will take place. This can be also managed from within the "Automatic Deployment Rules".
After installation of software updates, a reboot might be required. When this is not allowed because of the Maintenance Window, this will be in a Pending state. It's possible to allow this outside of Maintenance Window hours, but that's not that handy I think..
After installation the icon in the system tray is changed, and an extra "Restart Now" option is available. Again: nothing has to be done here, the servers will be rebooted automatically on saturdays in my environment.
Personally I'm very satisfied with Patch Management functionality in ConfigMgr 2012. With ConfigMgr 2012, the choice for Software Update integration becomes very interesting. No need for stand-alone WSUS anymore.. Patch Management in ConfigMgr 2012 rocks!