Smart Groups

New Contributor

We just got JAMF system setup about a month ago and are still in the process of enrolling devices and setting policies and groups.

We have 3000 iPads that are setup with DEP.
We are a school district with 65 locations.
Most locations have at least one grant program that needs to have iPads setup for that grant, plus "regular" devices not associated with a grant.

I was trying to think of a way to setup smart groups for iPads, but not sure how, and would appreciate any input.

IP range don't seem like an option since each school has its own IP, but there could be one or more group of grant devices, and some regular non grant devices.
Serial numbers are too spread out between locations and grants to do an "is like" grouping.

I tried Static Groups with each serial number checked, but it looks like the device needs to be enrolled already to add it to a static group, and if the device is wiped/reset it will remove the membership from the static group.

I have started setting up a Smart group that has Serial number "is" XXXX or YYYY or ZZZZ. Some groups have ~100 devices so not sure if having groups setup this way will affect performance, not to mention this way is very manual to maintain all the groups.

If anyone has any thoughts on a way to group devices I would appreciate your input.



Valued Contributor

We use a naming convention similar to an IP address.

Building - Group - Number - Kind

We define our buildings by number. Kind could be: IP=ipad, A=Desktop, AL=Laptop

Using this information, we use Smart groups and the "like" field, a lot. Currently with 5K Macs and 2K iPads we have 300+ smart groups. Lots of software scoping. Lots of custom EA's to help find problems before the user knows they have a problem.

Hope that helps a little.

Valued Contributor III

@wjw To expand on the idea by @millersc.. If you haven't discovered Extension Attributes (EAs) yet then read up on them, you can create some powerful logic with your own variables. For example you could have one that would be either 'regular' or 'grant' or you could put the grant names in there, whatever you need. I will many times create one that just has a drop-down option of 'Yes' and that will populate a Smart Group for scoping a policy/app.. or be the exclusion for it! I am deploying carts now to multiple buildings so I have an EA for each one with its 2 letter code, and that is my criteria for policy/apps at that school.

You may find that it gets tedious to fill in all of the data, so you may need to learn how to access the API and program the data in. Be sure to test test test on a test server first. Also check out a Mac app called JSS MUT.


Contributor II

i like JSS MUT. works great for doing a mass upload of data.

but to your point. in our situation we have ~2500 iPads in a 1:1 setup. they go through DEP and users enter their Active Directory credentials during the setup wizard. we pull department and building from the user's info in AD adn i have smart groups based on that info.

we also have a great number of ipads in carts (about 30 or so to each cart) for classroom / lab use. these also go through DEP but for these we are not assigning to any one user. we set up a prestage enrollment for each cart. very tedious to setup, but once they are done we never have to do it again. we then scope a smart group to the prestage enrollment. you can also use the prestage to setup a naming convention. we use cartname-serialnumber. that way if you ever have to wipe and redo the device it will pick up the same name. if you use the list of names option or sequential they wont get the same name every time.