Updates can be applied to computers by Patch Management, manually by users, or with other non-Altiris tools. I need to know if ITMS can show how an update was applied to an given computer(s). Is this possible?
The Patch Management tool was not written to determine how an update is installed - it does not identify if Patch Management installs an update, if the user of a computer manually installs it, or if a third-party tool installs the update. Patch Management determines if an update is applicable to a managed computer and if it is installed on that computer.
Patch Management is written with two rules, and they are "IsApplicable" and "IsInstalled" and they basically do the following:
When Patch Management installs an update it will show by default as having been installed by the "Local System" account.
ITMS is very customizable and if customers have someone that is a creative scripter and understands the ITMS products then they may be able to create a report that could help identify how updates are applied but out-of-box Patch Management does not provide this information.