The Automatic Deployment Rule (ADR) feature in ConfigMgr2012 is quite handy, especially for people moving from WSUS that aren’t too worried about updates being automatically deployed.
Many larger organisations however tend to have a more controlling approach to which updates are approved for deployment and will approve/decline each update as required.
One thing I liked in WSUS was the ability to have updates automatically approved, but being able to set the client policy to say “Notify Only”. On my servers I could have them scan and determine applicable updates, but then I would manually approve them and reboot as required, or I could exclude some updates if they were causing problems on a per-server basis (e.g. .NET). Sure you could do all that through WSUS itself if you wanted to setup lots of different computer groups, but for small environments with half a dozen servers it’s easier this way.
In ConfigMgr2012, there is no way to “auto create” and update group unless you use an ADR. However the ADR configuration makes all deployments Mandatory with a deadline and does not give a “Required” notify only type option.
More of a work-around than a solution, but you can create the ADR for your servers, but just set the deadline to “12 months” (or some other distant date) in the future.
This creates the same notify options, but effectively takes the forced install deadline away. This does of course rely on those updates being installed, superseded, or removed from deployment at some time prior to that deadline date, but 12 months should be plenty of time to get things done.