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Occasional Visitor

Will MSIX support installation of Windows services? We have a scenario in which customers have unattended computers that need to continue working across power failure/restoration, and Windows services provide our best solution.

26 Replies
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Solution
Support for Windows Services is an item in our backlog. The scenario will be able for enterprises and apps in the Microsoft Store for Business.
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The same way MSIX brings all the packaging features to any app that were originally only available to UWP/Store apps, giving regular apps a bit of a boost in terms of lifecycle and rights management, it would be nice to have MSIX for Windows Services with support for traditional Windows Services use-case scenarios but also "UWP Background Task"-like features with stricter resource management, system triggers, etc.

 

Also, with the "sandboxing" features of MSIX, it could be a very interesting alternative to Containers on servers to achieve even higher deployment density, pretty much the same as hosting services as processes, but still with an extra layer of protection around it.

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@John Vintzel  Is this this now available in the May Win 10 update?

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It's not part of the May release, but you will see it in Insider flights later this summer.

 

John Vintzel (@jvintzel)

Program Manager Lead, MSIX

@John Vintzel Will that require insider flights of the OS also?

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@TIMOTHY MANGAN I was speaking to the OS.  Support for services is one of the few things that will require an OS update.

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@John Vintzel Is the support for windows service available in latest update .

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@shan2030 

 

Its part of the latest Windows Insider preview builds (18999 or later).  The MSIX Packaging Tool does not yet support capturing.  That will be coming in the next release.

 

John.

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@John VintzelIs the support for services now available in MSIX Packaging tool Insiders Build?

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@shobz_krish 

 

We try to keep the release notes up to date for new features.  Services is in the latest insider build.

 

https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/msix/packaging-tool/release-notes/history 

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@sw-services null - Its been a couple years, did you ever figure this out?

 

I need a Windows Store app to both install a UI and a Windows Service to manage background updates.

 

Thanks

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@JeremyTellier  Yes. MSIX apps may now contain services.  Known caveats I am aware of:

  • The service is deployed natively with the package, so unlike normal MSIX package install this requires administrative rights. But this is the same as an MSI would need.
  • The service is running outside of the container.  So far simple services seem OK, but I'm sure that we will see some services that really need to be in the container with the other components. So test.
  • The deployment requires a 20.04 Operating System.
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@TIMOTHY MANGAN - Is it possible to configure that with a Windows Installer Packaging Project? I have been looking for examples everywhere, I was about to downgrade to a Windows Setup Project form VS 2015. Thanks!

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I should mention I have a package I need in the Windows Store that has a UI Application and a Background Windows Service. I don't see how to do both in one anywhere, documentation is so light.
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@JeremyTellier  I'm not sure.  I would have used a third party product to help build the package from source.  Advanced Installer should be able to do it, although possibly you need the paid for version. Flexera either can or should shortly be able to.
 
Perhaps @John Vintzel  can provide a link to some VS Setup Project compatible documentation.

 

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Hi @JeremyTellier,

 

The recommendation for apps in development is to use a background task instead of a windows service. You can create an out-of-process background task as outlined here - https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/uwp/launch-resume/create-and-register-a-background-task

 

Cheers,

Tanaka 

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@Tanaka_Jimha Those do not run as LocalSystem though right? The process needs to pull down a service and uninstall/reinstall and resent network settings that require a higher priv level.

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@JeremyTellier If the only purpose of the service is to update the application, and you are the developer, then you should probably be looking at ditching the service and using a better supported way of updating MSIX apps.  

 

Presumably the existing service is making some sort of web connection to detect and download the new software.  MSIX has that built in, if you ask for it.  This will be much simpler for you to support. Here is a link about this, but perhaps @Tanaka_Jimha has a better one.

 

There are some limitations to consider...  See: https://techcommunity.microsoft.com/t5/msix-deployment/msix-automatic-updates-and-authentication/m-p...

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 @TIMOTHY MANGAN - That is not the intent, it does a lot more than that, it is just one of the things it needs to handle, but regardless Windows Store apps should allow you to install and run Windows Services.

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@JeremyTellier  To simplify the past by ignoring pre-releases mentioned in this thread (where things also work):

  • Support for services is included in the 2004 version of the OS (and above). 
  • Support for repackaging with services is in the 2020.603 (and above) Microsoft MSIX Packaging Tool.

There currently is no support for services on 1909 and below versions of Windows 10.  I have not heard Microsoft make any statements about potential back-porting, but I'm guessing that it is not in the plans.

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Ok maybe something is missing here, when I try and push up an mxix in Windows Store without a service it works fine, but if I add a Windows Service I get this:

Package acceptance validation error: The package file Ziti Tunneler-x64.msix specifies a headless app. You don't have permission to create a headless app. Please update AppListEntry="none" in the AppxManifest file and also ensure you have the waiver "HeadlessAppBypass" associated to this app.

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@JeremyTellier Hopefully it isn't because you are the first to try that....

 

But I do know that you must set a new "Capabilities" setting in the manifest to be allowed to have the service in the package.  Off-hand I don't remember which one it is, only that one exists.

 

~Tim

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Hi @JeremyTellier 

 

To offer the best experience for apps via our store we recommend moving from a service to a background task. Your app would need approval to be accepted in the Store with a service, you can find more info on that here - https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/uwp/packaging/app-capability-declarations#restricted-capabi...

 

Cheers,

Tanaka

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@Tanaka_Jimha - You can monitor and install a Windows Service with a Background Task?

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@Tanaka_Jimha - and so our service takes over networking processing like a next generation vpn so it will require a lot more privileged than normal anyway so I would like info on the request process, but the documentation says I just have to state it in the submission, problem is, the submission just errors and doesn't let me submit.

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Hi @JeremyTellier,

 

There is an alternative approval request process noted on the page that you can use (without making the submission). In your case you'd need to state that you're trying to submit a package with a service:

 

".. you must request approval in advance rather than providing info on the Submission options page. To do so, visit the Windows Developer support page. Select Developer support topic Dashboard issue, Issue Type App submissions, and Subcategory Other. Then describe how you are using the capability and why it is necessary for your product. If you do not provide all the information necessary, your request will be denied. You may also be asked to provide more information. Note that this process typically takes 5 business days or longer, so please submit your request well in advance.

You may also use this method of requesting approval (rather than providing this info during your submission), whether or not you're using a development sandbox, if you prefer to confirm that you are approved to use a restricted capability before you start your submission."

 

https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/uwp/packaging/app-capability-declarations#restricted-capabi...

 

Cheers,

Tanaka