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Microsoft

Some folks have asked me if there is anything we can do to start the move to MSIX today?

 

The tooling is expected to be in a Windows Insider preview in the June timeframe.  Meanwhile folks can start by using the Desktop bridge.  100% of apps that convert to the desktop bridge will update to MSIX.

 

Check out http://aka.ms/DesktopBridge for more information.

 

If your app does not easily convert via the desktop bridge, don't worry.  We will have more support coming for MSIX to make the transition easy!

 

John Vintzel | @jvintzel

Principal Program Manager Lead, MSIX 

28 Replies
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Hi John,

 

I work in the space of appv and msi technology and I am excite to know more about MSIX.

given we are migrating apps on win 10 I would like to know which is the best tool to convert our existing desktop apps into appx. I would also like to know if we can use sccm to distribute this appx package and whether it needs to installed into private store for business.

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What if we have a mixture of Win7 & Win10 computers and WinForms & WPF apps.  Can MSIX be used to replace ClickOnce and provide the deployment & auto-update for these scenarios?  If so, how do we get started reviewing/testing to possibly convert?  Thx

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Best Response confirmed by John Vintzel (Microsoft)
Solution

Amit,

 

When looking to move your existing apps forward to MSIX, I'd recommend starting with the tooling vendor creating your packages today (if you have one). For example, if you're using the WiX Toolset to create your installation packages, we at FireGiant have created an extension to create .appx packages (and soon MSIX packages when Windows provides full support for MSIX) along with your .msi packages. I expect all the other major packaging vendors will support MSIX as well. If you don't have a vendor already, there are several to choose from (I think this presentation showed them: https://developer.microsoft.com/en-us/events/build/content/msix-inside-and-out-pptx).

 

As to your second question, MSIX will allow you deploy directly via SCCM. You can use the Windows Store for Business but it is not a requirement. MSIX deployment is much more like MSI in that way.

 

Hope that helps.

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We do offer an auto-updating solution on Windows 10 to replace ClickOnce with MSIX. As for Windows 7, to use MSIX you need to wrap the MSIX file with the MSIX SDK on GitHub.  That will allow you to read, extract, verify the package and deploy it the devices.  There is no native auto-updating with MSIX on Windows 7, again that would need to leverage the SDK.

 

For Windows 10, this session covers the update behaviors and more. https://developer.microsoft.com/en-us/events/build/content/msix-inside-and-out-pptx

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You can start by converting your existing app to .appx with the Desktop App Converter (you can find it in the Microsoft Store)

You can use MDMs to distribute.

Yes, you can distribute your app by putting them on Microsoft Store or Store for Business

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You can use the auto updates through App Installer. For more details checkout

 

1) The build talk MSIX Inside and Out

2) this blog https://blogs.msdn.microsoft.com/appinstaller/2017/09/27/automated-app-updates-with-appinstaller-fil...

3) The documentation for App Installer: https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/uwp/schemas/appinstallerschema/schema-root

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There are support from these vendors.
Advanced Installer, flexera, cloudhouse etc..
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For win 7, as per my knowledge you have to wrap the msix inside a msi and can deploy it. This again is not a good move going back to msi..
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The following have announced upcoming support for MSIX:

Advanced Installer

Cloudhouse

Embarcadero

Firegiant

Flexera

InstallAware

Liquit

Raynet

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Great feedback.  We offer the SDK for folks that might want to minimize the packages they create.  For Windows 7 it is essentially treating the MSIX file as a .cab file, minimizing the repackaging across multiple operating systems.

 

John Vintzel

Principal Program Manager Lead, MSIX

 

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Eagerly waiting for the tool to be released from MS.
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Stay tuned.. We will post some updates as more becomes available.  Most likely sometime this summer.

 

John.

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We’re an application packaging specialist with many customers...how do we get added to this list?

Thx,

Simon
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Hi John ,

 

As you stated MS is working on tool to convert pre-existing packages into msix. Is there an update on it ?

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A Preview of the MSIX Packaging Tool will be coming shortly. We will post an announcement here when it is available.
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I wrote a blog article with a step by step tutorial on how you could convert a setup to an msix and test it today with the tools provided by Microsoft right now:

https://blog.basevision.ch/2018/07/how-to-create-an-msix-right-now-in-the-insider-preview-a-step-by-...

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Great tutorial! Thank you for putting it together.

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Will MSIX be able to create an Custom Actions as it is possible with MSI right now? Working closely with a lot of enterprise customers I see this is very common requirement in MSI packages.
Example for CA in MSI: If target machine's Computer Name contains text "ABC" then run specific command line.
Will something similar be possible with MSIX? 

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The MSIX team has been pretty clear that they see Custom Actions as a problem and thus there are no mechanisms to execute any custom commands during installation. At this time, there isn't any option to get input from the customer during installation either. Custom code will have to be executed by your application.

 

PS: This is the core reasons I expect the Windows Installer (MSI) will remain the "Anything Installer" (see: http://robmensching.com/blog/posts/2018/4/30/msix-conjectures/) for quite a while. As MSIX covers more functionality of Windows, it will start to replace more and more MSIs. But Windows provides a wide surface area so I expect it to take a while to support the full breadth of applications.