New easy and cross-platform packaging tool that supports MSIX

Contributor

Conveyor is a new packaging tool that makes it easy to distribute desktop apps across multiple platforms. It's primarily focused on developers who use cross-platform frameworks like Electron or the JVM, but can also be used for native apps. For Windows users it creates MSIX files and if you want to, you can use it as an alternative to the Microsoft toolchain for building MSIX packages.

 

The main reasons to consider doing that are:

 

  • You can build and sign MSIX files from any OS including e.g. Linux CI machines.
  • It generates nice download HTML pages for you.
  • It uses a simple but powerful superset of JSON for configuration.
  • You can check for and then force upgrades easily by just polling your download site URL to find the latest version. If you then decide to upgrade, you just run a small EXE that gets bundled with your app at packaging time and then shut down - the little EXE will show the user a download progress bar, perform the update and then restart you automatically. You don't need any custom C# or other Windows code.
  • Conveyor works around various bugs in Windows automatically.

It's important to understand that Conveyor isn't a general purpose "repackager". It doesn't take any arbitrary program and turn it into an MSIX. Although you could use it that way, it's focused on the subset of programs that don't do anything too complex w.r.t. OS integration, and expects you to specify in a config file what the package should contain and do. It's intended for apps or developers that value an easy to use and cross platform tool.

0 Replies