Technical difficulties in MSIX Packaging Tool. Please help

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New Contributor

I am new to this tool and trying to convert the existing applications to MSIX format. I could able to convert the existing applications (EXE/MSI) to MSIX format but while installing the application on windows 10 , facing the following issues :-

 

  • Scenario 1: If application has a shortcut which is pointing to .BAT file, then I couldn't see any shortcut under "First launch task". For testing, i have selected an exe file from the installation directory & completed the capture. while installing the application, i don't see the application shortcut(s) on the destination machine.  Is there any way that i can add the shortcuts manually?
  • Scenario 2: I thought MSIX tool will not capture the BAT/URL shortcut so I have converted the BAT file to EXE format & Changed the shortcut parameter to EXE. now I can  able to see the application shortcuts on windows 10 machine but when i launched, it is not working as expected. the current directory of the BATCH/EXE pointing to some other location but not the actual directory . (i.e., the shortcut has the following parameter - C:\Anaconda3-2020.02\pythonw.exe C:\Anaconda3-2020.02\cwp.py C:\Anaconda3-2020.02 C:\Anaconda3-2020.02\pythonw.exe C:\Anaconda3-2020.02\Scripts\anaconda-navigator-script.py. i have created a BAT file with the below script and converted to EXE using freeware tool)

    set mypath=%cd%
    echo %mypath%


    %mypath%\python.exe %mypath%\cwp.py %mypath% %mypath%\python.exe %mypath%\Scripts\jupyter-notebook-script.py "%USERPROFILE%/"

  •  

     Scenario 3: I have captured the exe using Adminstudio/repackager tool and customize the shortcuts to point only to EXE instead of BAT file. Once received MSI file, captured again with MSI packaging tool. Again i'm facing the same issue as i have seen in Scenario 2.

 

Do we have an option to unpack the captured MSIX file? if yes, where i need to change the parameter to make it work if the application has following parameter to launch - C:\Anaconda3-2020.02\pythonw.exe C:\Anaconda3-2020.02\cwp.py C:\Anaconda3-2020.02 C:\Anaconda3-2020.02\pythonw.exe C:\Anaconda3-2020.02\Scripts\anaconda-navigator-script.py?

4 Replies

You have run into a couple of issues. First, as you surmised, the packaging tool does not capture shortcuts to non exe files. Second, it does not bring along any command line arguments.

The good news is that this is easily overcome by using the Package Support Framework. You can inject/configure this by using the free PsfTooling app (free app in the Microsoft Store). You would still use the MSIX packaging tool, but after installing the app and still monitoring, you would start PsfTooling and it will detect the problem and make it easy to fix.  AdminStudio also includes PSF capabilities that can deal with this.

The bad news is that even with the shortcut issue solved, Anaconda is not working for other (unknown) causes. Generically, python works OK under MSIX, so there is something specific to the Anaconda wrapper that I have not yet solved.

@TIMOTHY MANGAN 

Thank you very much for your response.

 

Please let me know how can i use Package Support Framework along with MSIX packgaing tool or Adminstudio? is it possible to share any relevant links?

 

Current issue:

Need to capture the shortcut which has BAT files

Need to capture the shortcuts which has extra parameter.

 

I am trying to convert the MSI to MSIX using Adminstudio as well, getting this error - This package contains no shortcuts defined for the application. applications are usually necessary to define the entry popint into the MSIX/Appx app.

 

Your help is much appreciated.

This link contains links to acquire from the Microsoft Store or direct download from my site: https://www.tmurgent.com/appv/en/resources/tools-downloads/msix-tools/128-msix-tools/557-psftoolingv...

There is actually a free training course on using it, however it was built against a much earlier version of the tool and it is much easier to use these days. After install, start the tool and look for the Information button which has built-in help. http://www.tmurgent.com/educate/

Hi @Mjahange_786

 

I'd be happy to offer some help on your experience.

 

What Timothy Mangan shared is correct, the MSIX Packaging Tool only detects *.exe files as being eligible as for creating shortcuts. With the use of the MSIX Package Support Framework ("https://aka.ms/msix-psf"), other files can be the target, and you can incorporate parameters with the shortcuts. Details on how to use the Package Support Framework can be found on our MSIX Docs site (Package Support Framework - MSIX | Microsoft Docs). 

 

Unpackaging the MSIX App:

Unpackaging the MSIX Windows Apps can be done in a couple of ways. Using the MSIX Packaging Tool, or through the use of the MakeAppx -unpack command.

 

Overview of MSIX Packaging Tool - Editor

Edit a package using Package editor - MSIX | Microsoft Docs

 

Editing an MSIX App Package - Commandline:

Create an app package with the MakeAppx.exe tool - MSIX | Microsoft Docs

 

Creating Shortcuts:

We have an article in the Microsoft Docs (See below) that provides guidance on how to leverage the MSIX Package Support Framework to create new shortcuts into your MSIX App. The Shortcuts can contain parameter when using the Package Support Framework.

 

Download the MSIX Package Support Framework:

MSIX Package Support Framework | GitHub

Windows SDK Download | Microsoft Developer Downloads

 

Package Support Framework - Creating Shortcuts:

Package Support Framework - Launching Windows Apps with Parameters - MSIX | Microsoft Docs

 

Please let me know if this was helpful.

 

Roy