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Microsoft MSIX Packaging Tool

MSIX Packaging Tool enables you to update your existing (or older) win32 application packages to the MSIX format. You can run your older desktop installers through this tool and obtain an MSIX package that you can install on your machine and upload to the Microsoft Store (coming soon).

 

MSIX Format

“MSIX file” is the new app format announced by Microsoft, It basically combines the features of Store apps, and the classic MSI file packaging format .This new MSIX format will support all types of Windows apps including Desktop apps (Win32), .NET apps and Store (UWP) apps.

According to Microsoft, it can perform below

  • Inherits UWP features.
  • Supports application customization.
  • Has more container security options.
  • Supports all Windows applications.

The tool is in preview right now, so you can’t do every operation as it will be possible in the final release, but what’s available is this:

  • Package your favorite application(msi, exe, App-V 5.x and to MSIX format by launching the tool and selecting “Application package” icon.
  • Create a modification package for a newly created Application MSIX Package by launching the tool and selecting “Modification package” icon. More detail on modification packages coming shortly.
  • Open your MSIX package to view and edit its content/properties by navigating to “Open package editor” tab and browsing to the MSIX package and selecting open package.

Features not supported in the tool are currently greyed out find below few highlighted missing features:

  • Some options in the Settings page, such as adding or removing VFS/VREG and defining a default save location.
  • Package Support Framework for more detail on how you can use Package Support Framework today.
  • Packaging on existing virtual machines. You can still install the Tool on a fresh VM but the tool cannot currently spawn off a conversion from a local machine to an existing VM.
  • Command Line Interface support
  • Conversion of App-V 4.6 SP3 packages

The app is automatically update from the Microsoft Store and more features will be available in future

There are some system requirements or subscription requirements.

Prerequisites

  • Participation in Windows Insider fast or slow rings
  • Minimum Windows 10 Build 17701 or later
  • Administrator privileges on your PC account
  • A valid MSA alias (to access the app from the Store)

Refer  GitHub Product Page where you can find more details

Download

To install MSIX Packaging Tool from Microsoft Store

Note: – Make sure you are logged in with the MSA that is used for your Windows Insider Program. Next, go to the product description page and click the Install icon to begin the installation.

Some recommendations:

  • When Packaging ClickOnce installers it is necessary to send a shortcut to desktop if the installer is not doing so already. In general, it is good practice to always remember to send a shortcut to desktop for the main app executable.
  • When creating modification packages, you need to declare the Package Name (Identity Name) of the parent application in the tool UI so that the tool sets the correct package dependency in the manifest of the modification package.
  • Declaring an installation location field in Package information page is optional but recommended. Make sure that this path matches the installation location of application Installer.
  • Performing the preparation steps in Prepare Computer page is optional but highly recommended.

Source: Microsoft TechCommunity