While MSI (Microsoft Installer) remains the packaging format of choice, it’s clear that MSIX stands as a robust partner to MSI and AppV.
As such, global corporations are beginning to delve into and migrate to MSIX.
Transitioning from MSI to MSIX is relatively easy, as it can be accomplished in two ways — repackaging the MSI package into MSIX or converting it directly, bypassing the repackaging procedure.
However, what if the need arises to convert an MSIX into an MSI within an enterprise environment?
If your software supplier has removed MSI from your release roadmap, necessitating the conversion of the MSIX package into an MSI, then this guide will prove valuable to you.
MSIX represents the advancement of Microsoft’s preceding packaging technologies, such as MSI, App-V, ClickOnce, and AppX. It amalgamates features from traditional installation packages, virtualization technologies, and containerization.
The structure of an MSIX package closely mirrors that of an AppX or App-V package. Essentially, it’s a zip file comprising your application files and a selection of XML configuration files.
MSIX, built upon the Universal Windows Platform (UWP), empowers developers and IT specialists to create and package applications that operate on Windows 10 and Windows, utilizing a shared API across all Windows-running devices.
In addition, it supports legacy Win32 apps, which can be repackaged into MSIX, providing a contemporary packaging experience for all Windows applications.
Note: A desktop application packaged as an MSIX package bears several restrictions. To ensure a seamless MSIX migration, read the article on Preparing to Package a Desktop Application.
Microsoft launched the first iteration of Windows Installer in 1999 as a feature of its Windows 2000 operating system. Subsequent years have seen Microsoft refine and augment the Windows Installer technology, incorporating new functionalities and capabilities with each version.
MSI packages are assembled utilizing Windows Installer technology, which offers a standard method for installing and administrating software on Windows operating systems. This standardization renders MSI packages a favored packaging format in enterprise environments.
Furthermore, they facilitate a sturdy and reliable installation process, mitigating the chances of installation failures and conflicts with other software applications.
Procedure to Convert Your Package from MSIX to MSI
Even though MSIX technology is strongly advocated, if you’re not yet ready to make the transition, Advanced Installer’s GUI can be employed to convert your packages from MSIX to MSI. This conversion can be distilled into three uncomplicated steps:
- Import the MSIX package
- Introduce an MSI build
- Construct your MSI
Let’s delve into these steps:
- Launch Advanced Installer, navigate to the “Import” tab and double-click on the “MSIX Package” project type.
- Choose the MSIX package you wish to import and a destination for the imported resources (files, assets, etc). This action will convert the MSIX package into an Advanced Installer project file.
- Proceed to the “Build” page and click on the “MSI Build” button in the “Builds” tab. After adding the MSI build, you can tailor it to meet your specific requirements.
- 4. Right-click on the “MSIBuild” you previously added and select “Build”.
That’s all there is to it! You’ve now constructed an MSI package, leveraging the resources imported from the MSIX package.
Please note that importing an MSIX file into the Advanced Installer project file will import all its OS-compatible resources (such as files, registries, shortcuts, fonts, and environment variables). Also, remember to sign your MSI package to enhance its security.
We strongly encourage users to embrace MSIX, evaluate its potential, and consider transitioning to this technology at the earliest opportunity. However, if you’re reluctant to migrate to MSIX, Advanced Installer’s GUI can help convert your packages from MSIX to MSI.
We trust that you’ll find this guide informative. Feel free to share your feedback in the comments.