The advent of MSIX AppAttach for Windows Virtual Desktop has revolutionized the management and deployment of applications on servers. Familiar to many is the MSIX Packaging Tool, detailed guides for which are readily available, such as on Christiaan Brinkhoff’s blog. However, this article delves deeper into the realm of MSIX Package Automation, showcasing its potential to streamline application deployment.
Step-by-Step Guide to MSIX Package Automation:
Preparing the Environment:
- To automate the creation of an MSIX package from a Notepad++ Executable, start by ensuring you have a Virtual Machine (VM) with the MSIX Packaging Tool installed. This tool is also required on your local machine as it’s utilized by various PowerShell scripts involved in the process. You can find Notepad++ installation files and the MSIX Packaging Tool online.
Setting Up Your Virtual Machine:
- Use Hyper-V Manager to create a new VM, selecting the “MSIX Packaging Tool Environment” for a pre-installed packaging tool setup.
- Once the VM is deployed, connect and start it. It’s crucial to set up an “Offline Account” for automation purposes. Remember to keep a record of the username and password for later use in the scripts.
Downloading and Configuring Scripts:
- Obtain PowerShell scripts designed for MSIX package automation from the author’s GitHub repository. These include ‘entry.ps1’, ‘batch_convert.ps1’, ‘sign_deploy_run.ps1’, and ‘run_job.ps1’.
- Customize the ‘entry.ps1’ script with the VM credentials and specify the conversion parameters for your package, like the Notepad++ example provided.
Running the Automation Process:
- Execute the ‘entry.ps1’ script in PowerShell as an administrator. This will initiate the conversion process, and upon successful completion, the newly created MSIX package will be located in the “out/MSIX” folder.
- The process also includes taking a snapshot of your VM before packaging, which is restored afterward, ensuring your VM is ready for future packaging tasks.
Signing Your Package:
- It’s essential to sign your MSIX package with a certificate, either a purchased Code Sign Certificate or a self-generated one. For the latter, ensure it’s installed on all target machines where the MSIX package will be deployed.
- Utilizing MSIX AppAttach:
- With your MSIX package ready, you can effortlessly convert it into a VHD or CIM format for MSIX AppAttach, using various community-developed tools.
MSIX Package Automation simplifies the package creation process, proving that even complex tasks like application deployment can be automated. For more insights into MSIX, MSIX AppAttach, or automation techniques, feel free to reach out for guidance.
Read more: the complete guide by Leon Janssen: https://www.microsoft365.nl/2021/05/19/msix-package-automation/