AppX Packages and Project Centennial


Package your Win32/.NET application as an AppX package and leverage all the benefits of the Universal Windows Platform (UWP). Without any changes you can have your current application in the Windows Store and get access to all the new WinRT APIs.Appx

Advanced Installer and AppX

This will all be possible starting with version 13.0 of Advanced Installer. At Build 2016 Microsoft gave us access to the next generation of installers for Windows 10, AppX packages.

We already have a support for building AppX packages following the schemas defined with the launch of Windows 8, but now, with Project Centennial, Microsoft is performing a major upgrade for AppX packages.

We are working hard to upgrade Advanced Installer and our next version will also generate an AppX package from your existing projects, without any changes in your code.

AppX Advantages

Having an AppX package means you can have your application available in the Microsoft Store and the opportunity to be discovered by more users.

Gaining access to new APIs will also mean you can now start migrating your app one step at a time, while still serving the large users base from platforms that don’t support the AppX format.

You can now easily create a live tile for your application or integrate Cortana services.

AppX Limitations

A UWP application will only be able to run under user context, this means you will not be able to elevate your application, install services or drivers, write to HKLM registry hive or generate log files in the installation folder of your application.

Obviously this makes UWP unsuitable for some apps, but most apps don't require the above mentioned privileges/resources, and of those that do require many can be easily adapted with just minor changes.

The following article from Microsoft provides more details on the advantages and limitations brought by the AppX packages.

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