Alex Marin

Application Packaging and SCCM Deployments specialist, solutions finder, Technical Writer at Advanced Installer.

FOLLOW ALEX ON

Written articles

MSIX Shared Containers: How to access resources between different applications

MSIX delivered Shared Package Containers to allow applications to share their files and registries, enabling classic Win32 apps to communicate with each other without changing any code.

How To Configure Azure Key Vault to Sign your MSIX Packages: A Step-by-Step Guide

If there's something we've mentioned over and over again about MSIX is that it requires digital signing. We have a diversity of resources regarding this topic, from why it is a good practice to include a timestamp when signing a package, to automating the whole digital signing process of MSIX Packages.

Building Multilingual MSIX Packages

Announced in 2018, MSIX was presented by Microsoft as the universal package format. Although it may not be widely known, the MSIX technology retains the functionalities for translations and localizations of Universal Windows Platform or UWP Apps.

How To Embed CAB Files in MSI

One of the most asked questions in the industry is related to CAB files and what embedding options these have within the WiX Toolset.

How To Execute Powershell Custom Actions in MSI using DLL

Over the years, we've received many questions regarding how Custom Actions work with PowerShell scripts in MSI.

Automating the Digital Signing Process of your MSIX Packages with MSIX Tweaker

A while ago we released a free tool for APP-V called TweakAPPV at Advanced Installer. Our purpose with this tool was to take App-V 5.x editing from the command-line to a new level by offering full access to the package contents.

How to handle AppData in MSI using Custom Actions

Many applications keep settings or configurations in files that later get stored in per-user based locations, such as %appdata% or %localappdata% folders.

Why you should always register your MSI with Windows Installer

In this article, we will explore what happens during a Windows Installer registration and what are the repercussions that appear if you don't register your MSI during installation.

MSI Permissions Guide: Three Ways to Add Rights With your Installer

Applications often require different types of permissions to operate smoothly - so adding permissions to files, folders, and registry keys is a standard practice in MSI.

How to Create an MSI for a Python Application

As one of the most prominent programming languages in the world, Python is supported by many tools and modules. It is easy to learn and provides a nicely constructed code -- which opens the door for many solutions and endless possibilities.

How to Add Notepad++ plugins to an MSIX package

Did you package Notepad++ as an MSIX, and need to add extra plugins to it?

We analysed the bandwidth savings when using an MSIX package - and it's more than 50%.

It has been almost a year since we started building MSI and MSIX packages for Advanced Installer. The first versions were purely for internal testing and evaluation of potential show stoppers (elevation requirements, virtual machine integrations, etc).

How to Set Automatic MSIX Downgrades with .appinstaller

As we've emphasized before, we're big fans of MSIX technology here at Advanced Installer. It has brought more control to developers when it comes to their packages -- as it includes options for repackaging, rolling back updates and even downgrade scenarios.

How to use any type of Environment Variable in MSIX

In a previous article we had a look on how Environment Variables work with MSIX. We now know that in MSIX, Environment Variables are redefined as AppExecutionAlias.

How does the MSI Registration ProductID look like and where to find it?

Ever wonder how an MSI registration ProductID is created?When installing an MSI, it registers on the system with a "strange" ProductID (different from regular ProductIDs) which is sometimes tricky to find. This is particularly challenging when you're trying to locate the package installer by its ProductID.

How to: Set up Firewall Rules in MSIX

A firewall is a network security system that can be found on any modern operating system. It's purpose is to act as a barrier against network-based intrusions, to monitor and control incoming and outgoing traffic following an organization's predetermined security rules.

How to: Get Reports on MSIX/APPX App Inventory in SCCM

Managing an infrastructure doesn’t only require updating software, creating OS deployments, or applying GPOs (Group Policy Object).

How to Deal with MSIX Packages in SCCM Task Sequences

MSIX packages are installed by default per-user, and the option to provision per-machine MSIX applications is possible through SCCM - which is not yet available in Task Sequences.

Can you have Environment Variables in MSIX? Yes, and here's how to set them.

Environment variables are settings or paths that are set outside of a program and can be globally accessed by any software.

The MSIX Shift. And why you should start preparing for it.

With App-V packages closing to end-of-life (2026), the reality of a transition to MSIX is much closer and many are starting to research the ins and outs of what it entails. Although we now know that MSIX is not an update to MSI, but a completely new technology, there are still some correlations that we'd like to address.

How does MSIX package upgrades change industry best practices?

When building a new version of an installation package, you should pay attention not only to adding improvements but also ensuring a seamless upgrade to the old version.

Installing Fonts in MSIX Package

If you have ever wondered how fonts are installed in an MSIX package or if you want to master all MSIX concepts, you landed on the perfect page. In the following article, we’ll see how to add and register fonts so your package will be more impactful.

Technical Guide: Per-machine deployment of MSIX in SCCM

On a recent post, we explored how MSIX deployments are done via SCCM, covering the scenario when a per-user installation is needed.

How To Disable Registry and File Redirections for MSIX

Recently, in one of our previous articles, we covered how MSIX redirects user data to specific locations.

How to Disable MSIX Uninstallation

Although not necessarily common practice, there are some instances where you would want to prevent users from uninstalling specific MSIX packages such as monitoring software that is required to gather data from all employees.

How much can you automate your software packaging process? An IT Pro perspective.

Automation. A word heavily used around industries, especially the software one. A word that arouses great interest for every manager, service, or business owner.

How to continue with an installation after reboot?

Although it’s a rare scenario - you might run into the situation where you need to continue the installation of a certain application after reboot. We are talking about a silent installation that doesn't require admin rights or any input from the user.

How to create components in Advanced Installer. And why you should not bother with it.

As a standard, Advanced Installer automatically creates the components when generating the product package. The automatic process respects a strict set of Windows Installer rules, together with a series of best practices we have gathered from our customers during the years.

How does MSIX handle the temp folder? And why is it important to know it!

We learned in How does Files Redirection work with MSIX that user data files, either from the project or created by executables, are automatically redirected to: %localappdata%\packages\PublisherName.AppName_hash\LocalCache.

Always use the app package version and not app version to your package versioning

Every software packaging department has its own rules when it comes to MSI - whether we talk about naming convention (package naming, product naming) or package description and comments.

Do not delete your Windows Installer folder

Lessons I have learned from making many mistakes in my enterprise software packaging newbie (and not only) years.

How to Provision and Remove MSIX Packages Per Machine?

In our IT Pro world, the best practice we have in place regarding app deployment is that all applications are installable per machine. No matter if it’s an MSI, EXE, or other custom types of installers.

How does Files Redirection work with MSIX?

The purpose of this article is to show you how redirection works and how you can add your user files in the project using Advanced Installer GUI.

Registry in MSIX container- the quick way to inspect a registry hive

When it comes to registry inside the MSIX container, we all know that by default there is no direct access from the machine.

The fastest way to run CMD inside MSIX and APP-V containers

Just think about how many times you needed to debug your applications.And every single time you repeat the long commands in PowerShell , you wish it was a better alternative out there. Well, we felt that pain too. So, as software development is in our blood, we developed a tool to solve forever this pain.

Enable auto-updates for your MSIX packages without publishing your apps in the Microsoft Store

If you want to upload an MSIX to the Microsoft Store, you might be overwhelmed by the process, or not know where to start. This article makes each step clear – you’ll have your app up and running in no time at all.

MS-AppInstaller Web Protocol — Enable your web-users to launch MSIX installations with a single click

Web protocols are not something new to the table. We have been using them for years, and they make our life a bit easier.

The new way of dealing with Startup Application in your MSIX package

This article explores Microsoft's recommended solution for managing your Startup applications, when deployed as an MSIX package.

Bundles-Wix vs. Advanced Installer

If you are in the software packaging business, you might have heard of WIX bootstrapper. This was released by Microsoft back in 2004, and it was the first ever open source license project for them.

Disable Updates in Google Chrome Enterprise

One fundamental rule in almost any enterprise regarding applications is to disable the auto-updates feature. However, from an enterprise point of view, it makes sense.

Recache MST

Sometimes you might end up in a situation when you cannot uninstall a package. We already covered how you can recache an MSI in our user guide. However, we noticed that this might not work for transforms (MSTs) and a different solution is needed.

Packaging Series:Convert VLC Media Player to MSIX

VLC media player (or in short VLC) is an open-source, cross-platform media player created by VideoLan. At the moment, its one of the most popular players on the market.Let’s see if we can convert it to the new MSIX technology by Microsoft and what challenges we face in doing so.

Capture applications which require a reboot

A few years ago, we were used to rebooting our machines to complete installations; nowadays, applications that require a restart are becoming a thing of the past.

Packaging Series: How to build an MSIX package for Notepad++

Notepad++ is the most popular free source code editor. Since MSIX is the future of packaging, let’s see how we can repackage Notepad++ to MSIX by using Advanced Installer.

AppData Management in MSI/MSIX/APPV

Let’s assume that you have an application that installs files or registry in a user location. In this article we explain how you can install that information for all users by using MSI, APP-V or the new Microsoft installer technology, MSIX, a short cleanup process description, and a short comparison between them.

Windows 10 Migration for Enterprises

In January 2020, Windows 7 end of life support comes in place. This means that users won’t receive any updates from Microsoft, and companies have to pay extra for the next three years if they want them.

Custom Actions in Wise Installer vs Advanced Installer

Wise Installer was one of the most popular software tool used for creating application installers. It’s discontinued from 2013, but until then not many changes were added to it since the original launch. However, it’s still used to this day by many users in the world. Custom action offer the possibility to extend the logic of the installer by adding scripts, executables, dll’s and many more, so let’s have a look on how custom actions are added in Wise vs Advanced Installer.

Context menu in MSIX

In our days, many apps offer you a context menu. A context menu is a pop-up menu that appears after a user interaction, for example, in Windows, when you perform a right-click. However, there are two types of context menus:

MSIX PowerShell Cmdlets

MSIX uses the same PowerShell cmdlets available for AppX packages. But Microsoft added aliases for them to no create confusion between the AppX and MSIX package. Let’s go through some of them with a few examples

MSIX - PackageName vs Application ID

If we check the official Microsoft documentation about PackageName and appID, we can see that in theory, there aren’t so many differences between them.

Packaging Series: Java

Java is one of the most recognized frameworks, made popular by many things, the most important of all WORA (Write once, run anywhere). But, if you want to run any type of Java code on a machine, you obviously need to install the Java Runtime (JRE) first.

Suites Installer: Wise vs Advanced Installer

There are times when you need to install multiple applications at once, either EXEs or MSIs; we call this a suite installation. Wise Installer was one of the most popular software tool used for creating application installers. It was discontinued in November 2013 and offered a solution for such cases. In this article, we have a look at how you can achieve that in a simple and modern manner using Advanced Installer compared with the old ways of Wise Studio.

Packaging Series: Google Chrome Enterprise

Google Chrome is one of the most popular browsers on the market at the moment. For enterprise use and deployment, Google offers the Chrome browser as an MSI installer.