Application Packaging and SCCM Deployments specialist, solutions finder, Technical Writer at Advanced Installer.
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Application Packaging Job Interview Questions and Answers
With the release of the MSI Packaging Academy after which you can get a certification that proves your packaging skills, I also thought to give you some of the most used application packaging interview questions, some of which I have asked different applicants during the years. These questions could give you a general idea of what is to be expected when you are going to your next interview and possibly could ease up your emotions.
Windows Package Management: A Comprehensive Guide to WinGet
For many years, Windows was missing a handy feature that Linux users took for granted: an efficient package manager. This tool streamlines the process of installing, updating, and configuring software.
Tackling Unknown Publisher Warning: Understanding and Resolving User Account Control Alerts
Ever stumbled upon the message “Do you want to allow this app from an unknown publisher to make changes to your device”? You're not alone. This User Account Control (UAC) alert can be unclear, and potentially concerning for some users.
How to uninstall software using Package management in PowerShell
We've all been there - you're trying to uninstall a piece of software, but it just doesn't seem to be as straightforward as you'd like. Perhaps the traditional uninstall process is proving to be a hassle, or maybe the software doesn't seem to want to leave your system, no matter how hard you try.
How to Install Unsigned Drivers easily on Windows 10/11?
The confusion of dealing with unsigned drivers can sometimes disrupt your software installation process. Windows typically raises a red flag when such drivers come into play, triggering a warning message that it can't validate the publisher's credibility.
What is PowerShell and how to use it to customize your MSI
In today’s software development industry, the partnership between PowerShell and MSI packaging continues to grow stronger.
What is a MIME type and how can you declare it?
In the world of digital communication, being able to correctly identify and interpret different types of data files is crucial.
How to Import Windows Registry (.reg) Files
Working with registry files is quite a simple task. However, depending on the action you want to take, you can encounter various scenarios.
How to easily Read INI Files with PowerShell commands
With the rise of configuration files in various applications, understanding the ins and outs of INI files can elevate your productivity as a developer or software enthusiast. Despite their roots in the 16-bit Microsoft Windows platforms, INI files remain a crucial part of application configurations.
How to Handle Driver Installation through an MSI package?
Installing software drivers can often seem like a complex task, but it doesn’t have to be. While MSI technology doesn't directly support driver installation, the Operating System (OS) provides a multitude of ways to achieve this.
Inno Setup vs Advanced Installer: A Comparison in Package Creation
Inno Setup is a free open-source script-driven installer creator that was released in 1997. Inno Setup has some similarities to WiX Toolset, like not having a GUI when it comes to package creation and that it's dependent on code.
How to Handle Process Custom Actions in MSI Packaging
Understanding custom actions can be challenging, and most beginner IT Professionals tend to “leave the chat” when custom actions are brought to the table. Without a doubt, MSI technology is complex, and best practices have evolved over the years, adding to the difficulty.
How to Configure Firewall Rules via MSI with Custom Actions
To enhance the security of your machines, it is crucial to properly define and configure the firewall rules, ensuring a safer environment.
How to fix the "This package can only be run from a bootstrapper" error?
To repackage a setup, we first need to understand how that setup was originally built. You can find a brief explanation of this in our free MSI Packaging eBook.
Change Output Directory For Temporary PowerShell Files in Advanced Installer
The Run PowerShell inline script is offered as a predefined Custom Action in Advanced Installer. This action lets you directly type a code into the Advanced Installer editor. After saving your project and building the MSI, the custom action will execute according to your configuration.
What is a ThinApp package and how good is it for app deployment?
With VMware ThinApp, your application management and delivery across different computing environments is much easier.
"There is a problem with this Windows Installer package" Error: 5 Repair Methods
For several decades, MSI technology has played a crucial role in ensuring seamless installation of Windows Applications on a device. Typically, MSIs will only throw errors to the users if there are significant issues with the package itself.
How to Use PowerShell App Deployment Toolkit for Wrapper Handling
In the previous article discussing "Repackaging vs. Wrapping", we touched upon the concept of working with wrappers in the world of software packaging and deployment.
Mastering the DLL and OCX File Registration Methods: The Complete How-To Guide
Object Linking and Embedding (OLE) is a proprietary technology developed by Microsoft that enables developers to embed and link to other objects.
Create MSI packages via command lines: Unleash the power of automation
Automation is probably one of the most used words in the IT Industry these days. We can't enter a room without hearing about it in the software packaging industry. However, sometimes simplicity is key.
How to use the Winget tool to deploy apps in Microsoft Intune
In this article, we'll explore the various uses of WinGet and the options available when it comes to Store Apps deployment in Intune.
De-hardcoding File Paths Using VbScript and PowerShell Custom Actions
Often throughout the repackaging process, it's frequent to come across files featuring straightforward paths such as: C:\Program Files.
Deploy MSIX Applications with Group Policies: Direct MSIX Deployment and MSI Wrapper Methods Explained
In this article, we'll explore how to deploy an MSIX using Group Policies, covering Direct MSIX Deployment with Scheduled Tasks and the MSI Wrapper method.
How to Add C++ Dependencies to Your .NET MAUI MSIX Package
.NET MAUI (Multi-platform App UI) is a cross platform framework designed for creating native mobile and desktop applications using C# and XAML. With the .NET MAUI platform, you can create applications that run on Android, iOS, MacOS, and Windows from a single code-base.
Migrating to MSIX: Limitations, Workarounds and Solutions
MSIX is a modern technology that has transformed the way we approach software installations and deployments, both for individual users and enterprises.
Deploying PowerShell Scripts in SCCM: Application Model vs. Legacy Packages vs. Scripts
There are multiple ways to deploy PowerShell scripts in SCCM. Some of the most popular options are the Application model, the Legacy Packages model, and most recently, the Scripts option.
Repackaging vs Wrapping: Which is the Best Option for Software Packaging?
One of the greatest things about software packaging is the variety of choices available to you to achieve your objectives. However, having too many alternatives to choose from can make it challenging to pick the best one for your requirements.
How to Change the Packaging Type of APPX or MSIX - UWP vs. Win32 App
In some cases, changing the packaging type of an application requires going back to the drawing board. Even though Advanced Installer's GUI lets you convert MSIX packages by importing them, changing the packaging type of an application can still be a bit tricky.
How to Create an MSIX Package for WinForms Application
As an IT professional, you might have come across Windows Forms (WinForms) when building applications on Windows. WinForms is a free and open source GUI class library included in the .NET Framework that has been heavily used since its release in 2002.
MSI Upgrade vs. MSP Patch. Which one to use?
In the tech industry, there's often a dilemma about which technology to use for patches. Specifically, when an ISV (Independent Software Vendor) creates an MSI for the first time and updates come up, they must choose between MSP and MSI options.
What is App Installer? And how to use it to simplify MSIX installation and updating process
In our previous articles, we discussed How to Set Automatic MSIX Downgrades with .appinstaller and the MS-AppInstaller Web Protocol, and now we will be discussing the technicalities of the .appinstaller.
Unattended Installation - How to Silently Install your EXE using PowerShell & CMD?
One of the main challenges IT Pros face with application packages is the unattended installation. Unattended installations ensure that the same configuration is applied to all your active systems in the infrastructure, and no human error during installation can change that configuration.
How to avoid the "Windows Defender SmartScreen prevented an unrecognized app from starting" warning
As a vendor, you may often receive user complaints about the “Windows Defender SmartScreen prevented an unrecognized app from starting" warning whenever they download your installer.
What is Microsoft Intune? The Ultimate Guide for Beginners
Although Microsoft Endpoint Configuration Manager (formerly SCCM) is still a very popular infrastructure management tool, many companies are moving to Azure and Intune.
What are the Pros and Cons of using VBScript in MSI packaging?
22 years after its introduction, MSI is still the most widely used method of managing program installation. Microsoft released Windows Installer with Office 2000 to enable the application's administration to follow a set of common guidelines (installing, repairing, uninstalling).
MSIX App Attach Step-by-Step Guide: How to configure MSIX App Attach for Azure Virtual Desktop
In our previous blog post, Azure Virtual Desktop - Step by Step Guide of Creating, Configuring and Managing your AVD setup, we took a look at how we can set up an Azure Virtual Desktop environment.
How To Package Adobe Reader DC for AVD MSIX AppAttach
Adobe Reader DC (Document Cloud) is one of the most popular tools to manage PDFs. Adobe Reader DC installation is an executable (EXE) file.
How to create a Windows installer package - Beginner Guide
In this article, you will get an overview of Windows Installer packages, what application packaging formats are available, and how to create your first MSI package.
Best Practices for Repackaging ClickOnce Applications
ClickOnce is a Microsoft deployment technology that facilitates deploying Windows applications.
Group MSIX Shortcuts in the Start Menu
Starting with Windows 10 (version 20H2), Microsoft added the option to group MSIX Shortcuts in the Start Menu. This is a particularly convenient feature that was highly requested by the packaging community.
Getting started with Procmon: The Beginner’s Guide to Monitoring Windows Systems
Process Monitor is probably one of the most used tools by IT Pros to debug applications and check installations. We mentioned Process Monitor in our MSI Packaging Training free e-book but this time around, we want to explore it further. We will discuss its prerequisites and share how you can get started with it.
Your app installation is 100% SAC compatible with Advanced Installer
With the release of Windows 11 Insider Preview Build 22567, Microsoft added a new security feature called Smart App Control (or SAC in short).
The gray area between Installation Testing and Application Testing
Installer testing and application testing are two completely different subjects, even though they can seem very similar.
How To Remove Files and Folders when Uninstalling with WiX
In some instances, when uninstalling an MSI, you may notice that some files and folders stay in the system and are not removed.
How to Replace ClickOnce application with MSIX
Although not as popular and widely adopted as MSI, ClickOnce has been around for some time in the application packaging industry. ClickOnce enables you to create self-updating Windows-based applications that can be installed and run with minimal user interaction.
How to preserve customizations between IIS updates in just one-click
In this article we’ll go through how you can preserve customizations between IIS (Internet Information Services) updates in just one-click.
How to fix application crash when modifying MSIX user registry using Windows 10 V2004
Prior to Windows 10 version 2004, if your MSIX package contained an HKCU registry and your application tried to modify it, the operation would crash.
How to automatically code sign the MSI with GitHub Actions
In our previous article titled "How to automate the MSI building using GitHub Actions", we saw how you can use Advanced Installer's own GitHub Action to automate the build of your MSI packages.
How to automate the MSI building using GitHub Actions
The GitHub Actions platform simplifies the automation of your software workflows. It allows you to build, test and deploy your code directly from GitHub, making it a super reliable CI/CD platform.
How to deploy MSIX Packages with Microsoft Intune
With Intune, Microsoft made it easier to deploy MSIX/APPX packages in your infrastructure.
Azure Virtual Desktop - Step by Step Guide of Creating, Configuring and Managing your AVD setup
Virtual Machines are not a new concept in the business world. In fact, companies are very familiar with services such as VMWare and Citrix to handle specific tasks, like giving users access to applications.
Why is the MSIX Registry not visible on the machine?
Based on my experience, when working with beginner IT Pros who are starting out with MSIX, there's a common misconception when defining registry keys.
How to Create and Test an MSIX for a Python Application
Python is one of the most widely used programming languages, due to its versatility. In a previous article, we covered how to create an MSI for a Python application, where we first converted the Python into an exe and then created an MSI for that Python executable.
Windows Installer vs. SCCM Cache Folder - How to repair or upgrade an MSI installed via SCCM?
We've received inquiries from users that encounter issues with the SCCM cache folder.
MSIX PowerShell Cmdlets - Install MSIX files and MSIXBundles
MSIX uses the same PowerShell cmdlets available for AppX packages. But Microsoft added aliases for them not to create confusion between the AppX and MSIX packages.Let’s go through some of them with a few examples.
How to Edit an MSI Package With Advanced Installer
Sometimes we need to perform quick edits to our MSI packages without having to create a new project or going through the whole repackaging process.
MSIX Applications: Handle Prerequisites by Declaring Dependencies in MSIX
In the packaging industry, we're used to using application dependencies very often. And with the transition from MSI to MSIX, we have more options to declare and handle them.
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
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 package 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.
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 - 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.
Repackage Java Runtime and Create an MSI Installer
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.
Convert Google Chrome MSI installer to MSIX through repackaging
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.