As an ever-evolving art, we constantly struggle to apply discipline and semi-automated tools to produce successful and timely deployments for end-users. Hence why we gathered some experienced colleagues and industry connoisseurs to address and write a book with a specific purpose: to help enterprises properly prepare and deliver Windows applications.

In the sea of changes that have occurred in application deployment over the last 20 years, perhaps the most important is the evolution of separation. Rather than having a single entity, a hard disk filled with an unorganized mess, today we prefer to split up the OS from the hardware, the applications from the OS, and the data from all of the above. We use the term “Modern Applications” to encompass several forms of packaging, delivery, and run-time systems, which enable application separation. Even when delivered in bundled images, organizations today treat and manage applications as individual components (at least for part of the process), and those processes can be improved by applying these disciplines.

We will primarily focus on Windows Application packaging and how companies prepare applications for their distribution and use, either within their company or their clients' organizations. While the content of this book is fundamentally intended as an introduction to the practices of application packaging, we believe that it is also valuable even for the most experienced IT Pros. We hope to help them evaluate a different perspective that could open their way to different packaging techniques from the ones that they are used to and understand how these techniques fit into the larger picture.