Welcome!

Containers Expo Blog Authors: Jamie Madison, Dalibor Siroky, PagerDuty Blog, Stackify Blog, Matt Lonstine

Related Topics: Microsoft Cloud, Industrial IoT, Microservices Expo, Containers Expo Blog, Silverlight, Agile Computing

Microsoft Cloud: Blog Post

Deploying Windows 8 Apps with System Center 2012 Service Pack 1

New Features in Configuration Manager for Deploying Windows 8 Apps and Windows Store Apps

Among a whole host of new management features, Service Pack 1 for System Center 2012 Configuration Manager adds the ability to now deploy and manage Windows 8 apps for enterprises.  These Windows 8 apps could be internal apps that have been created by your corporate developers, or they could simply be published Windows Store apps that you have reviewed and would now like to distribute to your Windows 8 users.

In this article, I’ll step through the process of deploying internal Windows 8 apps and published Windows Store apps to users. If you’re familiar with prior releases of System Center 2012, you’ll note that this process is very similar to deploying traditional desktop apps to Windows clients – with some additional options to support the new Windows 8 app model.

At the end of this article, I’ll also provide some additional resources that I’d encourage you to leverage as part of this Migration and Deployment article series with my fellow IT Pro Technical Evangelists.

Want to follow along?
If you’d like to follow along with the steps in this article in your own lab environment, you may be interested in this additional Step-by-Step Guide, which will walk you through the process of building a System Center 2012 Configuration Manager Service Pack 1 pilot/demo lab for FREE in the cloud on our Windows Azure Virtual Machines cloud platform:

After building your lab environment, follow these steps to configure boundaries, boundary groups and the Application Catalog site system roles prior to beginning the exercises below.

Application Deployment Scenarios
In this article, we’ll walk through the end-to-end process of deploying two Windows 8 apps – one that is an example of an internally developed enterprise App and one that is an example of a published app on the Windows Store. As part of this process, we’ll organize the steps into the following exercises:

  • Exercise 1: Create Application for an internal Windows 8 app package (.appx package)
  • Exercise 2: Create Application for a published Windows Store app (deep link on Windows Store)
  • Exercise 3: Distribute Application Content to System Center Distribution Points
  • Exercise 4: Deploy Applications to User Collections

Exercise 1: Create Application for an internal Windows 8 app package (.appx package)

In this exercise, we’ll work through the process of defining an application in System Center 2012 Configuration Manager SP1 for an internally-developed Windows 8 app package that we wish to deploy to users.  This process is used when deploying internal line-of-business applications that have been created as Windows 8 apps.

To get started, you’ll need a copy of a Windows 8 app package that one of your developers has created using Visual Studio 2012. Windows 8 App packages are stored as an .appx package file, and that’s what we’ll need to copy to a shared folder on our network to which the System Center site server and administrator both have Read access.

To get started with this exercise, login at the console of your lab System Center 2012 Configuration Manager SP1 site server and launch the Configuration Manager Console.

  1. In the left navigation bar of the Configuration Manager Console, click on the Software Library workspace, followed by the Applications folder node.  On the top ribbon bar, click the Create Application button.

    Win8-CreateApp
    Define a new application

    The Create Application Wizard dialog box will launch.
  2. On the General page of the Create Application Wizard, select Windows app package (.appx file) in the Type field, and click the Browse button to browse to the shared folder location to which you copied the .appx package file.

    Win8-Appx01
    Select the Windows 8 App Package …

    Click the Next button to continue.
  3. On the General Information page of the Create Application Wizard, complete the app information and optionally click the Select… button to specify an administrative category for this app.

    Win8-Appx02
    Complete the Windows 8 App Information …

    Click the Next button to continue.
  4. On the Summary page of the Create Application Wizard, review and confirm the app details.

    Win8-Appx03
    Confirm the Windows 8 App Details …

    Click the Next button to continue.
  5. On the Completion page of the Create Application Wizard, review the completion details for defining this new application.

    Win8-Appx04
    Review the Completion Details …

    Click the Close button to close the Create Application Wizard.

You have completed the process for defining a new Windows 8 App for later deployment with System Center 2012 Configuration Manager SP1.

Exercise 2: Create Application for published Windows Store app (deep link on Windows Store)

In this exercise, we’ll follow a similar process to Exercise 1 above, but this time we’ll be defining an application that is already published on the Windows Store for later deployment with System Center 2012 Configuration Manager SP1.  This process uses a “deep link” to a published Windows Store app and upon deployment will direct users to the specific app page on the Store so that users won’t need to manually search for the app.  These steps are really useful when you’ve located a set of public apps on the Windows Store that you wish to make easily accessible to your users.

To get started, you’ll need to first manually install at least one Windows Store app on a Windows 8 PC, so that you can select it as part of the application definition process in the Configuration Manager Console.

  1. In the left navigation bar of the Configuration Manager Console, click on the Software Library workspace, followed by the Applications folder node.  On the top ribbon bar, click the Create Application button.

    Win8-CreateApp
    Define a new application

    The Create Application Wizard dialog box will launch.
  2. On the General page of the Create Application Wizard, select Windows app package (in the Windows Store) in the Type field, and click the Browse button to browse to the Windows 8 PC to which this app has already been manually installed.

    Win8-AppxLink01
    Specify a Windows Store App …
  3. In the Browse Windows App Packages dialog box, enter the name of the Windows 8 PC to which the app has already been manually installed and click the Connect button.

    Win8-AppxLink02
    Select the Windows Store App …

    Select the Windows Store app that you wish to deploy using System Center 2012 Configuration Manager SP1 and click the OK button.

    Click the Next button.
  4. On the General Information page of the Create Application Wizard, complete the app information and optionally click the Select… button to specify an administrative category for this app.

    Win8-Appx02
    Complete the Windows 8 App Information …

    Click the Next button to continue.
  5. On the Summary page of the Create Application Wizard, review and confirm the app details.

    Win8-AppxLink05
    Confirm the Windows 8 App Details …

    Click the Next button to continue.
  6. On the Completion page of the Create Application Wizard, review the completion details for defining this new application.

    Win8-AppxLink06
    Review the Completion Details …

    Click the Close button to close the Create Application Wizard.

You have completed the process for defining a new Windows Store App for later deployment with System Center 2012 Configuration Manager SP1.

Exercise 3: Distribute Application Content to System Center Distribution Points

In this exercise, you will distribute the app package content for Windows 8 apps defined in prior exercises to System Center 2012 Configuration Manager distribution points.  This will prepare the distribution points with a copy of each app package you wish to deploy.

Begin this exercise by launching the Configuration Manager Console as an administrator.

  1. In the Configuration Manager Console, navigate to the Applications folder node of the Software Library workspace used in prior exercises.  Select a Windows 8 app for which to distribute content and click the Distribute Content button on the top ribbon bar.

    Win8-DeploymentToolbar-DistributeContent
    Deployment Toolbar

    The Distribute Content Wizard dialog box will launch.
  2. On the General page of the Distribute Content Wizard dialog box, click the Next button.

    Win8-Distribute02
    Distribute Content Wizard
  3. On the Content page of the Distribute Content Wizard, review the application content to be distributed to System Center 2012 distribution points and click the Next button to continue.

    Win8-Distribute03
    Review Content to be Distributed
  4. On the Content Destination page of the Distribute Content Wizard, click the Add button.  Add the distribution points and/or distribution point groups to which the application content should be distributed.

    Win8-Distribute04
    Select Content Destinations

    Click the Next button to continue.
  5. On the Summary page of the Distribute Content Wizard, review and confirm the application content distribution selections.

    Win8-Distribute05
    Confirm Application Content Distribution Settings

    Click the Next button to continue.
  6. On the Completion page of the Distribute Content Wizard, review the completion status for the application content distribution.

    Win8-Distribute06
    Completion Status for Application Content Distribution

    Click the Close button to close the Distribute Content Wizard.

In this exercise, you completed the steps involved in distributing application content to System Center 2012 distribution points in preparation for later deployment of these applications to users.

Exercise 4: Deploy Applications to User Collections

In this exercise, you will deploy the applications defined and distributed in the prior exercises to a collection of users using System Center 2012 Configuration Manager Service Pack 1.

Begin this exercise by launching the Configuration Manager Console as an administrator.

  1. In the Configuration Manager Console, navigate to the Applications folder node of the Software Library workspace used in prior exercises.  Select a Windows 8 app to deploy and click the Deploy button on the top ribbon bar.

    Win8-DeploymentToolbar-Deploy
    Deployment Toolbar

    The Deploy Software Wizard dialog box will launch.
  2. On the General page of the Deploy Software Wizard, click the Browse… button located next to the Collection field to select a user collection to which this application should be deployed.

    Win8-Deploy01
    Select a User Collection for Application Deployment

    Click the Next button to continue.
  3. On the Content page of the Deploy Software Wizard, confirm the distribution points to which the application content was previously deployed.  Add additional distribution points, if necessary, for this application deployment.

    Win8-Deploy02
    Confirm Distribution Points for Application Deployment

    Click the Next button to continue.
  4. On the Deployment Settings page of the Deploy Software Wizard, review the default deployment settings.

    Win8-Deploy03
    Default Deployment Settings

    Click the Next button to continue.
  5. On the Scheduling page, optionally set a date and time after which this application deployment will be available.

    Win8-Deploy04
    Default Scheduling Options

    Click the Next button to continue.
  6. On the User Experience page, note that this application deployment will, by default, display in the Software Center and display pop-up notifications to the user when the application deployment is available.

    Win8-Deploy05
    User Experience Options

    Click the Next button to continue.
  7. On the Alerts page, optionally configure alerts to be generated for successful and failed application deployments.

    Win8-Deploy06
    Application Deployment Alerting Options

    Click the Next button to continue.
  8. On the Summary page, review and confirm the application deployment settings.

    Win8-Deploy07
    Application Deployment Settings Summary

    Click the Next button to continue.
  9. On the Completion page, review the completion status of this application deployment.

    Win8-Deploy09
    Application Deployment Completion Status

    Click the Close button to close the Deploy Software Wizard.
  10. In a few minutes, this application should now be available to users in the targeted collection for installation via the System Center 2012 Application Catalog website.

    Win8-Deploy10
    Application Catalog Website

Completed! What’s Next?

To learn more about the other new features in System Center 2012 Configuration Manager Service Pack 1, be sure to check out these additional resources:

How are you planning to manage Windows 8 Apps in your environment?

Do you have unique requirements or interesting usage scenarios for managing Windows 8 apps in your environment?  Feel free to share your comments, ideas and questions below!

Build Your Lab! Build Your Lab! Download Windows Server 2012
Build Your Lab in the Cloud! Don’t Have a Lab? Build Your Lab in the Cloud with Windows Azure Virtual Machines
Join our "Early Experts" study group! Want to Get Certified? Join our Windows Server 2012 "Early Experts" Study Group

More Stories By Keith Mayer

Keith Mayer is a Technical Evangelist at Microsoft focused on Windows Infrastructure, Data Center Virtualization, Systems Management and Private Cloud. Keith has over 17 years of experience as a technical leader of complex IT projects, in diverse roles, such as Network Engineer, IT Manager, Technical Instructor and Consultant. He has consulted and trained thousands of IT professionals worldwide on the design and implementation of enterprise technology solutions.

Keith is currently certified on several Microsoft technologies, including System Center, Hyper-V, Windows, Windows Server, SharePoint and Exchange. He also holds other industry certifications from IBM, Cisco, Citrix, HP, CheckPoint, CompTIA and Interwoven.

Keith is the author of the IT Pros ROCK! Blog on Microsoft TechNet, voted as one of the Top 50 "Must Read" IT Blogs.

Keith also manages the Windows Server 2012 "Early Experts" Challenge - a FREE online study group for IT Pros interested in studying and preparing for certification on Windows Server 2012. Join us and become the next "Early Expert"!

@ThingsExpo Stories
DX World EXPO, LLC, a Lighthouse Point, Florida-based startup trade show producer and the creator of "DXWorldEXPO® - Digital Transformation Conference & Expo" has announced its executive management team. The team is headed by Levent Selamoglu, who has been named CEO. "Now is the time for a truly global DX event, to bring together the leading minds from the technology world in a conversation about Digital Transformation," he said in making the announcement.
"Space Monkey by Vivent Smart Home is a product that is a distributed cloud-based edge storage network. Vivent Smart Home, our parent company, is a smart home provider that places a lot of hard drives across homes in North America," explained JT Olds, Director of Engineering, and Brandon Crowfeather, Product Manager, at Vivint Smart Home, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @ThingsExpo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Conference Guru has been named “Media Sponsor” of the 22nd International Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 5-7, 2018, at the Javits Center in New York, NY. A valuable conference experience generates new contacts, sales leads, potential strategic partners and potential investors; helps gather competitive intelligence and even provides inspiration for new products and services. Conference Guru works with conference organizers to pass great deals to gre...
The Internet of Things will challenge the status quo of how IT and development organizations operate. Or will it? Certainly the fog layer of IoT requires special insights about data ontology, security and transactional integrity. But the developmental challenges are the same: People, Process and Platform. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Craig Sproule, CEO of Metavine, demonstrated how to move beyond today's coding paradigm and shared the must-have mindsets for removing complexity from the develop...
In his Opening Keynote at 21st Cloud Expo, John Considine, General Manager of IBM Cloud Infrastructure, led attendees through the exciting evolution of the cloud. He looked at this major disruption from the perspective of technology, business models, and what this means for enterprises of all sizes. John Considine is General Manager of Cloud Infrastructure Services at IBM. In that role he is responsible for leading IBM’s public cloud infrastructure including strategy, development, and offering m...
"Evatronix provides design services to companies that need to integrate the IoT technology in their products but they don't necessarily have the expertise, knowledge and design team to do so," explained Adam Morawiec, VP of Business Development at Evatronix, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @ThingsExpo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
To get the most out of their data, successful companies are not focusing on queries and data lakes, they are actively integrating analytics into their operations with a data-first application development approach. Real-time adjustments to improve revenues, reduce costs, or mitigate risk rely on applications that minimize latency on a variety of data sources. In his session at @BigDataExpo, Jack Norris, Senior Vice President, Data and Applications at MapR Technologies, reviewed best practices to ...
Widespread fragmentation is stalling the growth of the IIoT and making it difficult for partners to work together. The number of software platforms, apps, hardware and connectivity standards is creating paralysis among businesses that are afraid of being locked into a solution. EdgeX Foundry is unifying the community around a common IoT edge framework and an ecosystem of interoperable components.
Large industrial manufacturing organizations are adopting the agile principles of cloud software companies. The industrial manufacturing development process has not scaled over time. Now that design CAD teams are geographically distributed, centralizing their work is key. With large multi-gigabyte projects, outdated tools have stifled industrial team agility, time-to-market milestones, and impacted P&L stakeholders.
"Akvelon is a software development company and we also provide consultancy services to folks who are looking to scale or accelerate their engineering roadmaps," explained Jeremiah Mothersell, Marketing Manager at Akvelon, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 21st Cloud Expo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
"IBM is really all in on blockchain. We take a look at sort of the history of blockchain ledger technologies. It started out with bitcoin, Ethereum, and IBM evaluated these particular blockchain technologies and found they were anonymous and permissionless and that many companies were looking for permissioned blockchain," stated René Bostic, Technical VP of the IBM Cloud Unit in North America, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 21st Cloud Expo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Conventi...
In his session at 21st Cloud Expo, Carl J. Levine, Senior Technical Evangelist for NS1, will objectively discuss how DNS is used to solve Digital Transformation challenges in large SaaS applications, CDNs, AdTech platforms, and other demanding use cases. Carl J. Levine is the Senior Technical Evangelist for NS1. A veteran of the Internet Infrastructure space, he has over a decade of experience with startups, networking protocols and Internet infrastructure, combined with the unique ability to it...
22nd International Cloud Expo, taking place June 5-7, 2018, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY, and co-located with the 1st DXWorld Expo will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. Cloud computing is now being embraced by a majority of enterprises of all sizes. Yesterday's debate about public vs. private has transformed into the reality of hybrid cloud: a recent survey shows that 74% of enterprises have a hybrid cloud ...
"Cloud Academy is an enterprise training platform for the cloud, specifically public clouds. We offer guided learning experiences on AWS, Azure, Google Cloud and all the surrounding methodologies and technologies that you need to know and your teams need to know in order to leverage the full benefits of the cloud," explained Alex Brower, VP of Marketing at Cloud Academy, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 21st Cloud Expo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clar...
Gemini is Yahoo’s native and search advertising platform. To ensure the quality of a complex distributed system that spans multiple products and components and across various desktop websites and mobile app and web experiences – both Yahoo owned and operated and third-party syndication (supply), with complex interaction with more than a billion users and numerous advertisers globally (demand) – it becomes imperative to automate a set of end-to-end tests 24x7 to detect bugs and regression. In th...
"MobiDev is a software development company and we do complex, custom software development for everybody from entrepreneurs to large enterprises," explained Alan Winters, U.S. Head of Business Development at MobiDev, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 21st Cloud Expo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
Coca-Cola’s Google powered digital signage system lays the groundwork for a more valuable connection between Coke and its customers. Digital signs pair software with high-resolution displays so that a message can be changed instantly based on what the operator wants to communicate or sell. In their Day 3 Keynote at 21st Cloud Expo, Greg Chambers, Global Group Director, Digital Innovation, Coca-Cola, and Vidya Nagarajan, a Senior Product Manager at Google, discussed how from store operations and ...
"There's plenty of bandwidth out there but it's never in the right place. So what Cedexis does is uses data to work out the best pathways to get data from the origin to the person who wants to get it," explained Simon Jones, Evangelist and Head of Marketing at Cedexis, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 21st Cloud Expo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
SYS-CON Events announced today that CrowdReviews.com has been named “Media Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 22nd International Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 5–7, 2018, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. CrowdReviews.com is a transparent online platform for determining which products and services are the best based on the opinion of the crowd. The crowd consists of Internet users that have experienced products and services first-hand and have an interest in letting other potential buye...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Telecom Reseller has been named “Media Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 22nd International Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 5-7, 2018, at the Javits Center in New York, NY. Telecom Reseller reports on Unified Communications, UCaaS, BPaaS for enterprise and SMBs. They report extensively on both customer premises based solutions such as IP-PBX as well as cloud based and hosted platforms.