Welcome!

Containers Expo Blog Authors: Elizabeth White, Pat Romanski, Mehdi Daoudi, Amit Gupta, Ravi Rajamiyer

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
SYS-CON Events announced today that Massive Networks, that helps your business operate seamlessly with fast, reliable, and secure internet and network solutions, has been named "Exhibitor" of SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo ®, which will take place on Oct 31 - Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. As a premier telecommunications provider, Massive Networks is headquartered out of Louisville, Colorado. With years of experience under their belt, their team of...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Fusic will exhibit at the Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO) Pavilion at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Fusic Co. provides mocks as virtual IoT devices. You can customize mocks, and get any amount of data at any time in your test. For more information, visit https://fusic.co.jp/english/.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Enroute Lab will exhibit at the Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO) Pavilion at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Enroute Lab is an industrial design, research and development company of unmanned robotic vehicle system. For more information, please visit http://elab.co.jp/.
SYS-CON Events announced today that MIRAI Inc. will exhibit at the Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO) Pavilion at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. MIRAI Inc. are IT consultants from the public sector whose mission is to solve social issues by technology and innovation and to create a meaningful future for people.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Mobile Create USA will exhibit at the Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO) Pavilion at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Mobile Create USA Inc. is an MVNO-based business model that uses portable communication devices and cellular-based infrastructure in the development, sales, operation and mobile communications systems incorporating GPS capabi...
There is huge complexity in implementing a successful digital business that requires efficient on-premise and cloud back-end infrastructure, IT and Internet of Things (IoT) data, analytics, Machine Learning, Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Digital Applications. In the data center alone, there are physical and virtual infrastructures, multiple operating systems, multiple applications and new and emerging business and technological paradigms such as cloud computing and XaaS. And then there are pe...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Interface Corporation will exhibit at the Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO) Pavilion at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Interface Corporation is a company developing, manufacturing and marketing high quality and wide variety of industrial computers and interface modules such as PCIs and PCI express. For more information, visit http://www.i...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Keisoku Research Consultant Co. will exhibit at the Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO) Pavilion at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Keisoku Research Consultant, Co. offers research and consulting in a wide range of civil engineering-related fields from information construction to preservation of cultural properties. For more information, vi...
SYS-CON Events announced today that SIGMA Corporation will exhibit at the Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO) Pavilion at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. uLaser flow inspection device from the Japanese top share to Global Standard! Then, make the best use of data to flip to next page. For more information, visit http://www.sigma-k.co.jp/en/.
SYS-CON Events announced today that B2Cloud will exhibit at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. B2Cloud specializes in IoT devices for preventive and predictive maintenance in any kind of equipment retrieving data like Energy consumption, working time, temperature, humidity, pressure, etc.
Agile has finally jumped the technology shark, expanding outside the software world. Enterprises are now increasingly adopting Agile practices across their organizations in order to successfully navigate the disruptive waters that threaten to drown them. In our quest for establishing change as a core competency in our organizations, this business-centric notion of Agile is an essential component of Agile Digital Transformation. In the years since the publication of the Agile Manifesto, the conn...
While some developers care passionately about how data centers and clouds are architected, for most, it is only the end result that matters. To the majority of companies, technology exists to solve a business problem, and only delivers value when it is solving that problem. 2017 brings the mainstream adoption of containers for production workloads. In his session at 21st Cloud Expo, Ben McCormack, VP of Operations at Evernote, will discuss how data centers of the future will be managed, how th...
SYS-CON Events announced today that NetApp has been named “Bronze Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. NetApp is the data authority for hybrid cloud. NetApp provides a full range of hybrid cloud data services that simplify management of applications and data across cloud and on-premises environments to accelerate digital transformation. Together with their partners, NetApp em...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Nihon Micron will exhibit at the Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO) Pavilion at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Nihon Micron Co., Ltd. strives for technological innovation to establish high-density, high-precision processing technology for providing printed circuit board and metal mount RFID tags used for communication devices. For more inf...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Suzuki Inc. will exhibit at the Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO) Pavilion at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Suzuki Inc. is a semiconductor-related business, including sales of consuming parts, parts repair, and maintenance for semiconductor manufacturing machines, etc. It is also a health care business providing experimental research for...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Ryobi Systems will exhibit at the Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO) Pavilion at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Ryobi Systems Co., Ltd., as an information service company, specialized in business support for local governments and medical industry. We are challenging to achive the precision farming with AI. For more information, visit http:...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Daiya Industry will exhibit at the Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO) Pavilion at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Daiya Industry specializes in orthotic support systems and assistive devices with pneumatic artificial muscles in order to contribute to an extended healthy life expectancy. For more information, please visit https://www.daiyak...
In his session at @ThingsExpo, Greg Gorman is the Director, IoT Developer Ecosystem, Watson IoT, will provide a short tutorial on Node-RED, a Node.js-based programming tool for wiring together hardware devices, APIs and online services in new and interesting ways. It provides a browser-based editor that makes it easy to wire together flows using a wide range of nodes in the palette that can be deployed to its runtime in a single-click. There is a large library of contributed nodes that help so...
SYS-CON Events announced today that mruby Forum will exhibit at the Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO) Pavilion at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. mruby is the lightweight implementation of the Ruby language. We introduce mruby and the mruby IoT framework that enhances development productivity. For more information, visit http://forum.mruby.org/.
SYS-CON Events announced today that N3N will exhibit at SYS-CON's @ThingsExpo, which will take place on Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. N3N’s solutions increase the effectiveness of operations and control centers, increase the value of IoT investments, and facilitate real-time operational decision making. N3N enables operations teams with a four dimensional digital “big board” that consolidates real-time live video feeds alongside IoT sensor data a...