Microsoft recently announced and shared details at //Build on the future of Windows application packaging - MSIX.
The standard will make it easier to manage the application lifecycles, from the developers/ISVs through to the enterprise, in terms of management, configuration, and customisation while providing users with more secure applications.
MSIX also rolls up all the different methods and formats for delivering applications that are available today by superseding all previous options – MSI, AppV & AppX.
More information on the MSIX format can be found here: https://blogs.msdn.microsoft.com/sgern/2018/06/18/a-closer-look-at-msix/
Whilst MSIX is Microsoft’s vision for a complete containerization solution, inheriting all the great features available in UWP, importantly it now applies to all Windows 10 applications in Win32, Win64, WPF, Windows Forms, and UWP. MSIX leaves behind large numbers of applications that are in use within Enterprise’s today, applications that have legacy dependencies, are incompatible with Windows 10/Server 2016 or do not adhere to the new rules imposed by MSIX.
Cloudhouse MSIX Enterprise Edition builds on Microsoft’s MSIX foundation by providing support for, and the capability to modernise all applications from Windows XP/Server 2003 onwards up to and including Windows 10/Server 2016.
Figure 1: Microsoft's MSIX Architecture
Cloudhouse MSIX Enterprise edition will enable organisations to abstract older and problematic applications that are dependent on older versions of Windows, environments, out dated security or legacy behaviours so they can run in an MSIX Container. The Cloudhouse MSIX Enterprise Container technology build’s on Cloudhouse’s experience over the last 8 years to provide a wealth of features designed to overcome the most stubborn of dependencies that an application might have. This is achieved through isolation, re-direction and application behaviour modernisation.
Figure 2: Cloudhouse MSIX Enterprise Edition Architecture
Cloudhouse MSIX Enterprise Container
The Cloudhouse MSIX Enterprise Container extends the capability of the standard MSIX format with features designed to support the Enterprise with the most complex, customised applications that have dependencies on older systems, Windows versions and environments.
The Container provides a modular platform to ensure an application is compatible with the latest version of Windows and any future releases, the last packaging you ever need to do.
The three capabilities that enable application behaviour modernisation without code changes are:
- Compatibility and API Translation Engine
- Redirection Engine
- Container Isolation
Additional features inside an Cloudhouse MSIX Enterprise Container are:
- Cross OS Support
- Cloudhouse MSIX Enterprise will enable MSIX containers to run on Windows 7/Server 2008 for controlled migrations
- Control Application Behaviour
- File, registry, network and process redirection enables the application to behave according to the rules imposed by MSIX
- Environmental Dependencies
- Abstract the application from network dependencies for example server names, IPs and ports
- Legacy Runtimes
- Isolate and redirect legacy runtimes required by the application
- Run multiple, and conflicting runtimes without conflict
- Security Best Practices
- Enterprise ready security benefits
- Least privilege execution
- Malware free Container creation
- Cloud Ready
- Apply MSIX for server-side applications and back-end workloads
- Apply redirection to de-couple ‘on-prem’ applications
- Make stateful applications stateless
- Serverless MSIX
- Deploy and scale server based Windows applications in Azure
- PaaS Support
- Connect existing application to Platform as a Service without reconfiguration
- Citrix/RDSH support
- Redirections can overcome limitations in desktop apps that prevent them running in multi user environments
Cloudhouse MSIX Enterprise Packager
To handle the various challenges and incompatibilities that an older application is likely to have when deployed to Windows 10 or Server 2016, the Cloudhouse MSIX Enterprise Packager can run on Windows XP/Server 2003 onwards to capture the application where it runs today. The existing environmental information is embedded into the package so that it can run without change on the new OS and keep running in the future. It provides the automated, out-of-the-box, ability to customise application behaviour using simple XML configuration, environmental redirections to overcome network based dependencies and the ability to produce an MSIX package from an installed application without install media - all without changing the application code.
The Packager enables conversion of every app, MSIs or AppV packages into Cloudhouse MSIX Enterprise Containers as well as the ability to Lift, Shift and Containerize server-side applications.Tags: CloudhouseCompatibilityMicrosoftMSIX