Welcome!

Microservices Expo Authors: Liz McMillan, Elizabeth White, Jason Bloomberg, Anders Wallgren, Martin Etmajer

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"!

@MicroservicesExpo Stories
SYS-CON Events announced today that FalconStor Software® Inc., a 15-year innovator of software-defined storage solutions, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 18th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. FalconStor Software®, Inc. (NASDAQ: FALC) is a leading software-defined storage company offering a converged, hardware-agnostic, software-defined storage and data services platform. Its flagship solution FreeStor®, utilizes a horizonta...
WebSocket is effectively a persistent and fat pipe that is compatible with a standard web infrastructure; a "TCP for the Web." If you think of WebSocket in this light, there are other more hugely interesting applications of WebSocket than just simply sending data to a browser. In his session at 18th Cloud Expo, Frank Greco, Director of Technology for Kaazing Corporation, will compare other modern web connectivity methods such as HTTP/2, HTTP Streaming, Server-Sent Events and new W3C event APIs ...
Sensors and effectors of IoT are solving problems in new ways, but small businesses have been slow to join the quantified world. They’ll need information from IoT using applications as varied as the businesses themselves. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Roger Meike, Distinguished Engineer, Director of Technology Innovation at Intuit, showed how IoT manufacturers can use open standards, public APIs and custom apps to enable the Quantified Small Business. He used a Raspberry Pi to connect sensors...
The cloud promises new levels of agility and cost-savings for Big Data, data warehousing and analytics. But it’s challenging to understand all the options – from IaaS and PaaS to newer services like HaaS (Hadoop as a Service) and BDaaS (Big Data as a Service). In her session at @BigDataExpo at @ThingsExpo, Hannah Smalltree, a director at Cazena, will provide an educational overview of emerging “as-a-service” options for Big Data in the cloud. This is critical background for IT and data profes...
Father business cycles and digital consumers are forcing enterprises to respond faster to customer needs and competitive demands. Successful integration of DevOps and Agile development will be key for business success in today’s digital economy. In his session at DevOps Summit, Pradeep Prabhu, Co-Founder & CEO of Cloudmunch, covered the critical practices that enterprises should consider to seamlessly integrate Agile and DevOps processes, barriers to implementing this in the enterprise, and pr...
If we look at slow, traditional IT and jump to the conclusion that just because we found its issues intractable before, that necessarily means we will again, then it’s time for a rethink. As a matter of fact, the world of IT has changed over the last ten years or so. We’ve been experiencing unprecedented innovation across the board – innovation in technology as well as in how people organize and accomplish tasks. Let’s take a look at three differences between today’s modern, digital context...
The principles behind DevOps are not new - for decades people have been automating system administration and decreasing the time to deploy apps and perform other management tasks. However, only recently did we see the tools and the will necessary to share the benefits and power of automation with a wider circle of people. In his session at DevOps Summit, Bernard Sanders, Chief Technology Officer at CloudBolt Software, explored the latest tools including Puppet, Chef, Docker, and CMPs needed to...
The (re?)emergence of Microservices was especially prominent in this week’s news. What are they good for? do they make sense for your application? should you take the plunge? and what do Microservices mean for your DevOps and Continuous Delivery efforts? Continue reading for more on Microservices, containers, DevOps culture, and more top news from the past week. As always, stay tuned to all the news coming from@ElectricCloud on DevOps and Continuous Delivery throughout the week and retweet/favo...
In a previous article, I demonstrated how to effectively and efficiently install the Dynatrace Application Monitoring solution using Ansible. In this post, I am going to explain how to achieve the same results using Chef with our official dynatrace cookbook available on GitHub and on the Chef Supermarket. In the following hands-on tutorial, we’ll also apply what we see as good practice on working with and extending our deployment automation blueprints to suit your needs.
Let’s face it, embracing new storage technologies, capabilities and upgrading to new hardware often adds complexity and increases costs. In his session at 18th Cloud Expo, Seth Oxenhorn, Vice President of Business Development & Alliances at FalconStor, will discuss how a truly heterogeneous software-defined storage approach can add value to legacy platforms and heterogeneous environments. The result reduces complexity, significantly lowers cost, and provides IT organizations with improved effi...
Cognitive Computing is becoming the foundation for a new generation of solutions that have the potential to transform business. Unlike traditional approaches to building solutions, a cognitive computing approach allows the data to help determine the way applications are designed. This contrasts with conventional software development that begins with defining logic based on the current way a business operates. In her session at 18th Cloud Expo, Judith S. Hurwitz, President and CEO of Hurwitz & ...
Data-as-a-Service is the complete package for the transformation of raw data into meaningful data assets and the delivery of those data assets. In her session at 18th Cloud Expo, Lakshmi Randall, an industry expert, analyst and strategist, will address: What is DaaS (Data-as-a-Service)? Challenges addressed by DaaS Vendors that are enabling DaaS Architecture options for DaaS
One of the bewildering things about DevOps is integrating the massive toolchain including the dozens of new tools that seem to crop up every year. Part of DevOps is Continuous Delivery and having a complex toolchain can add additional integration and setup to your developer environment. In his session at @DevOpsSummit at 18th Cloud Expo, Miko Matsumura, Chief Marketing Officer of Gradle Inc., will discuss which tools to use in a developer stack, how to provision the toolchain to minimize onboa...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Catchpoint Systems, Inc., a provider of innovative web and infrastructure monitoring solutions, has been named “Silver Sponsor” of SYS-CON's DevOps Summit at 18th Cloud Expo New York, which will take place June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Catchpoint is a leading Digital Performance Analytics company that provides unparalleled insight into customer-critical services to help consistently deliver an amazing customer experience. Designed...
With the proliferation of both SQL and NoSQL databases, organizations can now target specific fit-for-purpose database tools for their different application needs regarding scalability, ease of use, ACID support, etc. Platform as a Service offerings make this even easier now, enabling developers to roll out their own database infrastructure in minutes with minimal management overhead. However, this same amount of flexibility also comes with the challenges of picking the right tool, on the right ...
CIOs and those charged with running IT Operations are challenged to deliver secure, audited, and reliable compute environments for the applications and data for the business. Behind the scenes these tasks are often accomplished by following onerous time-consuming processes and often the management of these environments and processes will be outsourced to multiple IT service providers. In addition, the division of work is often siloed into traditional "towers" that are not well integrated for cro...
With an estimated 50 billion devices connected to the Internet by 2020, several industries will begin to expand their capabilities for retaining end point data at the edge to better utilize the range of data types and sheer volume of M2M data generated by the Internet of Things. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Don DeLoach, CEO and President of Infobright, will discuss the infrastructures businesses will need to implement to handle this explosion of data by providing specific use cases for filte...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Avere Systems, a leading provider of enterprise storage for the hybrid cloud, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 18th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Avere delivers a more modern architectural approach to storage that doesn’t require the overprovisioning of storage capacity to achieve performance, overspending on expensive storage media for inactive data or the overbuilding of data centers ...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Commvault, a global leader in enterprise data protection and information management, has been named “Bronze Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 18th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 7–9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY, and the 19th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Commvault is a leading provider of data protection and information management...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Alert Logic, Inc., the leading provider of Security-as-a-Service solutions for the cloud, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 18th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Alert Logic, Inc., provides Security-as-a-Service for on-premises, cloud, and hybrid infrastructures, delivering deep security insight and continuous protection for customers at a lower cost than traditional security solutions. Ful...