Announced by Brad Anderson today at Microsoft Ignite is new feature for Microsoft Intune which goes another step to both enhance and eliminate blockers towards using modern management with Microsoft Intune.

Win32 Application Deployments

The ability to “package” applications for deployment in Microsoft Intune is something that has been highly requested by many organisations making the move to management of devices through Intune. Although there is a fundamental difference in deploying applications through Configuration Manager and Intune, Microsoft is developing tools to provide similar functionality across the management stack. Up until now it it has been possible to deploy applications through Intune, this relied on a single MSI installation file with no external dependencies. In some cases this meant that repackaging of applications was the only method of deploying those business applications, thus being a time consuming process.

Today it is now possible to deploy applications through Intune using the Intune Management Extension without those restrictions, this process creates a packaged container of the setup files along with command line installation and uninstall commands.

So lets step through this awesome new feature

Intune Portal – New Application Type

In this step through guide I am going to show you how your application can be packaged using the new Intune Win32 application packaging tool on an Intune tenant running a preview of the GA release.

With the Intune blade open, click on Client Apps. In this example I already have two applications enabled for Win32 application deployment, these being Adobe Acrobat Reader and SnagIt which in this instance have already been deployed to my test client machine.

So lets add an additional application to go through the entire process. In this example I am going to use the 64-bit exe installer for 7-Zip. So lets add the application now by converting the exe to a .intunewin file so it can be consumed by the Intune portal.

Conversion Tool Download

The first step is to download the conversion tool from https://github.com/Microsoft/Intune-Win32-App-Packaging-Tool

Now log onto the Azure portal and open your Intune tenant configuration. Running the IntuneWinAppUtil.exe will prompt you for the following information;

Source Folder
Setup File
Output Folder

After conversion you end up with a file similar to the following;

You will also have verbose output of the conversion process;

The file itself is basically a containerized copy of the installation source files, in this case a single exe. Now we can proceed to import the file and assign it via the Intune portal.

  • Click on the Add Application and select “Windows app (Win32”)
  • Select the Package File to import, in this example it is the 7z1805-x64.intunewin file we created earlier;
  • Enter descriptive App Information about the application you are adding, which will be displayed to the user via the company portal. It is also of course recommended to include an icon file for the application for the best end user experience;
  • Now we need to click on Program and configure the install and uninstall commands, in this case I am using the /s silent switch as it is a documented switch for the installer.

    Vendors usually maintain a list of the installation switches on their download support pages, however another good source reference for common applications is Manage Engines Desktop Central Installation Guide – https://www.manageengine.com/products/desktop-central/software-installation/latest-software.html

  • Clicking on the Requirements allows you to fill in the minimum build of Windows 10, the system architecture and so on;
  • A Detection Rule is then required for the Intune management agent to scan for the installed software. In this instance I am only looking for the existence of the 7z.exe file;
  • Should you need to add additional Return Codes, you have the option here;
  • We are now ready to Add the app to the Intune portal.At this point the application is uploaded to an Azure storage blob along with the information you have entered to install, display and uninstall the application;
  • At this point refreshing the list of available applications should result in the new application showing in an unassigned state;

Assigning The Application

The process of assigning the application will be familiar to those already working with Intune, in this example I am simply going to make the application available to all enrolled devices;

Company Portal Experience

For the end user, their experience is as it would be with any other application.

  • Click on the application to be installed – 7Zip (x64) in this example;

  • Click on the Install button to being the installation process:

  • You will now have visual confirmation that your application is downloading;

  • Logging is available from the following directory: “C:\ProgramData\Microsoft\IntuneManagementExtension\Logs”;
    In the below screenshow of the Intune Management Extension agent log you can see the content download initializing through the Azure content distribution network;

  • After a few moments your application should be installed;

Conclusion

The addition of this easy to use process from Microsoft is yet another leap forward for modern management of devices with Intune. Awesome job guys.

Microsoft Ignite Sessions

For those of you watching or attending Microsoft Ignite, also check out the Wold Café Community session – https://myignite.techcommunity.microsoft.com/sessions/66523?source=sessions#ignite-html-anchor. A fellow MVP Mirko Colemberg is also running a session on Thursday 27th September – https://myignite.techcommunity.microsoft.com/sessions/66407?source=sessions#ignite-html-anchor where this content will also be discussed.

(10674)

Maurice Daly

Maurice has been working in the IT industry for the past 18 years and currently working in the role of Principal Consultant with TrueSec. With a focus on OS deployment through SCCM/MDT, group policies, active directory, virtualisation and office 365, Maurice has been a Windows Server MCSE since 2008 and was awarded Enterprise Mobility MVP in March 2017.

comments
  • Matt Keppler
    Posted at 19:45 September 24, 2018
    Matt Keppler
    Reply
    Author

    You must be in the same room as me. Didn’t waste ANY time after he finished his sentence before publishing this.

  • David
    Posted at 06:59 September 25, 2018
    David
    Reply
    Author

    It looks like Intune deployment capabilities takes more and more from ConfigMgr application model (detection rule, Return codes)…

  • Coert K
    Posted at 08:53 September 25, 2018
    Coert K
    Reply
    Author

    Hey, great post! You say the feature is available, but I don’t see it yet. Do you have any idea when it will be in public preview or how I can get it asap?

  • Stéphane
    Posted at 13:46 September 26, 2018
    Stéphane
    Reply
    Author

    Hi do we know if there’s a space limitations for the app size and if it works for installers with multiple files/directory like Photoshop? Thks

    • Maurice Daly
      Posted at 06:20 September 28, 2018
      Maurice Daly
      Reply
      Author

      Hi Stephanie,

      I believe the current file size limitation is 9GB. I’ll get that clarified by the product team however.

      Maurice

  • Divy
    Posted at 10:30 October 2, 2018
    Divy
    Reply
    Author

    Hey Maurice,

    How do we get the Windows App (Win32) under the apps section? It’s not there for us and we’re in dire need for this!

    Cheers,

    • Maurice Daly
      Posted at 14:11 October 4, 2018
      Maurice Daly
      Reply
      Author

      Its going into public preview at present. If you contact support they might be able to expedite the feature in your tenant

  • Brian Hicks
    Posted at 23:29 November 2, 2018
    Brian Hicks
    Reply
    Author

    Any idea when Win10 Pro will be included?

    • Nickolaj Andersen
      Posted at 02:41 December 5, 2018
      Nickolaj Andersen
      Reply
      Author

      Hi Brian,

      Unfortunately not.

      Regards,
      Nickolaj

  • Andrew
    Posted at 06:28 November 4, 2018
    Andrew
    Reply
    Author

    I did this step for step with the exact same 7z1805-x64.exe that is the same size (1,405kb). After running it through IntuneWinAppUtil.exe, the output 7z1805-x64.intunewin is 62,014kb compared to your 1,391kb. Not a big deal if it works I guess, just found that pretty weird.

    The reason I decided to follow this verbatim is because in my other attempt, nothing is appearing in the Company Portal for the end user (my other account on a test device). It is also occurring with this. No problem getting the built-in applications to appear (e.g. Office ProPlus). Any theories on this?

    • Maurice Daly
      Posted at 00:48 December 8, 2018
      Maurice Daly
      Reply
      Author

      Hi Andrew,

      Have you ensured that the 7zip EXE is the only file in the folder from which you are specifying as the source folder?

      Maurice

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