Deploy customized Win32 apps via Microsoft Intune

Last week Microsoft announced the ability to deploy Win32 apps via Microsoft Intune during Microsoft Ignite. That takes away one of the biggest challenges when looking at modern management and Microsoft Intune. I know that I’m not the first to blog about this subject, but I do think that this subject demands a spot on my blog. Besides that, I’ll show in this post that the configuration looks a lot like deploying apps via ConfigMgr. Not just from the perspective of the configuration options, but also from the perspective of the configuration challenges when the installation contains multiple files. In this post I’ll show the configuration steps, followed by the end-user experience, when deploying a customized Adobe Reader DC app (including the latest patch).

Pre-process Win32 app

The first step in deploying Win32 apps via Microsoft Intune is using the Microsoft Intune Win32 App Packaging Tool to pre-process Win32 apps. Wrap the Win32 app. The packaging tool wraps the application installation files into the .intunewin format. Also, the packaging tool detects the parameters required by Intune to determine the application installation state.  After using this tool on apps, it will be possible to upload and assign the apps in the Microsoft Intune console. The following six steps walk through wrapping the Adobe Reader DC app, including some customizations and the latest patch.

1 Download the Microsoft Intune Win32 App Packaging Tool. In my example C:\Temp;
2 Create a folder that contains the Adobe Reader DC installation files (including the latest MSP and the MST that contains the customizations). In my example C:\Temp\AdobeReader;
3 Create an installation file that contains the complete installation command and place that file in the directory with the installation files. In my example I created an Install.cmd in C:\Temp\AdobeReader that contains msiexec /i “%~dp0AcroRead.msi” TRANSFORMS=”%~dp0AcroRead.mst” /Update “%~dp0AcroRdrDCUpd1801120063.msp” /qn /L*v c:\InstallReader.log ;
MSI-Win32-Explorer
Note: This method is similar to an easy method in the ConfigMgr world to make sure that the installation process would look at the right location for the additional files.
4 Open a Command Prompt as Administrator and navigate to the location of IntuneWinAppUtil.exe. In my example that means cd \Temp;
5 Run IntuneWinAppUtil.exe and provide the following information, when requested

  • Please specify the source folder: C:\Temp\AdobeReader;
  • Please specify the setup file: AcroRead.msi;
  • Please specify the output folder: C:\Temp
MSI-IWAU-start
Note: Even though I will use a command file to trigger the installation, it’s important to specify the MSI as setup file. That will make sure that, during the configuration in Microsoft Intune, the information will be preconfigured based on the information of the MSI.
6 Once the wrapping is done. The message Done!!! will be shown. In my example a file named AcroRead.intunewin will be created in C:\Temp.
MSI-IWAU-end

Note: It’s possible to use something like 7-Zip to open the created AcroRead.intunewin file. Besides content, that file contains a Detection.xml file that shows the detected information of the installation file.

Configure Win32 app

Now let’s continue by looking at the actual configuration steps, within Microsoft Intune, to configure the Win32 app. The following 17 steps walk through all the steps to configure the Win32 app, by using the .intunewin file. After configuring the app, make sure to assign the app to a user group.

1 Open the Azure portal and navigate to Intune > Client apps > Apps to open the Client apps – Apps blade;
2 On the Client apps – Apps blade, click Add to open the Add app blade;
3 On the Add app blade, select Windows app (Win32) – preview to show the configuration options and select App package file to open the App package file blade.
4 MSI-Win32-AppPackageFileOn the App package file blade, select the created AcroRead.intunewin as App package file and click OK to return to the Add app blade;
5 Back on the Add app blade, select App information to open the App information blade;
6

MSI-Win32-AppInformationOn the App information blade, provide at least the following information and click OK to return to the Add app blade;

  • Name: Adobe Acrobat Reader DC is pre-provisioned as name of the app;
  • Description: Provide a description of the app;
  • Publisher: Provide the publisher of the app;

Note: The remaining information regarding the Information URL, the Privacy URL, the Developer, the Owner, the Notes and the Logo is optional.

7 Back on the Add app blade, select Program to open the Program blade;
8 MSI-Win32-ProgramOn the Program blade, change the Install command to “Install.cmd”, verify the Uninstall command and click OK to return to the Add app blade;
9 Back on the Add app blade, select Requirements to open the Requirements blade;
10

MSI-Win32-RequirementsOn the Requirements blade, provide at least the following information and click OK to return to the Add app blade;

  • Operating system architecture: Select the applicable platforms;
  • Minimum operating system: Select a minimum operating system version;
11 Back on the Add app blade, select Detection rules to open the Detection rules blade;
12 On the Detection rules blade, select Manually configure detection rules and click Add to open the Detection rule blade.
13 MSI-Win32-DetectionRuleOn the Detection rule blade, select MSI as Rule type, verify the pre-provisioned MSI product code and click OK to return to the Detection rules blade;
14 Back on the Detection rules blade, click OK to return to the Add app blade;
15 Back on the Add app blade, select Return codes to open the Return codes blade;
16 MSI-Win32-ReturnCodesOn the Return codes blade, verify the preconfigured return codes and click OK to return to the Add app blade;
17 Back on the Add app blade, click Add to actually add app.

Note: The Intune Management Extension will be used for installing the Win32 app. That also means that the process regarding detection, download and installation, of the Win32 app, can be followed in the IntuneManagementExtension.log file.

End-user experience

Let’s end this post by looking at the end-user experience. The user will receive a notification that changes are required, followed by a notification that a download is in progress, followed by a notification about a successful installation. All three stages are shown below. After the last message, the Start Screen shows the newly installed Adobe Reader DC app. Also, in this case, the Desktop doesn’t show the default desktop icon, which I removed using the customization file (MST).

MSI-AAR-Desktop

More information

For more information about the Microsoft Intune Win32 App Packaging Tool, please refer to the GitHub location here.

70 thoughts on “Deploy customized Win32 apps via Microsoft Intune”

  1. Hi Peter i miss the limitations of the current win32 app deploy. Maybe worth to add them?
    No user context app installation
    No system context installation without user logged on
    No dependency support
    No supersedence

    Reply
    • Hi RKast,
      The idea of the post is really only about showing the possibilities and not really about pros and cons. Having said that, You’ve now posted some of the current limitations 🙂
      Regards, Peter

      Reply
  2. Hej Peter, Very nice post indeed. I have tryed packaging JRE 8 ver. 181.exe with the tool and deployed it with intune. Works as a charm! Thanks for a very good post. : -)

    Reply
  3. Yes good post and as with any first release (in preview as well) it will be limited. Looking forward to new revisions as this is an excellent start.

    Reply
  4. Thank you Peter. What are those revisions?
    Other question, is there any documentation or best practice how to update an already deployed win32 app

    Reply
  5. Hi Peter,

    In step #3 you reference MST and MSP files for your Install.cmd. Is the Intune Win32App Packaging tool actually wrapping those file into the .intunewin file? If so, is there a way to tell if they are being included? If not, are you including/referencing the MST and MSP files during the install?

    Reply
      • Thank you, that is what I took away from your article and the GitHub post. However, I do not think my install.cmd is working when wrapped in this manner. Running the script directly from the CMD either in or outside of the install.cmd file works fine. So I am not sure if I am missing a step. Here is the content of my install.cmd.

        msiexec.exe /i TeamViewer_Full.msi /qn importregfile=1 & TIMEOUT 30 & “C:\Program Files (x86)\TeamViewer\TeamViewer.exe” assign –api-token “APITOKEN” –group “TEST” –grant-easy-access –alias %COMPUTERNAME%

        Again, running this as is or complied inside the install.cmd from the command prompt work fine, just not when I try to deploy it from Intune via Win32. I do get the Intune Management Extension alerts but the app never installs.

        Please advise,
        Niles

        Reply
  6. Hi Peter,

    Win32 Apps do not appear to run elevated. I have a script that needs to import a reg file during installation and it fails to import. The behavior is the same (as expected) when I run in manually, “Access denied”, as the local user. However, the application does install successfully.

    Thoughts?

    Reply
      • Hi Peter,

        That option is greyed out? In your screenshot for this section, I noticed quotes around “install.cmd”. Is that required? If so, the option for System vs User is still greyed out.

        Please advise.

        Reply
          • Hi Peter,

            My file is also an MSI. The files contained in the folder are as follows,

            install.cmd
            teamviewer.msi
            teamviewer_settings.reg

            This is the command that I am running,

            IntuneWinAppUtil -c “C:\Temp\TeamViewer\Help Desk” -s TeamViewer_Full.msi -o “C:\Temp\TeamViewer\Temp\Help Desk” -q

            I just tried removing the *.reg file but no change on the “Install behavior” slider.

            Thoughts?

  7. Hi Peter, great article, thanks for taking the time.

    My MSI pulls info from a config file during installation. The config file doesn’t need to specified as part of the installation command, the MSI just requires that the config file is located in the same directory as the MSI at the time of installation.

    So for step 8 I will simply have “msiexec /i /qn” which works fine when installing via the command line (providing the .conf file is in the same directory as the MSI as mentioned above).

    Will the steps in this article still work for me? Will it include my .conf file in the intunewin file as part of the pre-processing step 5? I hoped to see it mentioned in either the output (pre-processing step 6 above) or in the .xml file output. Unfortunately I can’t see it mentioned in either.

    I would test this myself but I won’t get access to intune for several weeks and would really appreciation knowing sooner.

    Thank you in advance.

    Reply
  8. Hi Peter,

    Adding the %~dp0 variable, if I did not right, did not make any changes.

    INSIDE INSTALL.CMD:
    msiexec.exe /i “%~dp0\TeamViewer_Full.msi” /qn importregfile=1

    or should it be set here,

    IntuneWinAppUtil:
    IntuneWinAppUtil -c “C:\Temp\TeamViewer\Help Desk” -s “%~dp0\TeamViewer_Full.msi” -o “C:\Temp\TeamViewer\Temp\Help Desk” -q

    Reply
  9. Hi Peter,
    Some strange thing is happening or i just plain dont understand 🙂
    I create a folder Adobe with all files in it, the setup and the cmd script etc.
    When i run IntuneWinAppUtil and enter the source folder, setup msi file and output the intunewin file get’s created OK.
    When i open the intunewin file with 7zip and look into the Content folder i only see the Adobe MSI file but the CMD file and rest are missing, is this expected behaviour ?

    Reply
  10. Hi Peter,

    I’ve been able to successfully package and deploy various applications. Although recently I have found that for a particular office the applications have not consistently deployed. I suspect that it might be connectivity to some Intune endpoints.

    What would you recommend to check? I’ve seen the Microsoft Connectivity Analyzer tool, would that help?

    Cheers

    Reply
  11. Hi Peter,

    How does Intune take care of packages that has dependencies? Can i wrap 2 msi into one intunewin file?

    Thanks and regards
    WaiYin

    Reply
    • Hi WaiYin,
      No. That intellegence is not coming from Intune. You either need to create it yourself, or wait for the coming update of the Intune services that will allow you to configure dependencies.
      Regards, Peter

      Reply
  12. Hi Peter,
    Thanks a bunch for you informative blog! Do you know if it is possible to use interactive win32-packages? In some situations I need to deploy a package that requires user input. It seems win32-packages only run hidden.
    Thanks! Indy

    Reply
  13. Thanks for the good guides! I have an application that I have successfully pushed to my device via the instructions above. If my device already has a version of this application but I want to install the latest version, is there a way to do this? There is no update software within the application, so I tried creating another application with the new MSI, however when I assign the new app to my device, it will not install the newer version of the app.

    Reply
  14. Hello Peter,

    I have a question about a software package that is installed in the root of the C drive (C: \ TimeWriterV5-Pro). And one of the subfolders contains the configuration and license. This license must be copied manually to the underlying folder. Can I make an intune installation file from this entire folder using the Win32 App Packaging Tool? So that this is also automatically deployed to the clients from Intune (office 365)?
    So what I would like is the following: I have the application Timewriter already installed and configured on 1 client. The application (TimeWriter) only uses files within its own directory (C: \ TimeWriterV5-Pro) and is therefore not dependent on other files on the computer, and TimeWriter does not use the registry. With intune, I would like all clients to be automatically provided with the entire folder, including the underlying folders. and updates can be downloaded automatically without admin rights. Is this possible?

    Thank you in advance for a response.

    Reply
  15. Hi Peter,
    Thanks for the great posts over the years.

    I have followed all the instruction here, yet i am not able to get the .msp file update the Adobe version. So I tested the cmd running by itself. When running the cmd in PS, I get error “The installation package could not be open…”
    My folder before creating the .intunewin file looks exactly like yours.
    When I ran, setup.exe \setup.ini in PS everything works as expected. It installs and updates as well.
    But again running via Intune, it only installs the default version, the outdated one. No update installed.
    I been trying several way for couple of weeks now, but no go. Tried Reader and DC pro both, but same results.

    Without the .msp file command runs just fine in PS. When I add the .msp file it gives the error as above.
    cmd -> msiexec /i “%~dp0AcroPro.msi” TRANSFORMS=”%~dp0AcroPro.mst” /Update “%~dp0iupdate.msp
    Tried it on 3 different machines as well.

    What could it be?

    Reply
  16. Hi Peter,

    I have tried to follow the exact same steps in an attempt to include a key file. However, the app fails to be deployed from Intune. Do you have any clue what the reason could be for the App deployment to fail? Cheers, Erona

    Reply
  17. Maybe we missed something, after the app updates we are getting notifications this install is failing on clients, those clients which the app is already installed. Do we need to keep the package updated or is there a setting where if it’s already installed it will not try to install again. Any ideas?

    Reply
  18. i need to install the application which contains .exe file and two .ini files. Hence i wrap the application with all these three files. However i can see the the ini files are not getting copied in the program files . i assume intunewin push the .ini files while installation but in my case this is not happening . Can somebody help me?

    Reply
    • Hi Shirish,
      Wrapping the files only makes sure that you can use the files on the device. However, if you don’t have an action that copies the files, or something like that, it will simply be removed again.
      Regards, Peter

      Reply
  19. does anybody had succes creating a intuneapp form teamviewer.exe files?
    created a app with intunewinapputil but no luck getting it installed with intune. stays on status installing

    adding a teamviewer.msi in intune installed right away. but are subscription doesn’t allow a msi for costum modules. only .exe.

    can you help convert the exe to intuneapp?

    Reply
  20. Hi Peter,
    I did the same steps ,,but i am getting an extra step
    Do you want to specify catalog folder (Y/N)?
    If I say Y,,then it asks,
    “Specify folder name-”
    If I say N,,then intuneWin file was created , but at the time of adding app intune wont accept that file.
    I am not able to go ahed .
    please help

    Thanks .

    Reply
  21. Hi Peter,
    Thanks for the guide.
    I have a quick query please: I have all my files in C:\PDFSetup. I have an installscript.bat file which has the following:
    msiexec /i “C:\PDFSetup\PDF1_enu_Setup.msi” TRANSFORMS=”C:\PDFSetup\PDF1_enu_Setup.mst” /qn

    Do I need to keep the C:\Temp in the path or can I remove before wrapping in to the .intunewin file? Will it still work if I remove the C:\Temp and replace with:
    msiexec /i “PDF1_enu_Setup.msi” TRANSFORMS=”PDF1_enu_Setup.mst” /qn

    I noticed you have %~dp0 variable in your script.

    Reply
    • Hi Westy,
      The %~dp0 variable is a specific batch variable which is often used to refer to the current directory of the running script.That’s an easy method to make the correct referral.
      Regards, Peter

      Reply
  22. Hi Peter,

    You saved my life! I was tired of trying to make a Teamviewer 15 deployment which requires absolute paths for the configuration files and there was no way to get it to work.

    I saw your post and I did the test with the installation using a cmd script and the execution paths %~dp0 (I didn’t know about them ngl) and saved me from having to reconfigure all of my clients!

    If someone by any chances comes here for the same I quote (.msi, config file and .cmd on the same folder):

    msiexec /i “%~dp0TeamViewer_Host.msi” /qn CUSTOMCONFIGID=XXX APITOKEN=XXX SETTINGSFILE=”%~dp0ConfigFile.tvopt”

    Thank you very much for your post.

    Greetings from Spain,

    Enrico.

    Reply
  23. “Do you want to specify catalog folder (Y/N)?”

    What IS a catalog folder? Is there anywhere in Microsoft literature which describes it?

    Reply
  24. I was lazy and copy/pasted from step 3 the quoted text into a notepad, then replaced what I needed. Turns out notepad copied the fancy quote font and unsurprisingly, the install.cmd failed. I typed it out like a normal person, and it worked. Just FYI, in case some other lazy individual runs across this, msiexec does not like fancy quotes.

    Reply

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