Windows Apps: It’s al about the package…or!


In my recent blog posts about Windows Apps we outlined what kind of apps are available and how we distribute them to new platforms like Windows 8, Windows RT, Windows Phone 8 and even iOS!

Let’s talking about the vehicle and the presentation bringing them to the end-users as this might be the most important piece of the pie….user acceptance and adoption are the key!

Vehicle

The mechanism of deploying apps to end-users we called the vehicle, so what what kind of vehicle you want to drive? A sports car, gran turismo or a hybrid?! There actually two scenarios:

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In a managed scenario you’ll deploy apps through Windows Intune or by Windows Intune integrated with Configuration Manager 2012 SP1 – where Configuration Manager is the commando center. In an unmanaged scenario you’ll deploy apps to your own SharePoint or website using AET tokens, provisioning apps by PowerShell or even by DISM.

Presentation

That said each vehicle has also its own design…or in this context a presentation. The figure below shows an overview of which portals are available and there applicable platform(s).

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Below an outline of the different designs of apps presentations (portals):

  • Company Portal

The Company Portal app helps you search, browse and install apps made available to you by your company, through the Microsoft Windows Intune online service. Apps can be installed without requiring a connection to your corporate network. You can also enroll your personal computers and devices in the service and locate contact information for your IT team.

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The Company Portal App enables Windows RT devices which are managed by Microsoft System Center 2012 Configuration Manager SP1 and Windows Intune to be able to view and install line of business applications targeted to the Windows RT devices by their administrators.

You can download the Company Portal App here from the Windows Store.

  • Mobile Company Portal

The Mobile Company Portal enables iOS devices are managed by Microsoft System Center 2012 Configuration Manager SP1 and Windows Intune to be able to view and install line of business applications targeted to the iOS devices by their administrators.

This is a web based Company Portal which can be opened by any browser but works only on iOS devices.

image

  • Company Store

This is a free Windows 8 internal app Store for companies that doesn’t use Windows InTune or SCCM 2012. This can be seen as a company portal/hub to company LOB apps (web apps, internal ModernUI apps or Windows Store apps).
Using Windows 8 Company Store, the IT department will be able to provide access to:
– Internal Modern UI applications (this requires side loading rights. Installation will have to be done by a PowerShell script or another mechanism, get more details on companystore.CodePlex.com)
– Windows Store applications (this requires a Microsoft Account and access to the Windows Store):
– Open the store if the application is missing, launch it otherwise
– Links to internal/external web sites
This store can be filled using a simple XML file held in the user profile. File that could be easily updated using Group Policy Preference. In this XML file, you will be able to group applications as well as define each application properties, like name, description and logo.

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You can download the Company Store here.

  • Windows Phone Company Portal

The Windows Phone 8 Company Portal App enables Windows Phone 8 devices which are managed by Microsoft System Center 2012 Configuration Manager SP1 and Windows Intune to be able to view and install line of business applications targeted to the Windows Phone 8 devices by their administrators.
The Windows Phone 8 Company Portal App is downloaded by the administrator and made available to the management system infrastructure to enable device enrollment for Windows Phone 8 devices. The Company Portal App is needed to manage Windows Phone 8 devices. After downloading the Windows Phone 8 Company Portal App, the administrator must code-sign the app.

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You can download the Windows Phone Company Portal here.

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2 thoughts on “Windows Apps: It’s al about the package…or!

  1. It seems that you have this reversed: “In a managed scenario you’ll deploy apps through Windows Intune or by Windows Intune integrated with Configuration Manager 2012 SP1 – where Configuration Manager is the commando center. In an unmanaged scenario you’ll deploy apps to your own SharePoint or website using AET tokens, provisioning apps by PowerShell or even by DISM.”

    Unmanaged devices, i.e. not domain-joined, get their apps from the Windows InTune Self-Service portal. Managed devices, i.e. domain-joined, get their apps through the Configuration Manager Application Catalog or by Powershell and DISM.

    1. Thanks for your great feedback! I presume what you’re point is – ‘managed’ from a device perspective or ‘managed’ from a software perspective. Using enterprise tools like Windows Intune, Configuration Manager or both you are able to ‘manage’ (non-domain and -domain joined) devices and software. With tools like DISM, PowerShell and SharePoint deloying software is more complex and causes overhead (manual interaction) over enterprise management tools – and therefore indicated as ‘un-managed’.

      Thanks,
      Ronny

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