In the last “MSIX Modern Packaging – Part 1” I showed you how to get a virtual environment to start creating MSIX.
For MSIX to work we need to sign our packages, and this is typically where we say "ok, I give up". At least back in the days when I heard about certificates I got tired right there. Don’t be, it is cool and it is easy once you get the pattern.
In this chapter I will show you how to get a certificate (PFX) ready to use for packaging. How cool is that. Just follow the steps and you are soon to begin packaging your very own packages.
Setup your PKI
Let’s start by creating a new template for your endpoint
Right click and Manage your certificate templates
Choose Code Signing and Duplicate Template
On Compatibility choose the minimum compatible you need.
Go to security tab and add Domain Computers.
On the General tab give it name MSIX Template
Template name: MSIX_Template
Validity period: whatever your security requires.
Go to Request Handling and allow private key to be exported
Go to Extensions
Choose Basic Constraints
Enable this extension
Go to Subject Name
Choose Supply in the request (This will make sure we can insert a common name when we request the certificate)
Now we will make the template available for the client devices on the domain
Find MSIX Template
Now everything we need, to be able to sign our packages, is ready.
Because we build the certificate on a root authority that we trust, no other certificates need to be installed into our environment for our MSIX packages to work.
Export PFX for MSIX packaging
Let’s start on a client that is in our environment.
Go to the start menu and open a CMD with elevated permissions
Choose File and “Add/Remove Snap-in”
Choose Certificates and click Add>
Choose My user account
Choose Personal – Certificates
All Tasks -> Request New Certificate..
Mark the template and click the blue text
Choose “Common name”
Value: Mindlab (type your own)
Export the certificate
Yes, export the private key
Set password. (You need to remember it when we create MSIX package with it, we will be asked for the pw)
Save it to a central location (I prefer together with source files you need to package)
Save the certificate to a central location. Could be wise to gather all your source and stuff you need for packaging.
You can delete the cert from your store now. As it is not needed.
And on a device that are not trusting our CA, you don’t get to install this package.
By now we know how to build a virtual environment for our app automation through MSIX.
We also know how to create a template in our PKI and export that certificate for use when we develop MSIX packages. This is the foundation of app automation.
Stay tuned for part 3 where we will start developing a simple package: Notepad++