Flexera and Microsoft’s Desktop Bridge: The Basics

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What is Microsoft’s Desktop Bridge?
This set of technologies enables you to convert your Windows desktop application to the modern Windows app packaging format. After conversion, your Windows desktop application is packaged, serviced, and deployed in the form of a Universal Windows Platform (UWP) app package targeting Windows 10.

What is the Value for Users of Flexera’s InstallShield?
Developers can use InstallShield 2016 to convert and distribute their existing apps through the Windows Store or existing distribution methods, extending reach and increasing earnings potential. These converted apps offer cleaner installs, uninstalls and updates and can be enhanced with UWP capabilities for compelling new functionality.

How Does It Work?
There are two parts to the technology. The first is the conversion process, which takes your existing binaries and repackages them as a UWP package. Your code is still the same but it’s just packaged differently.

The second piece comprises runtime technologies in the Windows Anniversary update that enable a UWP package to have executables that run as full trust instead of in an app container. This technology also gives a converted app a package identity, which is required to use some UWP APIs.

What New Things Can I Do?
You can improve your converted desktop app with a wide range of UWP APIs to add features like live tiles, push notifications and more. Additionally, you can extend your app with features accessible only to converted apps. These might include launching a process when a user logs on, File Explorer integration, access to a modern touch interface, pen & ink and more.

You can also smooth the transition between the original desktop app and a full UWP app package through migration steps. Using the bridge, you can gradually move your older code to UWP while still retaining the ability to run and publish your app on Windows Desktop. Once you’re fully migrated to UWP (and your app no longer contains any WPF/Win32 components), you can reach all Windows device types.

For more information, download this webinar: Your Fast Track to Profit in the Windows Store.


InstallShield® is the industry standard for development teams creating installers for Windows desktops, servers, and cloud platforms, and helps to prepare applications for emerging technologies like the Windows Store and Nano Server. Over 100,000 developers around the world trust InstallShield to develop EXE and MSI installers, create Universal Windows Platform (UWP) and Windows Server App (WSA) packages, and virtualize their applications with minimal scripting, coding, or rework. Get your free trial of InstallShield today or contact us for more information. 

InstallAnywhere is the leading multiplatform development solution for application producers who need to deliver a professional and consistent cross installation experience for physical, virtual and cloud environments. From a single project file and build environment, InstallAnywhere creates reliable installations for on-premises platforms – Windows, Linux, Apple OS X, Solaris, AIX , HP-UX, and IBM iSeries – and enables you to take existing and new software products to a virtual and cloud infrastructure and build Docker containers.  Get your free trial of InstallAnywhere or contact us for more information. 

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