Tackling Obsolete Product Issues using MSIX within the CES Framework Guidelines

Tackling Obsolete Product Issues using MSIX within the CES Framework Guidelines


Obsolete products and outdated software applications pose significant security risks for organisations. The CES (Cyber Essentials Scheme) framework is designed to help address these challenges, ensuring that businesses can protect themselves from potential cyber threats. One of the key strategies to tackle the risks associated with obsolete products is using MSIX, a modern packaging format developed by Microsoft. In this blog, we will explore the challenges associated with obsolete products in the CES framework and how using MSIX can help your organisation comply with the security guidelines.

Challenges with Obsolete Products in the CES Framework

Obsolete products, including out-of-date smartphones, tablets, laptops, desktop PCs, and software applications, contribute to two main problems:

  1. Lack of security updates: Unsupported products no longer receive security patches, increasing the likelihood of attackers exploiting known vulnerabilities.
  2. Absence of the latest security mitigations: older products may not include up-to-date security measures, making successful exploitation more likely and detection more difficult.

Both issues make high-impact security incidents more probable, potentially leading to disastrous consequences across the organisation. To comply with the CES framework, organisations must address these challenges and minimise the risks associated with obsolete products.

The MSIX packaging format

MSIX is a versatile packaging format that supports a wide range of applications, including legacy Win32, WPF, and Windows Forms applications. By using MSIX for deploying and managing obsolete applications, organisations can achieve several key benefits:

  1. Simplified deployment and updates: MSIX streamlines deploying and updating applications, making it easier to manage legacy software.
  2. Application isolation: MSIX ensures that applications run in isolated environments, reducing potential conflicts, and improving system stability.
  3. Clean uninstallation: MSIX allows for the complete removal of applications, leaving no residual files or registry entries on the system.
  4. Enhanced security: MSIX offers various security features, such as certificate signing and restricted access to system resources.
  5. Customisation: MSIX enables modifications to application settings and configurations without altering original binaries, allowing organisations to adapt legacy apps to their specific requirements.

Complying with the CES Framework Using MSIX

To utilise MSIX for managing obsolete products in compliance with the CES framework, organisations should follow these general steps:

  1. Obtain the original installation files for the legacy application.
  2. Use appCURE Capture and Packager to create an MSIX package from the original installer or application files.
  3. Test the newly created MSIX package on a target system to ensure proper functionality.
  4. Sign the MSIX package with a trusted certificate to enable secure deployment.
  5. Deploy the MSIX package to target systems using a preferred deployment method (e.g., System Center Configuration Manager, Intune, Azure Virtual Desktop (MSIX app attach) or a third-party tool).


MSIX provides a powerful solution for addressing the challenges associated with obsolete products in the CES framework. By adopting MSIX, organisations can better manage legacy applications, enhance security, and comply with the CES guidelines. However, it is crucial to assess the compatibility of each legacy application with MSIX packaging and make any necessary adjustments or seek alternative solutions when needed. By doing so, organisations can minimise the risks associated with using out-of-date technology and work towards a more secure and modernised application management process.

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appCURE Studio 3.4: New Features and Enhancements for Secure Application Transformation

appCURE Studio 3.4: New Features and Enhancements for Secure Application Transformation

We are thrilled to announce the release of AppCURE Studio 3.4, our latest version of the transformation studio product. This new release introduces several new features and enhancements that offer our customers greater flexibility and security, enabling them to easily transform their applications.

One of the most significant features of appCURE Studio 3.4 is the full Azure Key Vault support for batch MSIX package signing, including certificate creation. Azure Key Vault for certificates provides organisations a secure, centralised, and scalable solution for managing digital certificates. It simplifies certificate management, reduces the risk of security breaches, and enables Packagers/IT Pros/Developers to code-sign MSIX packages with confidence. With this feature, our customers can now securely store and manage their code signing certificates in Azure Key Vault, offering an extra layer of protection for their applications. Additionally, our customers can create and manage signing certificates directly from within the appCURE Studio interface.

Another significant enhancement is the ability to modify MSIX capabilities, giving our customers greater control over their MSIX packages and modification capabilities. MSIX capabilities are a set of permissions that define how an application can access resources and interact with the operating system. These capabilities are used to ensure that an application has access only to the resources it needs and that it cannot perform any unauthorized actions. This feature enables our customers to add or remove capabilities from their MSIX packages, ensuring that their applications have the necessary permissions to function correctly and securely. It is particularly useful for complex applications that require specific capabilities to be enabled.

In addition, appCURE Studio 3.4 introduces Enforce Package Integrity, a critical security feature that enables our customers to enable and disable package integrity for MSIX. This feature ensures that the contents of an MSIX package have not been tampered with or modified in any way, making it ideal for enterprise environments where security is a top priority. With Enforce Package Integrity enabled, enterprise IT teams can ensure that the software they deploy is secure and has not been tampered with, which can help to prevent data breaches and other security incidents.

Furthermore, we have introduced Blob Storage Upload, a new feature that allows our customers to upload folders of files directly to Azure Blob Storage from within appCURE Studio. This feature is designed to streamline operations and make it easier for our customers to store large amounts of application packages in the cloud. Blob Storage Upload is a simple, streamlined way to upload files, making it a valuable addition to the appCURE Studio toolset.

We have also added an Azure Deploy Template, which enables our customers to quickly deploy appCURE Studio and all the required features by simply filling in a simple Azure template form. Additionally, we have introduced ISO creation, which allows our customers to store transformed packages in an ISO. This feature is ideal for companies that require the offline deployment of their applications or the portability of multiple packages.

In addition to these features, we are pleased to announce that the following integrations are now generally available:

  • Parallels RAS Integration
  • Nerdio Integration
  • Workspace One Integration
  • Application Readiness
  • AppVentix

These integrations offer our customers greater flexibility and ease of use, allowing them to integrate appCURE Studio with other tools and platforms.

In conclusion, appCURE Studio 3.4 is an exciting release that introduces several new features and enhancements, including Azure Key Vault support for certificates and MSIX package signing, MSIX capabilities modification, Enforce Package Integrity, Blob Storage Upload, Azure Deploy Template, and ISO creation. These features offer our customers greater flexibility and security, enabling them to confidently manage their applications and data in the cloud.

For a full list of features and improvements, please see the release notes.


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Improving Application Compatibility with PSF and appCURE Studio

Improving Application Compatibility with PSF and appCURE Studio

The Package Support Framework (PSF) helps developers and IT admins package applications into the MSIX package format. PSF is designed to help overcome common challenges when packaging and deploying software using MSIX, such as compatibility issues, missing dependencies, incorrect registry entries and issues related to running the application inside an MSIX container.

PSF consists of three core components: the PSF Launcher, Config file and Fixups. The PSF Launcher is a small executable responsible for starting your application. The Fixups are small dynamic-link libraries (DLLs) that the PSF Launcher loads to fix any issues that might prevent your application from running and the config file that you use to configure PSF.

PSF is beneficial for developers and IT Admins who are repackaging and deploying desktop applications. In these cases, the PSF helps to ensure that your application runs on modern versions of Windows and can handle different hardware configurations. For example, suppose your application relies on a specific version of the .NET Framework. In that case, PSF can be configured to ensure that this version is installed before your application starts. However, you may want to handle the required runtime before installing apps.

Another advantage of the PSF is that it helps resolve dependencies between different application components. For example, suppose your application relies on a specific version of a DLL. In that case, the PSF can be configured to ensure that this DLL is included in the installation package and is available when the application starts. Again, this helps ensure your application runs smoothly and is free of compatibility issues.

Finally, PSF is easy to use with the help of appCURE Studio. PSF uses a simple JSON configuration file that developers and IT admins can modify to specify the fixups they want to use and the configuration options they need. This file is part of the installation package and is read by the PSF Launcher when the application starts. appCURE Studio helps simplify the manual creation and customisation of these PSF configuration files, making the process of using the PSF even more accessible for IT admins.

In conclusion, the Package Support Framework (PSF) is a powerful tool for IT admins and developers packaging and deploying desktop applications into the MSIX format. The PSF helps improve application compatibility when using MSIX as a packaging format.


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Introduction to Citrix App Streaming

Introduction to Citrix App Streaming

Citrix App Streaming was a technology designed to help businesses deliver applications to end-users without the need for installations on individual devices. Instead, the applications were installed on a central server and streamed to users when needed. This helped businesses save time and resources while ensuring that all users had access to the same version of the software. Citrix App Streaming used a file streaming technology to deliver the application content on-demand to the end-users.

End-of-Life Status

Citrix App Streaming has reached its end-of-life, and it is no longer receiving updates, bug fixes, or technical support from Citrix. Citrix has recommended that customers migrate to alternative solutions like Citrix Virtual Apps and Desktops, or Citrix Endpoint Management.

Migrating with appCURE

If you are a business currently using Citrix App Streaming, it is essential to find an alternative solution that meets your needs. One such solution is appCURE, a comprehensive application transformation platform that offers a range of features, including application streaming migration to MSIX and MSI.

AppCURE is designed to help businesses deliver applications seamlessly to their end-users, regardless of their location or device. With appCURE, users can access their applications from a central portal, making it easy to manage and monitor access to applications across your organization.

Get in Touch with appCURE

If you are currently using Citrix App Streaming or looking for an application delivery solution, appCURE can help. Our team of experts can work with you to understand your unique business needs and provide a customized solution that fits your requirements.

To learn more about appCURE and how we can help your business, please visit our website or contact us directly to schedule a consultation. We offer a comprehensive solution that can help streamline your application delivery and management, saving you time, resources, and money.

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Understanding the Difference between Runtime and Applications

Understanding the Difference between Runtime and Applications

One common question in the world of tech is the difference between runtime and applications. While the terms are often used interchangeably, they refer to two distinct but related elements in software development.

Runtime refers to the environment in which a program or application is executed or run. It provides the necessary support for the program to function and interact with the underlying operating system, hardware, and other programs. Examples of runtime environments include the Java Virtual Machine (JVM) for Java applications, the .NET runtime for .NET applications, and the Python interpreter for Python applications. The runtime environment acts as a bridge between the application and the underlying system, ensuring that the application can run smoothly and efficiently.

On the other hand, an application is a program that performs a specific task or set of tasks for the user. Applications can range from simple utilities and games to complex software such as word processors and graphic design tools. Applications are written in programming languages and are compiled or interpreted into machine code that the computer can execute. Applications are what the user interacts with and what they use to complete a task.

It’s important to note that runtime and applications are not mutually exclusive and that one application can have multiple runtime environments. For example, a Java application can run on multiple platforms, such as Windows, Mac, and Linux, because the JVM provides the necessary runtime environment for the application to run on each platform.

It is not mandatory to include runtime in an application installer, and some installer/packaging formats do not support runtime. This means the user may need to manually install the necessary runtime environment for the application to work. However, many applications come bundled with the required runtime environment, making it easier for the user to install and use the application.

In conclusion, runtime and applications are two distinct but closely related components in software development. The runtime environment provides the necessary support for applications to run smoothly and efficiently. In contrast, applications are programs that perform specific tasks for the user. Understanding the difference between runtime and applications is important for IT Pros, as it helps to ensure that applications are packaged, tested, and deployed correctly.

It’s important to note that, while they are distinct components, they are also very interdependent. Without a runtime environment, applications cannot be executed, and without applications, a runtime environment may not have a purpose. Additionally, the choice of runtime environment can have a significant impact on the performance, scalability, and portability of an application. Therefore, it’s crucial for developers and IT Pros to carefully consider both the runtime environment and the application deploying software.

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