Open Sources

InstallAware Open Sources Microsoft® Desktop Bridge APPX Library for Extending WiX, Inno Setup, and Nullsoft Scriptable Install System

InstallAware chose the GNU AGPLv3 license to open source its APPX builder DLL, helping any open source installer such as Inno and NSIS, and partially open source installer such as Windows Installer XML (WiX lacks APPX support), bridge the setups they create to the Universal Windows Platform via Microsoft®’s Desktop Bridge.

San Francisco, CA, December 12, 2016 – InstallAware Software, the technology leader in software installation, repackaging, virtualization for application producers and enterprises, and the most flexible platform for traditional and agile development teams creating Windows and Azure software installers, has launched its first open source project under the GNU AGPLv3 license at

Microsoft®’s Desktop Bridge carries traditional Win32, Win64, and .NET apps to the future by converting them into Universal Windows Platform apps that may be submitted to the Windows Store as APPX packages. The process for creating APPX packages requires advanced software, and remains a daunting, mostly undocumented challenge. InstallAware built a custom library to create APPX packages, and consumes it in its flagship InstallAware X5 setup builder; effortlessly building EXE Native Code, MSI Windows Installer, APPX Universal Windows Platform, App-V Application Virtualization, and Agentless EXE InstallAware Virtualization packages, all from a single source.

Now, any third-party installer may leverage InstallAware’s investments in its APPX library, which has been released as free software (as defined by the GNU Affero General Public License v3.0). While there are literally tens of software installers for Windows, if not hundreds; the number of installers which are able to create APPX Universal Windows Platform apps, ready for submission to the Windows Store, number less than the fingers of a hand. InstallAware serves the entire Windows community by open sourcing this crucial component, with the intention of enabling any installation technology vendor, regardless of whether they are open source or not, bridge all of their customers’ setup solutions to the future, and in particular to the Windows Store, as easily and effortlessly as possible.

In a meeting with WiX’s benevolent dictator more than a decade earlier, we were grilled as to why we had built a commercial setup builder,” says Sinan Karaca, founder of InstallAware Software. “The dictator only approved of free, and preferably open source setup builders. Imagine our surprise when WiX released a commercial – to say nothing of closed source – WiX extension for APPX, charging all WiX users a very hefty toll to get on the Microsoft® Desktop Bridge for porting their apps to the Universal Windows Platform, and their future survival. Now, any WiX community member may develop a free, and open source WiX extension; as the WiX community so richly deserves. Of course, we’re very excited to see what other open source installation vendors, such as NSIS and Inno Setup, will be doing with our open source APPX library as well. They would now be able to effortlessly bridge all of their users’ installers to the future, giving them a free ride across the Microsoft® Desktop Bridge, onto the Universal Windows Platform highway – to a secure future with their survival guaranteed at no charge!

About InstallAware Software

InstallAware Software, founded in 2003, is the leading Cloud Infrastructure Company with its laser sharp focus on bullet-proof enterprise software deployment. InstallAware has been recognized by multiple awards coming from Microsoft, SDTimes "Leader of the Software Development Industry", Visual Studio Magazine Reader's Choice, ComponentSource, WindowsITPro, among other recognition. InstallAware X5 is available in a complimentary edition for all Visual Studio users and paid editions with prices starting at $329. For a fully functional 30 day trial and more information, visit


Jason Strathmore
InstallAware Software
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