Application of the Week – Netflix (Part 1)

“Did you say Netflix? Yes, Netflix!”. Last week during a customer meeting I got a question how Liquit deals with applications like Netflix and Ziggo GO within Liquit Workspace.

These kind of applications can’t be downloaded from a vendor website as an MSI setup or Legacy (executable) setup. These are applications which can only be installed using the Microsoft Store. These are Microsoft Store apps.

In Application of the Week – Windows Calculator (Part 1) I’ve explained how to launch Provisioned Windows Apps, apps which have been preinstalled by Microsoft in a standard Windows 10 installation.

In this weeks’ blog I will discuss how to launch Microsoft Store apps which have been downloaded and installed from the Microsoft Store.

When a an application like Netflix is selected, an .Appx file is downloaded. In this case that .appx file is called 4DF9E0F8.Netflix_6.95.602.0_x64__mcm4njqhnhss8.Appx. Open this .Appx package in your favorite archive editor (7-Zip, WinRAR, WinZIP etc):

AppxManifest.xml is an XML document that contains the information the system needs to deploy, display, or update a Windows app. This one has the information we need to configure our Launch package for Netflix in Liquit Workspace.

Extract the AppxManifest.xml and open it up in your favorite XML viewer or editor. In the section, look for ‘Id=’:

Where Windows Calculator’s Id=’App’, the value for Id= for this Netflix app is ‘Netflix.App’. Note the difference for these Id values.

Now, let’s bring in some PowerShell magic again like we did in the Windows Calculator blog:

Get-AppxPackage | Where {$_.Name -match 'Netflix'}

This brings in the PackageFamilyName for the Netflix Appx package:

(Get-AppxPackage | Where {$_.Name -match 'Netflix'} | Get-AppxPackageManifest)

This brings in the Application Id:

When we combine these two, the values for PackageFamilyName and Id, this is how we can launch the Netflix App from within Liquit Workspace:

These techniques also apply for launching applications which are installed using an .AppxBundle, .MSIX or .MSIXBundle.

These kind of applications get more popular by the minute, so that’s why we’re working to simplify all of this. Do let us know what you think about this and share your feedback.

Next week in ‘Part 2’ of this blog I will review discuss how to use PowerShell to create this ‘Netflix’ package using the ‘Liquit PowerShell Module‘.