Application of the Week – WhatsApp Desktop (Part 1)

A lot of discussions deploying Win32 applications are about supporting either MSI‘s, MSI bootstrappers (MSI’s wrapped inside an executable) or legacy setups (non-MSI based executable setups which install Windows applications into a ProgramFiles directory). These kind of setups needs to be deployed using elevated rights when the end user doesn’t have Administrative rights to add something to the ProgramFiles directory.

But there’s a range of setups, some introduced recently, which are different to the ones above. Windows applications like WhatsApp for Desktop, Brave Browser and Telegram Desktop. Within the Liquit Setup Store these setups are flagged to be installed in the user’s context instead of the device context.

Let’s pick WhatsApp Desktop as the example to look at this in more detail. First let’s create a package in Liquit Workspace using the Setup Store connector:

  • Click Manage, Connector, then select the Setup Store connector
  • Click Resources and search for ‘WhatsApp’
  • Select either one of the available ‘WhatsApp Desktop Client’ setups, depending on the platform you want to deploy it on
  • Click ‘Create Package’
  • In the Details screen opt for ‘Package Type = Managed’
  • In the Customize screen the ‘Configure’ option is greyed out. In a later version of Liquit Workspace you will be able to review and tweak the silent switches for this particular setup type
  • In the Entitlements screen add the users you want to assign this package to
  • In the Summary screen leave the ‘Modify package after creation’ checkbox checked
  • Click ‘Finish’

The Setup Connector now grabs the latest version of ‘WhatsApp Desktop Client’ and creates a ‘Managed Package’. Hence this remark under ‘Details’:

‘Managed’ means that everytime WhatsApp releases a new version of WhatsApp, the Setup Store connector updates all ‘managed’ packages with the latest version of that particular application.

For the x64 version of the WhatsApp Desktop Client’ this is how this managed package has been updated over time:

You can do this automatically, using a scheduled task, or semi-automatically using the ‘Updates’ feature of the Setup Store connector:

This shows all managed packages for which updates are available:

Using ‘Apply update’ you can update a managed package.

I will go into more detail of managed packages in Part 2 of this blog, using e-mail notifications, DTAP and updating managed packages with launch actions.