Kae Travis

What is the Package Support Framework (PSF) for MSIX?

MSIX application compatibility can be improved using the Package Support Framework. But what is the Package Support Framework (PSF) for MSIX?

The Package Support Framework (PSF) is an open-source framework that allows developers to run their traditional (Win32) applications inside MSIX containers with the same level of isolation and security as native UWP applications. The PSF achieves this by providing a set of runtime libraries and a wrapper that runs the application inside the container.

The PSF is designed to address some of the challenges of modernizing legacy Windows applications to work with the MSIX format. These challenges include dealing with dependencies on legacy technologies and interfaces, managing compatibility issues with different versions of Windows, and providing a secure, isolated environment for the application.

The PSF can be used to package and deploy legacy Windows applications in the MSIX format without requiring code changes to the application itself. It includes features such as file and registry redirection, manifest injection, and custom actions that allow developers to customize the runtime behavior of their applications.

The PSF is available as an open-source project on GitHub and can be used with any MSIX package. It is actively maintained and updated by the community, and provides a valuable tool for developers looking to modernize their legacy Windows applications.

What Does The Package Support Framework (PSF) Consists Of?

The Package Support Framework (PSF) consists of two main components: the PSF Runtime and the PSF Launcher.

  1. PSF Runtime: The PSF Runtime is a set of DLLs that provide runtime services to the application running inside the MSIX container. These DLLs are injected into the application process at runtime and provide features such as file and registry redirection, manifest injection, and custom actions. The PSF Runtime is responsible for intercepting and redirecting API calls made by the application to the underlying operating system, allowing it to run in a secure, isolated environment.
  2. PSF Launcher: The PSF Launcher is a small executable that is responsible for launching the application inside the MSIX container. It is responsible for setting up the environment for the application, including setting up the PSF Runtime, configuring the container, and launching the application process. The PSF Launcher can be customized by developers to add custom actions or configuration options.

In addition to these main components, the PSF also includes a set of configuration files that can be used to customize the behaviour of the PSF Runtime and Launcher. One of these files is config.json, which contains configuration options for the PSF Launcher, including the location of the PSF Runtime DLLs and any custom actions.

The PSF is designed to be highly customizable and extensible, allowing developers to tailor its behavior to meet the specific needs of their applications. Its modular architecture and open-source nature make it a valuable tool for modernizing legacy Windows applications and deploying them in the MSIX format.

What is the Package Support Framework (PSF) for MSIX?
What is the Package Support Framework (PSF) for MSIX?

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