Manage apps from the Microsoft Store for Business and Education with Configuration Manager
The Microsoft Store for Business and Education is where you find and acquire Windows apps for your organization. When you connect the store to Configuration Manager, you then synchronize the list of apps you've acquired. View these apps in the Configuration Manager console, and deploy them like you deploy any other app.
Online and offline apps
The Microsoft Store for Business and Education supports two types of app:
Online: This license type requires users and devices to connect to the store to get an app and its license. Windows 10 devices should be Azure Active Directory (Azure AD)-joined or hybrid Azure AD-joined. They can also be Azure AD-registered.
Offline: This type lets you cache apps and licenses to deploy directly within your on-premises network. Devices don't need to connect to the store or have a connection to the internet.
For more information, see the Microsoft Store for Business and Education overview.
Summary of capabilities
Configuration Manager supports managing Microsoft Store for Business and Education apps on both Windows 10 devices with the Configuration Manager client, and also Windows 10 devices enrolled with Microsoft Intune. Configuration Manager offers the following capabilities for online and offline apps:
|Capability||Offline apps||Online apps|
|Synchronize app data to Configuration Manager
(synchronization occurs every 24 hours)
|Create Configuration Manager applications from store apps||Yes||Yes|
|Support for free apps from the store||Yes||Yes|
|Support for paid apps from the store||No||YesNote 1|
|Support required deployments to user or device collections||Yes||Yes|
|Support available deployments to user or device collections||Yes||Yes|
|Support line-of-business apps from the store||Yes||Yes|
|Provision a store app for all users on a deviceNote 2||Yes||Yes|
Note 1: Online licensed apps version requirement
To deploy online licensed apps to Windows 10 devices with the Configuration Manager client, they need to be running a supported version of Windows 10.
Note 2: Provision Windows app packages for all users on a device
For more information, see Create Windows applications.
Deploying online apps using the Microsoft Store for Business and Education to devices that run the Configuration Manager client
Before deploying Microsoft Store for Business and Education apps to devices that run the full Configuration Manager client, consider the following points:
For full functionality, devices need to be running a supported version of Windows 10.
Register or join devices to the same Azure AD tenant where you registered the Microsoft Store for Business and Education as a management tool.
When the local Administrator account signs in on the device, it can't access Microsoft Store for Business and Education apps.
Devices need a live internet connection to the Microsoft Store for Business and Education. For more information including proxy configuration, see Prerequisites.
Set up synchronization
When you synchronize the list of Microsoft Store for Business and Education apps that your organization acquired, you see these apps in the Configuration Manager console.
Connect your Configuration Manager site to Azure AD and the Microsoft Store for Business and Education. For more information and details of this process, see Configure Azure services. Create a connection to the Microsoft Store for Business service.
Make sure the service connection point and targeted devices can access the cloud service. For more information, see Prerequisites for Microsoft Store for Business and Education - Proxy configuration.
Supplemental information and configuration
On the App page of the Azure Services Wizard, first configure the Azure environment and Web app. Then read the More Information section at the bottom of the page. This information includes the following other actions in the Microsoft Store for Business and Education portal:
Configure Configuration Manager as the store management tool. For more information, see Configure management provider.
Enable support for offline licensed apps. For more information, see Distribute offline apps.
Acquire at least one app. For more information, see Find and acquire apps.
On the Configurations page of the Azure Services Wizard, specify the following information:
Path to Microsoft Store for Business app content storage: Specify a shared network path, including a folder. For example,
\\server\share\folder. When the site server syncs with the store, it caches content in this location. When you create an application in Configuration Manager, the site server copies the app content from this local cache to the site's content library.
Selected languages: Select the languages to sync from the store and display to users in Software Center. For example, if the user configures Windows for German, then Software Center shows German strings for the store app. This behavior requires that language to be synchronized, and to exist for the specific application.
Default language: If the user's language is unavailable, select a default language to use.
Configuration Manager doesn't synchronize the app icon from the store. If you need an icon to display for this app in Software Center, manually add it in the app properties. For more information, see Manually specify application information.
Create and deploy the app
After synchronization, create and deploy the Microsoft Store for Business and Education apps similar to any other Configuration Manager application.
In the Software Library workspace of the Configuration Manager console, expand Application Management, then select the License Information for Store Apps node.
Choose the app you want to deploy, then select Create Application in the ribbon.
The site creates a Configuration Manager application containing the Microsoft Store for Business and Education app.
Then deploy and monitor this application as you would any other Configuration Manager application. For more information, see the following articles:
Manage the app
In the Software Library workspace, expand Application Management, then select the License Information for Store Apps node.
For each store app you manage, view the following information about the app:
- App name
- App platform
- The number of licenses for the app that you own
- The number of available licenses
After deploying online apps, any updates to that app come directly from the Microsoft Store. Furthermore, Configuration Manager doesn't check version compliance of online apps, just that Windows reports the app as installed.
When deploying offline apps to Windows 10 devices with the Configuration Manager client, don't allow users to update applications external to Configuration Manager deployments. Control of updates to offline apps is especially important in multi-user environments such as classrooms. One option to disable the Microsoft Store is by using group policy.
After the Microsoft Store for Business and Education administrator acquires an offline app, don't publish the app to users via the store. This configuration makes sure that users can't install or update online. Users only receive offline app updates via Configuration Manager.