Workspace One UEM - Deploy Win32 applications on Windows 10 best practices.

Sep 3, 2021 5 min read
Workspace One UEM - Deploy Win32 applications on Windows 10 best practices.

In this article we will talk about my favorite UEM solution which is none other than Workspace One. To deploy Win32 application with this tool you already have a great article on Win32 applications deployment from VMware TechZone (link is just below). I will just extract some important information you need to focus on, and share with you my personal experience.

We can therefore see this article as a complement of information to successfully deploy Windows 10 applications with Workspace One UEM.

Techzone source 👉 Deploying Traditional Win32 Applications to Windows 10 Devices: Workspace ONE Operational Tutorial | VMware

How to deploy a Windows 10 application with Workspace ONE UEM ?

You have two different way to achieve this, the first method is the legacy solution with Product Provisioning and the second one is the modern Software Distribution. I defined Product Provisioning as legacy method for reasons i will explain below.

Product Provisioning was initially created for mobile operating systems.

Today it works also with Windows (or macOS) and with a great efficiency but with some important limitations. For example, an application deployed with Product Provisioning tool cannot be displayed in the unified catalog as opposed to modern Software Distribution.

We will therefore only focus on Software Distribution in this article.

In more details, Vmware has improved Software Distribution to provide better experience for administrators and end of course users.

  • Improved versioning management for applications and new "list view" design.
  • Detections commands are editable even when the application is detected as installed.
  • From the assignment step you can hide the apps from users catalog as already mentioned.
  • Hide notifications for end users during application installation.
  • Support Powershell App Deployment Toolkit and defer exit code for interactive installation.
  • Define an application as mandatory with Desired State Management options.
  • Enterprise App repository that can provide applications already packaged for Workspace ONE.

Fundamental Knowledge

When you upload your application as internal application on Workspace ONE you must know these following things:

  • By default, the upload file capacity for one file is set to 200MB but can be extended by VMware.
  • Workspace ONE does not decompress files larger than 4GB and prefers 7zip to compress your file. Do not compress from a folder but select files to compress together in your archive.
  • The storage is limited by default to 20GB, it can be increased now to 50GB - 500GB but it depends on your Workspace ONE license, Advanced, Entreprise and so on...

For details about licences, Vmware share this article - VMware Knowledge Base article: Workspace ONE Storage Pricing and Packaging Updates (81399).

  • Workspace ONE supports all these following files extensions : ipa, apk, sap, zip, msi, exe, pkg, apps, mpkg, dmg.


All the customers we already worked with for Windows 10 management were using mainly MSI and EXE for their internal Windows 10 Applications.

By default, Workspace ONE store all the applications pushed to the devices in this path :

%ProgramData%\AirWatchMDM\AppDeploymentCache

About MSI

MSI files are the easiest to add and maintain with Workspace ONE. The Workspace One Console can "parse" and "analyze" your .MSI to fill automatically all necessary informations about  install/uninstall commands and installation detection parameters. Nothing to do for the administrator, except uploading and pushing the package.

About EXE

EXE files are less automated, information must be found and completed by hand to ensure the app is added to Workspace One UEM and deployed. It's important to know that install/uninstall commands and install detection commands are the key of success for your application deployment. You must provide all these informations to deploy the application with Workspace ONE and to do that with an .EXE file we will specify what can be found in the Vmware TechZone Article.

How can i find the install command?

Before starting I can recommend two simple things:

  • Create an excel file with all the informations for each application where you have to retrieve the commands. Why ? Because when you add a new version of this same application in the Workspace One Console you will need to fill all these required fields again.
  • Have an VM or a local device to test the install or detection commands before uploading and deploying your application.

To find the install command of a Win32 application:

  1. Refer to software publishers as mentioned in TechZone article or use a simple search with Google.
  2. You can use help command to show all arguments. For exemple application.exe with the "/?" parameter.

If you cannot find any information, by experience we test theses following commands :

  • Application.exe /S or /SILENT
  • Application.exe /VERYSILENT

Try all these commands until you find the good one.

How can i find the install detection command?

After you found your install commands the application can be installed on the test device.

  1. Execute the gwmi win32_product command to find the identifying number of your application. This number can then be used in Worksapace One UEM console for the install detection with the "App Exists" parameter.
  2. You can also navigate to C:\Program Files or C:\Program Files (x86) folder, to locate the application .exe, or uninstall.exe.
  3. My favorite method is, from the Windows Start Menu with a left click on application Plus then Open file location.

File explorer will opened click left and properties. From there you can copy the target location and paste it in your Workspace One UEM console.

How can i find the uninstall command ?

  1. Refer again to software vendor support website.
  2. As mentioned on TechZone check these following key on the test device:
  • HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Uninstall
  • HKLM\SOFTWARE\Wow6432Node\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Uninstall\
  • HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Uninstall
  • HKCU\SOFTWARE\Wow6432Node\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Uninstall\

Usually all this knowledge is enough to deploy simple Win32 applications but Workspace ONE offers even more capacities to deploy applications with software distribution.

Some examples :

  • Application already packaged from Enterprise App Repository. Nothing to do like in the MSI file process.
  • Support for Powershell App Deployment Toolkit to provide interactive installations for your end users trough scripts, for example a deferral in the installation process. In this case the console will mention the installation as deferred by user.

We will explore these tools in dedicated articles in the near future.

So here we have seen some best practices to add to your Win32 application deployment processes. Do not hesitate to contact us if you need particular help on this subject, our team of experts can help you without any problem.

See you soon in a future article !

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