How to Add Win32 App Supersedence using Intune

Back in September 2018 Microsoft introduced the ability to deploy customized Win32 Apps using Intune. This was an important step forward for modern device managment on the platform. Peter van der Woude wrote a good blogpost on this at the time.

Fast forward to 2021 and following the Ignite 2021 announcements, Microsoft have now built on this functionality by introducing Win32 App Supersedence. I remember following this on the Microsoft Endpoint Manager Feedback pages where it received quite a few comments and support. A common comment was that people thought without the ability to easily and quickly deploy and then manage apps on cloud managed devices, they may as well just install them manually, particularly within small organisations.  So its good to now Microsoft is listening right.​ 

While this feature is currently (Introduced service release 2102 – March 2021) in Preview I decided to take a look and test it out. To start off my experience with deploying Win32 Apps within Intune is limited so to me this was a learning exercise to and I needed to select and test the installation of my chosen application first without Intune. 

So what is Supersedence

Specifically supersedence allows IT Admins to either update or replace existing Win32 Apps deployed through Intune. There are multiple scenarios supported such as update an existing app with a new version or replace an existing app with a different one where you are changing the software stack within the business. Microsoft provide a detailed explanation with many examples on their Docs site Add Win32 app supersedence – Microsoft Intune | Microsoft Docs.

Setting up Supersedence

1. Scenario 
2. Admin setup
3. End user experience
4. Summary

1 – Supersedence – My Scenario
For my scenario here I decided to download and deploy the 7-Zip file archiver application for all my Windows 10 devices. There are two main install choices available with 7-zip these being MSI or EXE. I selected MSI as from my experience this approach seems to be most stable from a deployment experience and will also auto-populate install commands within the Intune setup pages. In my scenario I also decided to test the replace process rather than an update however I am using different versions of the same app. Natively 7-zip will auto update across versions but I wanted to test the uninstall and replace options. In my setup I use 7-zip version 16.40 and replace this with version 19.00.


2 – Supersedence – Admin Setup

For the purposes of this blog post I have already setup the two versions of the 7-Zip Win32 application using the Microsoft Win32 Content Prep Tool. Please see how to do this on the Microsoft site: Prepare a Win32 app to be uploaded to Microsoft Intune | Microsoft Docs

Steps to follow

 – Login to Microsoft Endpoint Manager (MEM)
 – Navigate to ‘Apps‘ > ‘Windows
 – Select the App then ‘Properties
 – Scroll down the page and click edit for Supersedence (preview)

Once you have clicked the ‘Edit‘ button you will be presented with a window to ‘Add‘ a new supersedence relationship. As per the description on the page when adding a new relationship you choose which application to either update or replace. You must also choose whether to switch the ‘Uninstall Previous version‘ toggle to Yes or No. Generally speaking when superseding an app choose No when updating an application with a new version and Yes if replacing an existing app with something different.

In my example below I have added the supersedence to 7-zip version 16.040 and switched the option to ‘Uninstall’ to Yes. Even though I am updating an already installed app I am also testing the uninstall process.  By selecting Yes Intune will send an uninstall command to the app being superseded using the uninstall command setup on the app already deployed.
It is worth noting that by sending this update to devices where the app has not already been installed this will not prevent the superseding app from installing. You may however receive a toast notification on the device showing that the uninstall process failed.  

PLEASE NOTE: You have the ability to replace or update up to 10 apps which creates a graph of app relationships and the app with supersedence cannot be deleted without first removing the relationships. 
Once configured, review and save the changes and assign the app to the appropriate user or device groups.

I recommend going back to the devices option choosing a device and selecting the sync managment action to force an update. 

3 – Supersedence – End User Experience

On my test Virtual Windows 10 machine I opened the company portal app, selected settings and again manually perform a sync. This is necessary if you want to push the changes through to the device, otherwise the machine will wait for the next scheduled synchronization with AAD.
​As part of the process of supersedence the end user should experience toast notifications as the app deploys as shown below. The toast notifications show the order in which the replacement was carried out.

Reading from the bottom (the first action) to the top:
– 7-zip v16.04 installed
– Intune informed the user 7-zip v 16.04 was being replaced
– Intune initiated an uninstall of 7-Zip v16.04
– 7-Zip v 19.0 was downloaded
– 7-Zip was installed. 


You can check the version of the application by going to Apps & Features on the Windows 10 device and viewing the version of the application installed as per below.
4 – Supersedence – Summary

Given that supersedence has been available through SCCM for a while, companies moving to cloud managment have been looking for the functionality to at least match what they had. The addition to Intune is therefore a welcome one which will empower MEM admins when managing their applications and help towards the decision to move to the cloud. 

Tags: #Win32 #Supersedence #mem #Windows10 #Intune

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