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How can I integrate Microsoft Store for Business with Intune in Azure

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Introduction

Windows users are used to seeing the familiar Windows Store icon on their Windows 10 devices, this gives them access to download free Windows store apps without credentials (for example the Microsoft Company Portal), or download paid apps using Microsoft live credentials. Microsoft Store for Business (formally known as Windows Store for Business) leverages the Windows Store concept and adds a new tab to that user experience to show apps to your users (that have been approved for use in your business) without the need for using an external Microsoft live account.

Microsoft refers to the stores as follows:

Quote

Designed for organizations, Microsoft Store for Business and Microsoft Store for Education gives IT decision makers and administrators in businesses or schools a flexible way to find, acquire, manage, and distribute free and paid apps in select markets to Windows 10 devices in volume.

In this post I'll show you what you need to do to integrate MSFB into Intune in Azure and how to deploy MSFB apps to your users.

Before you start though, be aware of the following:

  • You must configure Intune as the mobile device management authority for your organization.
  • You must have signed up for an account on the Microsoft Store for Business.
  • Once you have associated a Business Store account with Intune, you cannot change to a different account in the future.
  • Apps purchased from the store cannot be manually added to or deleted from Intune. They can only be synchronized with the Microsoft Store for Business.
  • Intune synchronizes only online licensed apps you have purchased from the Microsoft Store for Business.
  • Devices must be joined to Active Directory Domain Services, or workplace-joined, to use this capability.
  • Enrolled devices must be using the 1511 release of Windows 10 (or later), in this guide I'm using Windows 10 Enterprise version 1703.

Step 1. Login to the business store

Login to the Microsoft Store for Business by signing in using the same tenant account you use to sign into Intune. If it's your first time there, you'll have an EULA to read and accept, it will look something like this.

accept EULA.png

Your tenant name will be listed in the Microsoft Store for Business.

tenant name in MSFB.png

Step 2. Associate your Microsoft Store for Business account with Intune

In the Microsoft Store for Business, click on Manage (to the right of your tenant name), and in the new page that opens, click on Settings, then click on Distribute. Under Management Tools, you'll see Microsoft Intune listed and to the right.

activate intune.png

To activate MSFB with Intune,  click on the Activate action. After activation, it will appear like so with a status of Active.

activated.png

Step 3. Configure Synchronization

In this step, login to https://portal.azure.com and click on the Intune service. In Intune, click on Mobile apps, select Windows Store for Business (even though this is Microsoft Store for Business), and then click on the Enable (1), next click on Save (2), finally click on the Sync (3) button.

enable.png

You will get a notification that the sync has started and that it will take some time.

starting sync.png

 

Step 4. Synchronize Apps

In the Microsoft Store for Business, you need to select some apps to sync otherwise no Microsoft Store for Business apps will appear in Intune. To do this, in the search field on the right side of the Microsoft Store for Business web portal, enter the name of an app (for example Skype) and press enter. The Search for Skype results will appear.

search for skype.png

In the list of search results displayed, select your chosen app. Info about the application will be displayed.

skype app.png

Click on the Get the app button.

thank you for purchasing.png

Next click on the beside the app, and choose add to private store.

add to private store.png

 

You'll be informed that the app is being added to your private store and that it can take up to 24 hours.

adding to private store can take 24 hours.png

After adding apps, you can review them in the Products and Services link under Manage and their status will be listed.

adding to private store.png

Note: Even though the website states "Adding to private store (allow 24 hours to process)" it can actually take longer for those apps to appear in your private store, but be patient they will.

After the apps appear in your private store it will look something like this.

apps in the private store.png

You can select an app, and you now have options to Manage or Remove from Private store.

remove from private store.png

And any licenses associated with your Private Store apps can be reviewed in the Intune service, under Mobile Apps, App Licenses.

app licenses.png

Step 5. Assign apps in Intune

Now that you've synced some apps from Microsoft Store for Business into Intune, you are ready to deploy (assign) some apps to users. To do so, login to https://portal.azure.com and click on the Intune service. In Intune, click on Mobile apps, select Apps. After sync has completed you'll see some pre-populated Microsoft Store for Business apps in addition to the apps you selected in the store. You can see these apps denoted with the Type field (Windows Store for Business app).

wsfb apps.png

Select your chosen app and that apps overview will be displayed.

app overview.png

 

Click on Assignments to assign the app to a group of users then click on Select Groups and point it to a group of one or more users and then click on Select at the bottom of that blade.

select groups.png

Next in the Group you selected, there are two drop down's as shown here, select your Assignment type (Available, Not applicable, Required, Uninstall) and License type (User licensing, device licensing) and click on Save.

In this example you will make the Assignment type Available which gives the end user a choice in terms of installation, if you want to forcefully install it select Required.

saving.png

Step 6. Review the store on a Windows 10 device

As a user that is in the Azure Group targeted with this assignment, login to a Windows 10 device.

To ensure you have an up to date policy, trigger a sync with Intune via All Settings, Accounts, Access Work or School, Info, then Sync.

sync.png

Start the Windows Store by clicking on the Windows Store icon.

windows store.png

Click on the hamburger icon and select your tenant (shown with a red arrow), note that the user you logged on to the Windows 10 device will be listed below that and you are not prompted for credentials in the Microsoft Store for Business.

hamburger icon.png

If your screen resolution is high, you won't see the hamburger icon but will instead see your tenant listed as a tab.

tenant on right side.png

And the apps you've made available are displayed, including their status (installed).

Note: It may take up to 24 hours for your apps to appear (after you added them to the Private Store).

msfb done.png

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