Field Operations

Deploying Collector for ArcGIS without the Windows Store

There is a lot of excitement about Collector for ArcGIS on Windows 10. However, making it available is presenting a challenge to organizations that don’t allow access to the Windows Store. These organizations need to instead deploy Collector through the Windows Store for Business (WSfB).

There are a few reasons an organization might not allow access to the Windows Store. They might not allow the use of Microsoft identities, instead requiring the use of their existing identity management. Or perhaps they require the use of existing mechanisms (SCCM, DISM, MDM/EDMs, etc.) to deploy other apps. Another restriction organizations face is that they need to manage the deployment of apps and app updates: who can use what, and what version is used. Since the WSfB has multiple deployment methods, organizations can use the restrictions prohibiting them from getting Collector through the Windows Store to determine how they can successfully deploy Collector through the WSfB.

The WSfB supports two main licensing models: online and offline. Online licensing requires an Azure Active Directory (AAD) account for each employee, and requires access to the Windows Store. Although access to the Windows Store is required, it is a deployment option worth considering as it provides the organization with the control to Store content that some of them require. Offline licensing, on the other hand, allows the organization to use any identity provider and doesn’t require any Store access for users of the app, but requires more effort on the part of your IT staff.

Online licensing provides the easiest way to provide employees with access to a restricted list of apps. You can create a private store of apps or use an MDM, such as Microsoft Intune, that supports AAD. You get some of the benefits of using the Windows Store, including optional automatic updates to apps, but you have control over which apps can be installed. See more in the overview and the requirements.

Offline licensing also provides a restricted list of apps to employees, but doesn’t require Collector users to have an AAD account or a connection to the Windows Store, removing requirements of online licensing. It provides the most flexibility in terms of deployment methods, including using other deployment tools such as SCCM or DISM, MDM/EDMs that don’t support AAD, and side loading with PowerShell scripts. IT administrators download app binaries, license files, and any dependencies from the Windows Store for Business and then coordinate deployment using their preferred deployment mechanism. Organizations have complete control over which members of the organization have the app, as well as the update cycle. See Distribute offline apps for more details.

Have questions or comments about anything discussed here? Email us at or join the conversation at the Collector for ArcGIS GeoNet community page.

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