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Why WiX?
What is the difference between application assignment and publishing?
With Group Policy Software Installation, applications (MSI based) can be managed in one of two modes:

1. Assigning

2. Publishing

Application assignment can be done to users or computers.

When the administrator assigns an application to a user, the application is advertised to the user the next time the user logs on to a workstation. The application advertisement follows the user, regardless of which physical computer he or she actually uses. The application is installed the first time that the user activates the application on the computer, either by selecting the application on the Start menu or by activating a document that is associated with the application.

A user can delete an assigned application, but the assigned application is advertised again the next time the user logs on. It installs the next time a user selects it on the Start menu.

When the administrator assigns an application to the computer, the application is advertised and the installation is performed when it is safe to do so. Typically, this happens when the computer starts up, so that there are no competing processes on the computer.

On the other hand, when the administrator publishes an application to users, the application does not appear as installed on the users' computers. No shortcuts are visible on the desktop or on the Start menu, and no changes are made to the local registry on the users' computers. Instead, published applications store their advertisement attributes in Active Directory. Information, such as the application's name and file associations, is exposed to the users in the Active Directory container. The application is then available for the user to install by using Add or Remove Programs in Control Panel or by clicking a file that is associated with the application.

You should publish an application when you want the application to be available to people who are managed by the Group Policy object, in case a user wants the application. With published applications, it is up to each person to decide whether or not to install the published application.