SCCM-Deploying Office 365 via ConfigMgr

SCCM-Deploying Office 365 via ConfigMgr
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Hi All,

while ago, Microsoft released the Office 365, and as you may know, office 365 is not just e-mail, it also has lots of features and services connected to it. Depending on the “flavour” (plan) that you are using (yes, there are lots of licensing stuff) you may get office and windows for “free”.

Anyway, Microsoft had office 2013 that was available for companies and they had the files that we could install on our computer by just running the setup.exe. for an administrator, you also could use customizations (using the /adminfile) and customize the whole installation and user experience. But this had a problem, the user could only use office, after the setup had been done.

Now, imagine a scenario where you have BYOD or mobile users, they connect to the network and open the Application Catalog (Software center, the new Software Center on CM build 1511 or any other shopping experience that connects to SCCM). Anyway, they connect, and select office and ask to install.

What happen is that the SCCM Client will start downloading the files, execute the setup.exe and after that, it will allow the user to use the application. this can easily take some time and the user cannot disconnect from the network, if he/she does, the installation may fail.

However, this downside was acceptable for many of us, and from IT point of view, keeping the application up to date was easy. every month Microsoft releases updates, and you just select them and create a deployment group, etc…really easy, no changes on the process.

with Office 365, Microsoft changed a bit, instead of giving you a office like, they provide you with a Office package created for office 365. this office package has the same bits as the normal office (it was the same as office 2013 and today office 2016), however this package was created using App-V technology and instead of having many files, it only had couple of really big files.

this is great, because the setup.exe downloads the files like a app-v package, once the setup starts, the user can already start using the application, at least what has been already downloaded. they can disconnect the network or leave the office and once they return, the download will continue.

but this has a small price to pay, updates The release of updates are not like before, Microsoft release a new “build” every month and to keep up to date you need to download a lot of data. It at least, is intelligent enough to download only the delta, and not all the package.

anyway, now that you know a bit of Office 365, lets see how SCCM can be used to deploy Office 365
1- download and extract the office deployment tool (https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/details.aspx?id=49117)
Make sure you’re downloading the latest version (16.0.6508.6350). the old version has a bug where it would ignore the already downloaded source files

2- create a download.xml file and save to the same folder as the setup.exe
–example of download.xml, that is used to download office, visio and project x64 version, English and Brazilian Portuguese

 

3- open command prompt, navigate to the folder and type: setup.exe /download download.xml. After some time, all files are going to be downloaded. You should have a folder called Office, a child folder called Data with 2 cab files and another child folder that is based on the version with some files. depending on number of languages, you may have more. in my example, you’ll have 9 files.

4- create a install.xml file and same to the same folder as the setup.exe
–example of install that is installing office (with exception of access, onenote, InfoPath, publisher, sharepointdesigner and groove (that is also onedrive). it will also install visio and project. It will not show any UI and will accept the EULA, if office (any app) is open, it will close them before install. it will save a log file under c:\windows\temp and will enable the update (we’ll look at this in another post)

 

5- create a uninstall.xml file that will be used to uninstall office if needed
–example of uninstall that uninstall everything and will save a log file under c:\windows\temp and will disable the update (we’ll look at this in another post)

 

6- now, copy all files to a shared location

7- on the SCCM Console, create a new application and manually specify application information

8- Follow the wizard and when asked to create a deployment type, make sure you select a Script Installer

9- for Installation program, use: setup.exe /configure install.xml

10- for Uninstall program, use: setup.exe /configure uninstall.xml

11- for detection method:
11.1 select a file system
11.2 path use: %ProgramFiles%\Microsoft Office\root\Office16\
11.3 file or folder name use: winword.exe
11.4 select the file system setting must satisfy the following rule
11.5 property = Version
11.6 operator = Greater than or equal to (we are not using equal because we’re allowing office to be updated)
11.7 value = the version number you downloaded (by the time i’m writing this post, it is 16.0.6001.1041)

12- user experience, i’m using install for a computer and giving 60min to install (but this is my lab, real life will probably be fast)

now it is only fun, you distribute the content to a DP and deploy. no extra steps needed to install, however, if you want to customize the behaviour of the application, look at GPO

here are some links that are useful:
https://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/jj219422.aspx
https://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/dn708063.aspx
https://channel9.msdn.com/Series/Solving-Office-365-Client-Deployment-Scenarios/01
https://channel9.msdn.com/events/Ignite/2015/BRK2112
http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/details.aspx?id=49030

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