My company uses Office 365 and I had a hell of a time finding any information on how to deploy Project and Visio to existing clients in an effort to move the company away from a mixed installer environment. I couldn't find any information on how to do it, in fact, so I figured it out through trial and error and I thought I'd share my findings. The steps outlined below worked for me. There may be a better way to accomplish the task, and there may be an easier way, but this worked for me. I am posting my steps here in attempt to encourage discussion and maybe help out some people who ran into a similar problem. Do your own testing on this though, and do so at your own risk! I am fairly new to Landesk so others may have a better way of deploying these packages. Keep in mind that if you'll need to license end users for the 365 software in question if you want any of this to work properly. Anyway, here goes.
Installing Microsoft Office 365 Click-To-Run Using The Office Deployment Tool
The section immediately below will outline how to include Office 365 Pro Plus as part of a corporate image. The section following that will outline how to deploy additional Office 365 Click-To-Run applications (think Visio and Project) as deployment packages in Landesk.
Deployment of Office 365Pro Plus begins with the Office Deployment Tool. The ODT can be downloaded here. There is a version of the ODT for Office 2013 and a different one for Office 2016. This article focuses on Office 2013. The ODT is used to download, customize, and install Office 365 Click-To-Run applications as specified by an XML file that you customize to suit the needs of your business.
Once you’ve downloaded the ODT, the first thing you’ll want to do is customize the configuration.xml file to download the software. To make things easier on myself, I created a folder called ODT at the root of C: and that’s where I extracted the ODT files to. If you open up the Configuration.xml file you will see something like this:
<!-- <Add SourcePath="\\Server\Share\" OfficeClientEdition="32" >
<Language ID="en-us" />
<Language ID="en-us" />
<!-- <Updates Enabled="TRUE" UpdatePath="\\Server\Share\" /> -->
<!-- <Display Level="None" AcceptEULA="TRUE" /> -->
<!-- <Logging Path="%temp%" /> -->
<!-- <Property Name="AUTOACTIVATE" Value="1" /> -->
There are a few items to make note of here.
- SourcePath – the location of the ODT setup.ext file
- OfficeClientEdition – which processor architecture version of Office you want – in this case 32-bit
- Product ID – The Office Suite or application that you’re trying to download/install. The available options can be found here. Make note of this because you’ll be going back here when you want to download Project and Visio. In the example above, the product is the Office 365 Pro Plus suite.
- Language – The preferred language package. Language Element information can be found here
- In the example configuration.xml file, Microsoft has chosen to add Visio to their Office package. I see no need to do this unless you’ve got money to burn.
- Updates Enabled= - If set to true, Office 365 Pro plus will automatically receive updates directly from Microsoft when they are released unless you set a specified update path on your network. Again, if the Updates Enabled value is set to TRUE, and no UpdatePath is specified, then your Office 365 clients will receive updates directly from Microsoft, regardless of Windows Automatic Update settings or local user account rights. Updates will be applied when released, silently, as a system service.
- You must remove the exclamation points that are remming out the preference lines if you want to apply those attributes to your installer package.
The basic configuration.xml file that I created looks like this:
<Add SourcePath="C:\ODT" OfficeClientEdition="32" >
<Language ID="en-us" />
<Display Level="NONE" AcceptEULA="TRUE" />
Pretty simple. It specifies the 32-bit English language version of Office 365 Pro Plus (2013) with the display level set to NONE for a silent install, and the EULA accepted. With your configuration file set up, your next step is to use the ODT and your configuration file to download the application(s) specified in configuration.xml.
To use the ODT to download the desired install package you’ll need to so the following:
- Open a command prompt as administrator
- Change the directory to the location of your ODT files
- Run setup.exe with a /download switch followed by the location of your configuration.xml file. In this case the command would look like C:\ODT>setup.exe /download "C:\ODT\configuration.xml"
- This command will result in the ODT downloading the client specified in your configuration.xml file. The download itself will be silent but you’ll know it’s complete when the command prompt window has a carriage return and brings you back to C:\ODT
If you look in your ODT folder you should now see a folder called “Office” which contains a “Data” folder. That’s your Office 365 package. To install it, you simply need to modify your command line a bit. If your command prompt is still open, simply enter setup.exe /configure "C:\ODT\configuration.xml" and it will install Office 365 Pro plus for you. Having done this, there are a couple things to keep in mind:
- If the display is set to NONE in the configuration.xml file, the installation will be silent, so you’ll just need to wait for your command prompt to have a carriage return so you know the install has completed.
- If you’re installing this as part of an image, don’t sign into an Office application (If you launch one) or you’ll consume one of your allotted install licenses in 365. For this reason it’s also important when you’re deploying laptops to first log into an Office application as the desired end user, because the first person to log in is going to consume one of their 365 install licenses.
Now that we’ve downloaded and installed the core Office 365 components we’ll address how to install other Office applications, both on a one-off basis or through Landesk as a deployment package. In this case I will address installing Visio, but the process is the same for any of the other applications.
Installing Visio for Office 365
If you’re installing Visio only on rare occasions, the easiest way to do that is probably to do it directly from the Office 365 portal. If you add the appropriate license for the user in question, then when the user goes to https://portal.office.com/Home and selects “Other installs” the application should be in the list on the lefhand column and can be installed from there. If you’re doing multiple installs, then you’ll want to create an installer package for that in Landesk.
As with the core Office 365 Click-to-Run install, your Visio deployment package is going to start with your configuration.xml file.
- Download the Visio client by changing the Product ID in your existing configuration.xml file to “VisioProRetail” and running the ODT setup.exe with a /download switch
- Once you have the client downloaded, copy the files (including your Visio configuration.xml file) to the software distribution folder on your Landesk Core.
- Change the SourcePath in your Configuration.xml file to match the software distribution destination on your CLIENT laptops. The reason for this is that the installation files will be pushed to the client along with configuration.xml and then installed from there. In my case, the Source Path in my configuration.xml file on my core looked like this - <Add SourcePath="C:\Program Files (x86)\LANDesk\LDClient\sdmcache\ldlogon\SWD\VisioPro365" OfficeClientEdition="32" >
- Create a distribution package for an executable on your core, and under Package Information, point to the ODT setup.exe file in the software distribution folder on your Core.
- Under Install/Uninstall options you have to enter the configure switch for the executable to run once it downloads to the client. It should look something like this - /configure "C:\Program Files (x86)\LANDesk\LDClient\sdmcache\ldlogon\SWD\VisioPro365\configuration.xml" (Please note that all of these network paths may vary depending on your folder structure)
- Under Additional files be sure to include your configuration.xml file as well as all of the Visio installation files that you copied to the software distribution location of your core earlier
- Save the distribution package and you should be ready to schedule a task and test your package.