Daily Archives: 25 February 2014

Office 365 – Automatic deployment of Office 365 with MDT

Published / by Rens Hollanders / 79 Comments on Office 365 – Automatic deployment of Office 365 with MDT

This blog has been updated by a new blog:
Office 365 – Updated Deployment Guide

Not every blog needs to be technical, sometimes clustering information, that is shattered over the internet can be useful too!

This time I want to explain how Office 365 can be deployed unattended, automatically, first time right!

On my journey into all the new stuff  (for me at least), I’ve encountered allot of things in the past couple of months. Automatic deployment of bitlocker on Windows 8.1, Intune, Server 2012 (R2) etc.

The challenges that arise by trying to work and automate with these new things really make me enjoy my work, because it is fun to do, it provides insight and experience after you have managed to get things working. So was this, when I was looking into Office 365. For a project that involves Windows 8.1, Office 365 and Windows Intune, I was looking on how to gather the right files to do a unattended deployment of Office 365 and it all came down to this:

1. Know which Office 365 plan you have!

First of all, there is this website: Compare Office 365 for Business Plans this Microsoft website explains the number of Office 365 plans that are available and lets you as a customer, reseller or company choose which plan suits best for your purpose.

figure 1.1: Office 365 Business Plans

o365plans

Based on the chosen plan, Microsoft has a list of official product id’s, just like the regular office suites, which are used to identify which version of Office we are dealing with here: Product IDs that are supported by the Office Deployment Tool for Click-to-Run

2. Know which Product ID you need!

As you can see, the product IDs differ much from the Business Plans names:

The following Microsoft Office 365 product IDs are supported by the Office Deployment Tool for Click-to-Run in Office 365 deployments:

  • O365ProPlusRetail
  • VisioProRetail
  • ProjectProRetail
  • SPDRetail (SharePoint Designer)

In addition to these product IDs, the following non-Office 365 product IDs are supported by this tool:

  • AccessRetail
  • ExcelRetail
  • HomeBusinessRetail
  • HomeStudentRetail
  • InfoPathRetail
  • LyncRetail
  • ProfessionalRetail
  • O365HomePremRetail
  • O365SmallBusPremRetail
  • OneNoteRetail
  • OutlookRetail
  • PowerPointRetail
  • ProjectStdRetail
  • PublisherRetail
  • VisioStdRetail
  • WordRetail

These product Id’s come in quite handy, when trying to retrieve the Office 365 click-to-run files, which are no ordinary setup.exe and some source files, but rather exist out of several cab files (depending on what you are downloading) and a number of *.dat files containing the source files.

3. Acquire the Office Deployment Tool for Click-to-Run!

It all starts with the setup.exe for Office click-to-run which can be downloaded here: Office Deployment Tool for Click-to-Run

This is no ordinary setup as mentioned earlier, instead it contains the logic to download Office 365 click-to-run based on certain command line switches and a “configure.xml”

figure 1.2: Office 365 click-to-run setup files

O365setup

4. Know how to use the setup.exe

When downloaded, these files are located in a folder. Open up an elevated command prompt, browse to the folder and type:

setup.exe /?

This will provide the following available information and command line switches:

figure 1.3: command prompt

o365cmd

  • setup.exe /download
  • setup.exe /configure
  • setup.exe /packager

The purpose of each switch is explained in the command prompt.

Based on the configuration of the configure.xml, a Office 365 click-to-run installation will be downloaded to a designated directory. Based on the very brief documentation about the configure.xml, I choose to do the following:

Create one “configure.xml” for downloading and call it “download.xml”, and one “configure.xml” for installation and call it “install.xml”. This way it’s not necessary to change the xml file ever again. Since within the configure xml a download directory is specified, but this directory also functions as a source folder. That’s the reason why I used two xml files, since the download and source directory can be different.

Next I’ve created a command line file (cmd) which does the following when running the Office 365 click-to-run during an automatic deployment:

codeblock 1.1: install.cmd

It copies the source to the local %temp% directory into a seperate folder. It executes the installation of Office 365 click-to-run locally, and unattended, and when done, cleans up the temp folder.

To demonstrate the differences between the xml files, I have provided a screenshot of them opened in Notepad++

figure 1.4: download.xml and install.xml in Notepad++

o365np++

as you can see I’ve used one of the desired Product ID’s specified by Microsoft’s website, I’ve specified on the download.xml a source path where the files can be stored, and on the install.xml the source path for installation.

5. Incorporate in MDT (or any other tool)

In MDT I’ve created the following:

figure 1.5: MDT Application

o365mdt_app

First an application, which calls the install.cmd

figure 1.6: MDT Task Sequence

o365mdt_ts

and embedded this step as an “install application” step in my task sequence. Since I use this task sequence to build reference images, I’ve disabled other versions of Office and added the Office 365 click-to-run as an application to be installed.

Concluding:

Deploying Office 365 click-to-run isn’t that hard to do, you just need to know where to look and how to approach the installation. Keep in mind that whatever Office version you download, this software is not branded to one Office 365 account. The software is universally applicable. Since after the deployment you always need to sign into Office with your Office 365 account, thus activating 1 out of 5 available installations for this account.

Anything to report, contribute or have done deploying Office 365 click-to-run in any other (efficient) way. Please feel free to contribute in the comments, or write me an e-mail or contact me at twitter!

Find attached the screenshots and files used for my Office 365 click-to-run deployment

zip
O365_BlogContent.zip

Thanks for reading 🙂