Office 365 ProPlus Administrator Series: Client Deployment Options

Author: Jeremy_MSFT Originally published to the Office 365 Preview blog. Office 365 ProPlus offers flexible software delivery options to suit organizations of all sizes and desktop service architectures. From small businesses where users often install their own software, to large enterprises where hundreds of applications are centrally delivered by the IT department to every user, Office 365 ProPlus installation adapts to your processes and workflows. Install Office 365 ProPlus from the Internet Self-installation of Office 365 ProPlus allows users to install Office on their personal PCs directly from www.office365.com . After the administrator has created the user account, the user can log in to the Office 365 service and install Office 365 ProPlus. Users will need to be local administrators on their PCs when self-installing and the installation will always be the most up-to-date Office build and be enabled to receive automatic updates. When the user initiates the installation, a small setup file (roughly 400 KB) is downloaded and run from the local PC the filename (for example: Setup.X86.en-us_ProPlusRetail_56f7d927-5bf8-435e-a240-9eaeef2f53c5_.exe) contains the installation parameters and what is loaded from the content delivery network site ( http://officecdn.microsoft.com/ ) where Office installation files are stored. Software installation page in Office 365 Self-installation may be appropriate in certain organizations where users have administrative privileges and are expected to install their own software. Self-installation rights may also be provided in well-managed organizations where users by definition cannot install software on managed computers, but are given access to Office 365 ProPlus installation on home or personal PCs. Administrators may also centrally disable the right for user self-installation, but this is a global control within the Office 365 Admin Portal and will apply to all users in the tenant. Process for managed self-installation or home and personal device installation in a managed environment In the process flow above, the IT administrator may optionally define Office configurations using local configuration management tools like Group Policy prior to publishing self-installation steps to end users. End users will be responsible for installing any required add-ins, dependent applications or standardized Office templates if needed and in the self-installation scenario, users are by default configured to receive automatic monthly updates from the Office 365 service. Automated Deployments using Software Distribution Infrastructure Most large organizations use enterprise software distribution or image-based deployment automation to install software on behalf of their users. Office 365 ProPlus enables these tools and processes to install Office either from the network or with support from the Office 365 online service. As with the download process the Office Deployment Tool uses setup.exe to install and configure Office 365 ProPlus. These tools are designed with flexibility in mind so an administrator can point the setup engine at local, network or Web-based file sources. The configuration XML file governs the installation process to determine what products, architectures, languages, and versions are installed and from which sources. It also allows the administrator to suppress installation and first run experiences, accept licensing agreements on behalf of the user, determine where installation logs are stored, enable or disable automatic software updates and configure where Office looks for updates. Process for on-premises software delivery of Office 365 ProPlus With these tools you can follow classic enterprise software distribution approaches where software installation files are installed via local cache or directly from the management or distribution point. New to Office 365 ProPlus is the ability to distribute just the setup.exe file and instruct that Office Click-to-Run packages are installed from the Office 365 online service ( http://officecdn.microsoft.com/ ). This is a great scenario in off-LAN situations when VPN connectivity to a management point is slower than the target machine’s connection to the Internet. Because installations are usually much faster than with previous MSI-based packages, deploying Office pre-installed in a custom Windows image will not save as much time as with previous Office releases and it allows you to pre-cache Office Click-to-Run builds with multiple language support within a captured Windows image (WIM) file, then use scripting automation or your favorite task sequencing engine to install Office directly from the local file source within the WIM file. It is also recommended to install Office native to the language of the operating system as opposed to using language packs atop the EN-US installation of Office, but both options are still possible with Office 365 ProPlus and Click-to-Run. The configuration XML file governs both what is downloaded and how Office Click-to-Run is applied to the target computer. The controls relevant to using setup.exe /configure are the following. Option Description Sample Syntax Add Parent control to determine source, architecture, product and languages to download. From local folder:               From local network:               Remove Used to uninstall Office products.                                 Product Multiple products may be nested under the control and multiple languages may be nested under the control. Office 365 ProPlus      SourcePath Location where the Office is installed from. If SourcePath is unspecified, setup will first look for installation source in the local folder and if not present it will look to the CDN source. OfficeClientEdition Determines the architecture of the product to download, 32 or 64 bit. Note: 32-bit is still the recommended architecture for new Office versions. Cross-architecture installations are not permitted; if a 32-bit Office version is already installed on a system, the 64-bit Click-to-Run package will not install and vice versa.   Or: OfficeClientEdition="32" OfficeClientEdition="64" Language Language determines the language DAT files to be downloaded with the Click-to-Run package. Updates Configures automatic updating behavior. Updates may be either from the public Office 365 service, local location, local file share or private http:// site. To use a local file share: To use the CDN:   

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Office 365 ProPlus Administrator Series: Client Deployment Options


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