I was recently tasked by a client with creating an Application for Office365 ProPlus. This is a local installation of Office 2013. But, it’s the “Click to Run” version. It updates automatically and the licensing is based on users in your Office365 subscription. Office is typically one of the easiest applications to create in Configuration Manager. But, with Office365 ProPlus, there is no OCT to use and it doesn’t use the traditional MSIs and Setup IDs that we would use for the Detection Method and Uninstall. The installation line is easy. But, the detection method and uninstall were a bit more challenging and different than the traditional Office Application.
Some credit goes to Nick Moseley for his blog on how to create a Package for O365. I started there and then added the stuff for an Application.
I much prefer using Applications instead of the old school Packages to leverage the deployment of the uninstall and the logic in the detection methods.
Here is how I did it:
1) Download the Office Deployment Tool for Click-to-Run. Use the directions on that page to use the tool to download the source files. Copy them to the folder you will use as your source for the application along with the setup.exe that came with the tool.
2) Create your configuration.xml file for the version you need to install. A typical one will look like this:
<Add OfficeClientEdition="32" >
<Language ID="en-us" />
<Updates Enabled="TRUE" />
<Display Level="None" AcceptEULA="TRUE" />
<Logging Name="O365ProPlusRetail.log" Path="%temp%" />
<Property Name="AUTOACTIVATE" Value="1" />
Your source folder should now look like this:
3) Let’s begin creating the application in Configuration Manager. Right Click Applications in the Admin console and select “Create Application”.
4) Select “Manually specify the application information”. Click Next.
5) Type in the name of your choice. Click Next.
6) Optional: Add information that will display in the Application Catalog. You can change the icon at the bottom if you like. I prefer to point it to the Setup.exe so that this icon shows up in the Catalog and Software Center when it is deployed. I selected a Setup.exe from an Office 2013 application since this is Office 2013. If you choose the one from the O365 Tools, it will look like the Office 2010 icon. Click Next.
7) Click Add to create a Deployment Type. Select “Manually specify the deployment type information”. Click Next.
8) Type in a name for your Deployment Type. Click Next.
9) Enter your Content Location, Installation Program, and Uninstall Program for Office365 ProPlus.
The Uninstall Program:
This was a little challenging. It If you find a different way that is easier, let me know. To find this, I logged into a system that has this version installed. I dug into the registry.
I went to [HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Uninstall\O365ProPlusRetail – en-us]
I noticed an “UninstallString” there. I tested this on a local command line. It pops up the normal Office365 Uninstaller. But, I need it to be silent. I went through all the known silent strings. After some research, I found out that adding DisplayLevel=False to the end makes it silent. This command line might be different depending on the version you are deploying. So install it and then go to this location to get your uninstall string.
For my version, the command line that works is:
C:\Program Files\Microsoft Office 15\ClientX64\OfficeClickToRun.exe" scenario=install baseurl="C:\Program Files\Microsoft Office 15" platform=x86 version=15.0.4675.1003 culture=en-us productstoremove=O365ProPlu
After entering these 3 lines, click Next.
10) The Detection Method for Applications is just as important as your Installation command line. This is how Configuration Manager verifies the existence (or non-existence) of your application on the client computers. This is also what Configuration Manager runs as part of the Application Deployment Evaluation Cycle. If your Detection Method isn’t valid, you will have an application properly install. But, ConfigMgr will tell you that it failed. You can see this by looking at the AppEnforce.log on the client computer. When ConfigMgr installs an app, it will use this method to see if the application exists, if it doesn’t, it will go on with the installation. If it does, it will stop and mark the application as “Installed”. Once it completes the install, it will run the Detection Method again to verify that the app is there. This helps with unnecessary reinstallation of applications and one of the major reasons I prefer Applications over Packages in ConfigMgr.
I found the Product ID for Office 365 ProPlus in this same registry key. It’s circled in red in the screen shot above. I used that for the Detection Method.
Click “Add Clause”. Select “Windows Installer” in the pull down. Copy this code to the box. Click Ok. Click Next.
11) Select the options as you see below for the user experience. I like to lower the time out to something appropriate for the application being created. If this app doesn’t install in 30 minutes, it should definitely time out. Click Next.
12) Optional: Select any Requirements if you prefer. For example, this should only be installed on Windows 7 and higher. Click Next.
13) Optional: If you have any applications you need installed for this applications, put them each in individual groups here. Click Next.
14) Click Next, Finish, Next, Next, Close.
15) Now distribute your content to your Distribution Points.
16) Make sure to test your Application a couple times before making it available for deployment.