Office 365 – Regarding Office 365 ProPlus – Part 2 – Office Deployment Tool

Hi All,

In previous article – Office 365 – Regarding Office 365 ProPlus – Part 1 – Basics we discussed about Office 365 ProPlus basics. Today we will discuss regarding Office Deployment Tool (ODT).

With ODT we could download Office 365 ProPlus to a local shared folder and deploy it centrally. To deploy Office 365 ProPlus centrally we need to use Office Deployment Tool to download the Office 365 ProPlus.

What is Office Deployment Tool (ODT) :

ODT is command line tool which we can use to download and deploy Office 365 ProPlus to client computers.<

By default if we install Office 365 ProPlus from Office 365 portal, we do not have control over which software’s should be installed or not. All software’s included with Office 365 (Access, Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneNote etc.) will be installed. ODT gives us the option to only install required software’s and not all. Not only required software’s installation but option for installing only requiring language packs, option to select download/install either 32 bit or 64 bit Office applications.  ODT also gives option  – how these installed software’s get updated (frequency of updation).

We can download ODT (Office 2016 Deployment Tool) from Microsoft Download Center.

Once we downloaded ODT – officedeploymenttool_8529.3600 (Office 2016 deployment self extracted file), we need to execute the executable file, following two files will be extracted

  1. Configuration.xml
  2. Setup.exe

Following is the default Configuration.xml file opened in Visual Studio 2017 which get downloaded

ODT_ConfigurationFile schema_updated
Figure 1 : ODT – Default Configuration.xml file downloaded with few details

We will cover complete schema of Configuration.xml file in coming articles.

First step before running ODT is to prepare Configuration.xml file.  Specify what options we want and then execute “SetUp.exe” file from the command prompt.

We (Administrators) can run / execute ODT in three different mode

  1. Download mode: This mode allows to download Office 365 ProPlus applications and language pack files on a central on-premises location. We specify download location in Configuration.xml file. By default Office 365 ProPlus files get downloaded from Office CDN. But we can download on single local source over the network and download on users machine to install those from our local network as well.
    setup.exe /download Configuration.xml <Path of configuration file>
    ODT_ConfigurationFile example
    Figure 2 : ODT – Sample Configuration.xml file for downloading Office 365 ProPlus

    The above is the example of sample Configuration file to download Office 365 ProPlus. Here we specify where SourePath attribute – location where we need to download. OfficeClientEdition – either 32 bit or 64 bit. Language node specifies which language pack should get downloaded. Here we are specifying English language pack. 

  2. Configure mode: This mode allows to install the downloaded Office 365 ProPlus applications and language packs.
    setup.exe /configure Configuration.xml
    
    
  3. Packager mode: This mode allows creation of App-V package from the downloaded Office 365 ProPlus applications and language packs.
    setup.exe /packager Configuration.xml
    
    

Thus, ODT allows us (Administrator) to perform following operations:

  1. Generate a Click-to-Run for Office 365 installation source – ODT allows us to create local installation source for Office 365. So that files are not required to download on each and every client machine.
  2. Generate Click-to-Run for Office 365 clients – ODT allows to control which programs/applications from Office 365 ProPlus should be installed. If we do not want to install Access, we cab easily block the installation of Access.
  3. Creating an App-V package – ODT allows us (administrators) to configure Office 365 ProPlus with application virtualization.

References:

https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/DeployOffice/overview-of-the-office-2016-deployment-tool?ui=en-US&rs=en-US&ad=US

We have editor also available to generate Configuration.xml file – http://officedev.github.io/Office-IT-Pro-Deployment-Scripts/XmlEditor.html 

Keep reading, share your thoughts, experiences. Feel free to contact us to discuss more. If you have any suggestion / feedback / doubt, you are most welcome.

Stay tuned on Knowledge-Junction, will come up with more such articles.

Thanks for reading 🙂

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