Installing Office 365 to Your Domain from a Local Share via Script and/or GPO

By July 2, 2015Office 365

installing office 365Your company is signed up for a version of Office 365 that includes deployment of the latest Office Suite — currently 2013 — to all your end users. You are all excited until you realize you don’t know how you’re going to deploy it.

It does not deploy from an MSI or EXE in a standard fashion since the installations are tied to the licensed users and there is no ISO. So, if you have a small site of three to five users then you can just go desk to desk to sign on as the users to the Office 365 portal and install the Office suite. But what if you have 25,50, or 100 or more users? The answer is to deploy your Office suite using local shares via Scripts and/or Group Policies. This is one of those tasks that is documented all over the internet but very vaguely or is missing steps.

Here are detailed step-by-step instructions below to deploy Office 365 to your domain from a local share via script and/or GPO in your environment. As always, if you would like our assistance we are just a call away and have done this more than a few times.

Warning: Uninstall all previous versions of Office, that includes 2013 and 365 demos before proceeding. Users must be admins on their systems temporarily for the  Group Policy Object (GPO) to work.

Create a shared folder on your central server. For example: \\SRV-UTIL01\OfficeDeploy\

Download the Office Deployment Tool and extract to \\SRV-UTIL01\OfficeDeploy\

Create an XML file with the options on how to install Office 365 ProPlus package.

The first is Download.XML which sets your path, 32 or 64 bit, and is used for the download process:

<Configuration>
<Add SourcePath=”\\SRV-UTIL01\OfficeDeploy\” OfficeClientEdition=”64″ >
<Product ID=”O365ProPlusRetail”>
<Language ID=”en-us” />
</Product>
</Add>
</Configuration>

Note: The example that is included with the Office Deployment Tool might as well be blank since it is rem’d out with the <!— and –!> The following is what it should look like when ready to use.

Note: Version is optional; however, it assures your system will use the media version you have in that path and not grab a newer version online.

The second is Configuration.xml used to deploy Office 365 ProPlus package:

<Configuration>
<Add SourcePath=”\\SRV-UTIL01\OfficeDeploy\” Version=”15.0.4649.1001″ OfficeClientEdition=”64″ >
<Product ID=”O365ProPlusRetail”>
<Language ID=”en-us” />
</Product>
<Product ID=”VisioProRetail”>
<Language ID=”en-us” />
</Product>
</Add>
<Updates Enabled=”TRUE” UpdatePath=”\\SRV-UTIL01\OfficeDeploy\” />
<Display Level=”None” AcceptEULA=”TRUE” />
<Logging Path=”\\SRV-UTIL\OfficeDeploy\Logfiles\” />
<Property Name=”AUTOACTIVATE” Value=”1″ />
</Configuration>

Now, in order to create your local copy of the media, run the following command:
Setup.exe /Download  \\SRV-UTIL01\OfficeDeploy\

Note: When you run the above command above it will create \\SRV-UTIL01\OfficeDeploy\Office\Data\Version\ and under that folder will have the large stream.x32 or .x64 files. This runs in a plain cmd line window with no output on status. So be patient as it will be downloading approx. 2GB of data or more.

Note: Version is optional; however, it assures your system will use the media version you have in that path and not grab a newer version online.

While that is downloading, you can modify or create your deployment script and GPO.

For example, OfficePush.bat as shown below:

OfficePush.bat
echo off
Rem Created by Kevin Oppihle of the Mirazon Group
If EXIST “C:\Program Files\Microsoft Office 15\ClientX64\officeclicktorun.exe” goto 365Complete else goto :365Needed
:365Needed
Echo Installing Office 365 >c:\365.txt
\\SRV-Util01\OfficeDeploy\Setup.exe /configure \\SRV-Util01\officedeploy\configuration.xml >>c:\365.txt
:365Complete
Echo Office 365 Installed >c:\365.txt
Exit

The batch file above first confirms whether or not office is already installed. If it is, then if you open the txt file c:\365.txt it will say, “Office 365 installed”. However, if Office is not installed, it will use the deployment path outlined in the batch file to run the installation.

While the installer is running, the 365.txt file will say, “installing Office 365.” When the installation is completed, the 365.txt file will change to “Office 365 Installed”. It is set to run minimized, so reference the 365.txt file to verify when it is completed. The installation time depends on the network and PC speed, but expect an average of 10 minutes. The office icons appear before the installer is completed. If you open an Office application before the completion of the installer, it will slow the process as it may download from online.

From there you need to copy the batch file to your sysvol scripts and assign the batch file to be a logon script of the users.

Note: This will check and install as necessary every time the user logs on, so once your deployment is finished, unassign the GPO.

Happy Office 365 deployment!

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