Ramblings From The Litter Tray of Life

Posts Tagged ‘office 2007’

Deploying Visio 2007

Posted by graycat on 3 June 2008

……. or how to force Visio 2007 to do deploy kind of like 2003.

Now if you’re new to the Office 2007 side of things you may not be aware that the deployment side of things has completely changed from the 2003 release ……. and it’s not for the better in my opinion.

With the previous version you would make an admin install point on a share and then create the GPO and apply a msp to customise the settings and / or parts you want deploying. Using this method you could have one install point and use msp’s to deploy different versions. For example, you can make an admin install point using Office 2003 Professional and then use msp’s to cut the installed applications down to just those that are needed for each of the other versions such as Basic, Small Business, Standard etc.

This was the approved and recommended method for deploying the Office suite of applications but no more. Microsoft are now pushing people towards using their System Management Server (SMS) or
System Center Configuration Manager 2007 as it is now called to roll out software and as such have seriously crippled it by removing the ability to use msp’s and customise your install.

That’s the bad side of things but if you think about it, how much do you actually customise your Office installs?

One improvement with 2007 is that the admin install point is created by just copying the contents of the CD on to a share. Unfortunately when you combine this with the lack of support for the msp transforms, it means you’re going to have to have a copy of the CD for each version you’re going to deploy. Annoying but not overwhelmingly difficult.

The only way to customise the install is using the config.xml file located in the same directory as the msi files. About the only useful things you can put in there are install location, software key, licensed user and company. All useful things but that’s as far as it goes really.

My basic process for rolling out the 2007 office applications is this:

  1. Copy the CD up on to the deployment share (for us this is a DFS site that is replicated round the company)
  2. Configure the config.xml file with the required info
  3. Create a GPO with the msi
  4. Apply as required and filter as needed

Pretty simple, huh? I’ll let you know how it goes with our roll out 😉

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