Deploying Office 365 client using Microsoft

Hi all,

In this post I am going to explain a solution I have designed to overcome a customer’s requirement to deploy Office 365 click-to-run client to its existing workstation fleet. The customer in question is a small organization with approximately- 160 workstations (a mixture of Windows 7 and Windows 10 and currently does not have application deployment tools in place, but is going to migrating to Office 365 and also have EM+S licensing.

Included in EM+S is Microsoft Intune, so the decision was made to deploy the InTune agent to all workstation in the domain which can then be used to deploy the Office 365 client.

This gives us the high level steps of :

  1. Deploy InTune client
  2. Create Office 365 package
  3. Deploy Office 365 using Intune

 

Deploy InTune client

To deploy the InTune client to all workstations we will be using a Group Policy Object as all the workstations are currently joined to an Active Directory domain. To achieve this the following steps will be undertaken :

  1. Logon to the Intune portal (manage.microsoft.com)Intune
  2. Navigate to Admin -> Client Software DownloadIntune2.PNG
  3. Click on the option to ‘Download Client Software’ – this will download a 13Mb zip file
  4. Extract the client files to a local directory – c:\InTuneIntune3
  5. Extract the Microsoft_InTune_Setup.exe file using the command ‘c:\Intune\Microsoft_Intune_Setup.exe /extract c:\Intune’Intune4
  6. Copy Files to a suitable network share – exclude the original Microsoft_Intune_Setup.exe file, there is no need to retain this now we have extracted the contentsIntune5
  7. Open GPMC                                 Intune7.PNG
  8. Create a new GPO and link to Domain root levelIntune8
  9. Modify GPO to deploy InTune agent as a software installationIntune9.PNG
  10. Verify GPO is applied to clientIntune10.PNG
  11. Reboot client to initiate installation
  12. Track client installation logs in c:\program files\MicrosoftIntune19.PNG
  13. Verify workstation is registered in the Intune consoleIntune20

 

Create an Office 365 installation package

Now we have the Intune client deployed we have the ability to deploy .exe and .msi files to our workstations. I personally like to use the GitHub Office 365 ProPlus | Install Toolkit to create an installer for Office 365 as I find the interface simple and intuitive.

https://officedev.github.io/Office-IT-Pro-Deployment-Scripts/XmlEditor.html

Here are the options I have chosen

  1. Create a new installerOffice 365.png
  2. Select the product options for deploymentOffice 365-2.png
  3. Choose the desired LanguagesOffice 365-3.png
  4. Choose the following optional settingsOffice 365-4.png
  5. Choose which products to exclude – Exclude products not licensed as it will prevent the software from being installedOffice 365-5.png
  6. Select which version of Office 365 you wish to installOffice 365-6.png
  7. Select which update channel to subscribe to for future updatesOffice 365-7.png
  8. Select the options you wish to deploy using – Note: Display level is not relevant when deploying through Intune as Intune only performs hidden deploymentsOffice 365-8
  9. Choose the wrapper options you wish to use – Note I am creating a .MSI fileOffice 365-9.png
  10. Clicking the generate button then produces a 2Mb file named OfficeProPlus.msi – Note: the size of this file is small as we chose not to include the source files. This was due to this customer having a fast internet connection and wishing to always install the latest Deferred Channel version. Also, deploying through Intune means that the source files would have to be transferred across the internet anyway resulting in the same file transfer requirements

I could now run this .msi installer on a workstation to verify the installation performs as required.

 

Deploy Office 365 using Intune

Now we have clients enrolled in our Intune tenant and a valid Office 365 installer we need to bring the two together to complete our solution. For this we will import our new .msi file as an application in Intune and then deploy to a test group to confirm functionality

  1. In the Intune portal navigate to Apps – Apps – Add App, the Microsoft Intune Software Publisher will then launch in a pop-out window. Unfortunately you will need to sign in again to this applicationIntune11.PNG
  2. Click next to begin the wizardIntune12.PNG
  3. Specify the location of your custom .msi fileIntune13.PNG
  4. Specify the details you would like to appear for end-users. Personally I like to use the Office 365 image to give a more professional lookIntune14
  5. Choose the requirements as desired, in this example I am not going to specify anyIntune15.PNG
  6. No need to provide any command line argumentsIntune16.PNG
  7. Review the details entered and click UploadIntune17
  8. Once the upload of the application has completed we need to deploy the application to our test system. As this is a lab I am simply going to deploy the app to all Staff but in a production environment you may want to limit this to a subset of users.
  9. Navigate to Apps – Apps and select ‘Office ProPlus Installer application’ we have just createdIntune21
  10. Select Manage Deployment to launch the deployment wizardIntune22
  11. Select the all staff collectionIntune23.PNG
  12. Click the Add button in the centre of the wizard and click nextIntune24.PNG
  13. Configure the deployment to be Required and As Soon As Possible and click finishIntune25.PNG
  14. Back on our test client I can either wait for the new policy to be downloaded or force a restart to expedite the process
  15. We can see the new policy downloaded in the *** log file
  16. The installation will then initiate, Office 365 logs its install tasks under c:\windows\temp so we can follow the installation
  17. Eventually we will then see that the office icons appear in the Start Menu on the system

Author: Andrew Stalker

I am an IT consultant currently working in Sydney, Australia. I specialise in Microsoft infrastructure technologies, specifically System Centre and Azure Cloud computing including EMS & Office 365.

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