Office 365 ProPlus Testing, getting the bits…

So, you’ve already read my previous blog post over here, or know the basics of the Office 365 ProPlus Channels and versions.

What we need now is the actual installation media – as we’re getting these as downloaded content I’ll call them “bits” – just so no-one expects a DVD full of content to be delivered by the mailman!

To be able to download Office 365 ProPlus we need the “Office Deployment Tool”. As I mentioned in my previous blog post, there are two versions of O365, there’s a version for Office 2013 and Office 2016. Each has its own version of the Office Deployment Tool, which you will need to download, as appropriate:

Office 2013 Deployment Tool

Office 2016 Deployment Tool

While this article will walk through using the Office 2016 Deployment Tool, know the process is the same for both versions.

Getting started

Having selected the Office 2016 Deployment Tool for this article, let’s get started by downloading the deployment tool.

20170221-001-downloading-office-o365-2016-deployment-tool-1

As a side-note, when you perform the download, you may very well see a different version tag. This follows tagging we will return to shortly. Suffice to say, the versioning follows the build numbers for O365 and your particular version. A previous Office Deployment Tool I downloaded was 7407_3600.

Once downloaded launch the executable. This will open “The Microsoft Office 2016 Click-to-Run Administrator Tool”:

20170221-002-office-2016-c2r-admin-tool-1

If you’re like most people, simply check the box “Click here to accept the Microsoft License Terms”, then hit “Continue”. Alternatively, and as you should; First familiarize yourself with the license terms, then accept and continue!

Hitting Continue will prompt you for where to “extract” the installation files, I use the same base folder where I downloaded the original installer (D:\TEMP\Office 2016 Deployment Tool), but any location will do:

20170221-003-office-2016-c2r-admin-tool-2

Extracting the files should give you a “Success” dialog, that you can close out. Further we see it provided two files; “setup.exe” and “configuration.xml”:

20170221-004-office-2016-c2r-admin-tool-3

Configuration options

Let’s open up the configuration.xml file. You should see the following content in its entirety:

[code language=”xml”]
<!– Office 365 client configuration file sample. To be used for Office 365 ProPlus 2016 apps, Office 365 Business 2016 apps, Project Pro for Office 365 and Visio Pro for Office 365. For detailed information regarding configuration options visit: http://aka.ms/ODT. To use the configuration file be sure to remove the comments For Office 365 client apps (verion 2013) you will need to use the 2013 version of the Office Deployment Tool which can be downloaded from http://aka.ms/ODT2013 The following sample allows you to download and install Office 365 ProPlus 2016 apps and Visio Pro for Office 365 directly from the Office CDN using the Current Channel settings –>

<Configuration>
<Add OfficeClientEdition="32" Channel="Current">
<Product ID="O365ProPlusRetail">
<Language ID="en-us" />
</Product>
<Product ID="VisioProRetail">
<Language ID="en-us" />
</Product>
</Add>
<!– <Updates Enabled="TRUE" Channel="Current" /> –>
<!– <Display Level="None" AcceptEULA="TRUE" /> –>
<!– <Property Name="AUTOACTIVATE" Value="1" /> –>
</Configuration>
[/code]

There’s a few things to note, if you read over the provided configuration.xml file:

  • You’ll be downloading Office 365 ProPlus 2016, including Visio
  • You’ll be downloading the Current Channel
  • You’ll be downloading the 32-bit edition
  • You’ll be downloading the English (en-us) edition

You might also note, that a link is provided explaining the configuration options. The location mentioned is http://aka.ms/ODT. Let’s break down the section a bit:

Here we are able to select if we want a 32-bit or 64-bit architecture of Office, as well as what Channel. Selecting the architecture is as simple as “32” or “64” – nothing to it. Selecting the Channel offers us the ability to pick one of three channels mentioned in my previous article:

  • Current, this will give us the current channel, whatever is the most current release
  • Deferred, this will give us the Deferred release, generally 4-8 months old
  • FirstReleaseDeferred, generally a few months old, but may vary a bit
  • FirstReleaseCurrent, newer than FirstReleaseDeferred, but generally also a few versions back.

At the time of this post the following release schedule was in effect:

20170221-005-office-365-current-channels-schedule

To get an even more detailed break down – as well as the most up to date version of the above table head to “Version and build numbers of update channel releases for Office 365 clients“.

Looking at the version and build numbers page, we can now see the various cannel builds and their version number. This will come in handy, to configure downloading a specific version/branch of Office 365. This becomes valuable, when you need to always get a specific build of your installation files. For my own needs, this relates to being able to perform vulnerability scans and validate software update functionality around the products I work with, for others it could be required to duplicate an install, that’s already validated and approved in their organization.

Additional configuration options are available, for a wide range of elements and their attributes. For now let’s summarize the various elements and their attributes necessary to perform a download of Office.

Add element attributes list (enclosed in Configuration element):

The Add element defines the products and languages to download or install including their content location.

  • SourcePath, defines the location of the Office installation files. If not included will look for the installation files in the folder where setup.exe resides, and if no installation files are found the CDN will be used to perform an online download.
  • Version, default is the latest available version of office (Optional)
  • OfficeClientEdition, 32 for 32-bit and 64 for 64-bit (Required)
  • Channel, defines which channel to use after install (Required)
  • DownloadPath, defines where the installation files are downloaded from. This could be used to point to a local network repository. This option only applies when running ODT in download mode. If not includes the files are downloaded through the CDN (Optional)

Product element attributes list (enclosed in Add element):

The Product element defines which products to download or install. You can specify multiple products. When using to install using multiple products, the order of install will follow the order of the configuration file, and the fist product will determine the context for the Microsoft First Run Experience.

  • ID, defines the ID of the product to download or install. Values generally recommended are: O365ProPlusRetail, VisioProRetail, ProjectProRetail and SPDRetail (Required) Click here for more detail

Language element attributes list (enclosed in ID element):

The language element defines which languages to download or install. If you define multiple languages, the first language in the configuration file determines the Shell UI culture.

  • ID, defines the ID of the language to download or install. This could be “en-us”,  “ja-jp” or “da-dk” (Required) Click here for more detail

ExcludeApp element attributes list (enclosed in Product element):

The ExcludeApp element defines which Office products should not be installed. This will allow excluding one or multiple apps from a bundle install such as ProPlus Retail.

  • ID, defines the ID of the product that should not be installed. The following IDs are supported: Access, Excel, Groove, InfoPath, Lync, OneDrive, OneNote, Outlook, PowerPoint, Publisher, SharePointDesigner, Visio and Word. Multiple attributes can be added to exclude multiple products. (Required if using ExcludeApp element)

Display element attributes list (enclosed in Configuration element):

The display element defines what the user sees when office is installed.

  • Level, if set to “None” office is installed with no user interface (silently), if set to “Full” office is installed with normal installation experience (Optional)
  • AcceptEULA, if set to TRUE the user does not see a license terms dialog, if set to FALSE user will be prompted, when performing a user based install (Optional)

Logging element attributes list (enclosed in Configuration element):

Defines the options for logging within the tool.

  • Level, if set to “Off” will turn logging off, if set to “Standard” will perform default logging (Optional)
  • Path, defines the location of the log files when logging is enabled (Optional)

Armed with all this information we’re now at a point where it’s possible to build a configuration.xml file, that will allow us to download a version of Office 365.

Getting ready to download O365

First, let us take a look at running the setup.exe with a “what can it do question mark” (/?):

20170221-006-setup-exe-command-line-options

To download we need to run “SETUP /download [path to configuration.xml file]”

We could use the default configuration supplied, which would give us the current channel and most up to date release, but then how would we ever perform any patching or have fun with scanning vulnerable software?!

Let’s entertain a new configuration.xml, with the express intent of downloading an older version of the “Current” channel. If we were to look back on the version and build information for update channel releases we’d find that as of this writing (February 2017) the Current Channel version is “Version 1612 (Build 7668.2074)” and we would also see that in early November “Version 1609 (Build 7369.2055)” was released:

20170221 - 007 Office Channel and Version table Feb2017.png

To scan and find a “Current Channel” release vulnerable, let’s pick the 7369.2055 build. If we do this, we know we’d fine various possible “upgrade” paths, although in theory the proper upgrade and patch would be directly to the 7668.2074 build. Obviously this can be adjusted for the First Release for Deferred Channel as well as Deferred Channel as necessary!

Let’s look at what a configuration.xml file might look like for this scenario:

[code language=”xml”]
<Configuration>
<Add OfficeClientEdition="64" Version="16.0.7369.2055" Channel="Current">
<Product ID="O365ProPlusRetail">
<Language ID="en-us" />
</Product>
<Product ID="VisioProRetail">
<Language ID="en-us" />
</Product>
<Product ID="ProjectProRetail">
<Language ID="en-us" />
</Product>
</Add>
<Display Level="Full" AcceptEULA="TRUE" />
<Logging Level="Standard" Path=".\ODTlog.log.txt" />
</Configuration>
[/code]

Here I’ve setup the configuration.xml to download Office 365 ProPlus Retail, including Visio and Project as 64-bit architecture based on an older build (7369.2055) of the Current Channel. I’ve also set the UI to show me progress as well as accepted the EULA and set logging to occur in the current directory.

Now all we need to do is kick-off the download. Let’s run setup.exe with the /download parameter pointing to our custom configuration.xml (setup.exe /download configuration.xml):

20170221-008-downloading-o365-bits

Once the download completes, you should see the following directory structure:

20170221-009-file-structure-for-downloaded-files-1

The total downloaded size of the “Office” folder containing the install files was around 2.2Gb, so download may take a while based on how fast your internet connection is and speeds with the Akamai network, where Microsoft generally hosts their files.

In my next blog post I’ll talk about how to deploy Office with some endpoint management products, namely Configuration Manager and Altiris – including some tips and tricks around delivering it!

1 thought on “Office 365 ProPlus Testing, getting the bits…”

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