Office 365 ProPlus Testing,Deploying to endpoints with ConfigMgr

Deploying O365 ProPlus (2016) to endpoints is pretty easy if you’ve followed the blog posts this far, now we simply need to distribute the content and then deploy it to the computers, where we want it installed.

If you followed along go into Software Library > Application Management > Applications, and you should see the Office 365 (2016) ProPlus 64-bit (Current Channel, 1609):


Distribute Content

Right click the application and select “Distribute Content”, this will ope up the “Distribute Content Wizard”:


Hit Next, to continue to the “Review the content do distribute” dialog:


Hit Next, to continue to the “Content Destination” dialog:


On the “Specify the content destination” dialog, we need to add any number of collection(s), distribution point(s) or distribution point group(s) to distribute the content to. For this example we’ll simply add the distribution point group “Lab Distribution Point Group”. This distribution point group contains my primary site server that already holds the content, however provides an example and reminder of using this step to stage content properly for consumption. Keep in mind you would likely use a mix of distribution points, distribution point groups or collections to stage the content in a larger more production like lab.


When satisfied hit Next. This will bring us to the summary screen looking something like this:


Review the information, then hit Next to finalize the distribution of content. This will display the progress and should complete with a successful configuration of distribution of the content:


At this point hit “Close” to exit out of the wizard.

To see the status and compliance of the content distribution go to “Monitoring >┬áDistribution Status > Content Status. Here either locate or search for the application:


We can see the compliance is at a 100%, meaning the content is fully distributed and up to date on all content locations configured previously.

Deploy Application

Once we know the content for the application has been distributed we are ready to deploy the application. Go to “Software Library > Application Management > Applications” and right click the Office 365 application, then select “Deploy” from the right click menu. This brings up the Deploy Software Wizard:

03052017 - 009 CM O365 - Deploy Software Wizard 1.png

We can see the application software “Office 365 (2016) ProPlus 64-bit (Current Channel, 1609)” is already selected. Now let us add the collection to which we want to deploy Office 365. In my lab I created a collection called “All Windows Workstations” that contains my Windows 7, Windows 8.1 and Windows 10 client(s).

Hit “Browse” for the “Collection”. Here I used the drop down to pick “Device Collections”, then drilled into Windows Collections (a custom folder structure I created) and picked the “All Windows Workstations” collection (pre-defined):


You should pick whatever collection is appropriate to target your deployment. Hit “Ok” to return to the Deployment Software Wizard main dialog:


Hit “Next” to continue to the “Specify the content destination” dialog:


Here we see the Lab Distribution Point Group as well as the primary site server listed as content locations that the application has already been distributed to. It is possible to add additional distribution points, or distribution point groups at this time, but as it is already configured hit “Next” to skip past this step. This will bring us to the “Deployment Settings” section:


By default the application will be published (made “Available”) to the computer. In this case the intent is to distribute it to the entire targeted lab collection of workstations. Change the Purpose to “Required” and leave all other options at default:

03052017 - 014 CM O365 - Deploy Software Wizard 6.png

Hit “Next” to continue to the scheduling options “Specify a schedule for this deployment”:


Change the settings as appropriate for your testing scenario. Here I set the “Schedule the application to be available at” option for my current date and time and set the “Installation deadline” radio box “As soon as possible after the available time” to cause an immediate installation.

You might find that in production it makes sense to first publish the application as available for end-users to have a choice to download and install and application for a period of time before requiring the application. However as we simply want to distribute the application immediately to begin testing no lapse is configured here.

Hit “Next” to progress to the “User Experience”:


In the “Specify the user experience for the installation of this software on the selected devices” dialog I checked (enabled) “Software Installation” and “System restart (if required to complete the installation”) options under “When the installation deadline is reached, allow the following activities to be performed outside of the maintenance window:”. Again, these settings are enabled strictly to allow immediate distribution. In a production setting utilize these options with care, as they may case unwanted reboots or installation behavior! Hit “Next” when done. This will continue to the “Alerts” dialog:


On the “Specify Configuration Manager and Operations Manager alert options” dialog simply hit “Next” to skip any additional configuration of alerting. This will bring up the “Summary” page:


Review the deployment options, when satisfied his “Next” to continue the deployment process. This will perform the background tasks to kick off deployment activities and display a Completion page when finished:

03052017 - 019 CM O365 - Deploy Software Wizard 11.png

Hit “Close” to close out the Deploy Software Wizard.

Opening the Software Center on a targeted workstation should show the application installation is past due and kick off the application installation:


If the application does not show up (yet) you can manually kick off the policy download by triggering the “Machine Policy Retrieval & Evaluation Cycle” on the computer. You should see several windows appear, including a “DOS Prompt” style window running setup.exe as well as a larger UI showing the Office 365 installation interface:

03052007 - 021 CM O365 - Software Install 1.png

On my virtual machines performing the installation took about 15 minutes, assuming shared disk IO and limited system specifications. It is likely the install will run somewhat faster if using physical hardware or VM’s with additional resources allocated.

Once installed, launching the application(s) and opening the “Account” options under “File > Account” will show the deployed version of office as expected:

03052017 - 022 CM O365 - Office Version.png

We’re done – note that you’re required to register the Office install, which I’m skipping for the purpose of this demo, as it offers a short grace period – just enough to do our patch testing and validation! Stay tuned for this in the last part of this series.

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