Best Way to Deploy Office 365 Apps via A Package Deployment Tool

The simplest way to install Office 365 apps on a computer is to run the setup.exe file downloaded from Microsoft and wait until it’s finished. Depend on your internet speed, it could take a while to finish. It’s definitely not the right way when you need to deploy the apps on hundreds of computers.

If you are using a package deployment tool such as PDF Deploy, following the right way is the best approach. When setting up right, deploying the Office 365 apps on a bunch of computers is a breeze of air that you will enjoy. It uninstalls whatever the version of Office you have installed and installs the Office 365 apps right after. All process could be finished within minutes, believe it or not.

Here is the simplified version of the process.

Step 1 – generating the Office 365 config file

Go to Office Customization Tool and click Create button to start creating a new configuration.

Finish every section carefully, especially the following sections

  • Select proper Products and the right Update channel. Semi-Annual is my go-to channel. Anything less is too frequent to me to manage.
  • Unselect the apps that you don’t want install, such as Skype for Business.
  • Select Local source with a specified network path as the Installation options.
  • Make sure Uninstall any previous version option is checked.
  • Select a Product activation method, either User based or Shared.

And export the configuration file in XML format once done.

Step 2 – downloading the Office 365 installation source files

Easy-peasy once you have the configuration file ready. Run the following in the command prompt window.

.\setup.exe /download ./configuration.xml

If everything goes as planned, you will see an Office folder shows up with all the source files needed for the installation.

Step 3 – building the deploy package

For example, here is what to do in PDQ Deploy:

  1. Set the install file to setup.exe.
  2. Add the parameter “/configure configuration.xml”.
  3. Add the configuration.xml file as an Additional File.

And that’s it.

I also should mention that doing so via PDQ Deploy is completely free.

2 thoughts on “Best Way to Deploy Office 365 Apps via A Package Deployment Tool

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