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Deploy Office 2013 from a network installation point

 

Applies to: Office 365 ProPlus, Office 2013

Topic Last Modified: 2013-12-18

Summary: Provides information about how to use a network share as a network installation point from which to deploy Office 2013.

Audience: IT Professionals

One way that you can deploy Office 2013 is from a central location, such as a shared folder on a network file server. By creating a network installation point to deploy Office, you can control which Office products and languages that users can install. You can also make sure that Office is deployed consistently throughout the organization.

The basic steps to use a network installation point to deploy Office are as follows:

  • Copy all the appropriate Office product and language files to a location on the network.

  • Create a network share and assign the appropriate permissions.

  • Have users run the Office Setup program from the network installation point to install Office on to their local computers. Remember that, to install Office, users must be local administrators on their computers.

    Another option is to create a script that performs a silent (unattended) installation of Office from the network installation point and that requires no input from the user. You can then deploy the script by using Group Policy or by using a software distribution product such as Microsoft System Center Configuration Manager. You can use this option if users are not local administrators on their computers.

    NoteNote:
    For more information about how to deploy Office by using Group Policy, see Deploy Office 2013 by using Group Policy computer startup scripts.

You can use a network installation point to deploy a Windows Installer-based (MSI) version of Office such as Office Standard 2013) or a Click-to-Run version of Office such as Office 365 ProPlus).

In this article:

The amount of disk space that is required on the network installation point depends on the Office products and languages that you are deploying. You can include multiple products on the same network installation point. For example, the network installation point can include the installation files for Office Standard 2013, Project Professional 2013, and Visio Professional 2013. The network installation point can also include the language files for multiple languages. For example, you can include the language files for French and Spanish on the same network installation point as the English language files.

When you create a network installation point to deploy Office, you must assign the appropriate permissions to the network share. Users require only Read permissions to the network share to be able to run the Setup program to install Office. If you configure Office Setup to place installation log files on a network share, users must have Read and Write permissions to that network share.

NoteNote:
For more information about how to create network shares and assign permissions in Windows Server, see Shared Folders.

We recommend that you make the Office product and language files available from multiple locations on the network. Some benefits of multiple network installation points include the following:

  • Availability  If you create multiple network installation points, you help make sure that users always have access to a network source for the Office installation files. You can use the Distributed File System (DFS) role service in Windows Server to create a network share that is replicated to multiple locations. For more information, see DFS Management.

  • Proximity  You want to have a network installation point on the same part of the network as the users who are installing Office. This can help minimize the effect on network bandwidth and provide a better installation experience for the users. For example, if users are located in a branch office, you can create a network installation point on a file server in the branch office. The users can then install Office from the local network, which will be faster than installing over the network from a network installation point in another office.

  • Consistency  By copying a network installation point, you can make sure that the same Office configuration is installed throughout the organization.

  • Flexibility  Regional offices within the organization can copy the network installation point and then add region-specific customizations for installing Office.

To deploy a Windows Installer-based (MSI) version of Office 2013 from a network installation point, begin by copying the Office product and language files from your installation media to the network share.

In a Windows Installer-based version of Office 2013, core Setup files are shared among all the Office products and language packs. Because core Setup files are identical, you only need one copy of the core Setup files on the network installation point. For example, when you copy a language pack to the network installation point, you are prompted to indicate whether you want to overwrite existing Office Setup files on the network installation point. Because the files are the same, you can skip copying those duplicate files to the network installation point.

If there are multiple Office products on the network installation point when you run Setup, Setup prompts you to select the product that you want to install. If there are multiple Office languages on the network installation point when you run Setup, and if you select Customize during Setup, you can select which languages that you want to install.

After Office is installed, users do not typically have to use the network installation point to update, change, or reinstall Office. Setup automatically creates a local installation source on each user's computer when it installs Office. But, if the local installation source is corrupted or deleted, Setup returns to the original network installation point to re-create the local installation source on the user's computer.

To make sure that a network installation point is available if it is needed, you can use the Office Customization Tool (OCT) to specify Additional network sources. Setup looks for servers in the Additional network sources list, in the order that you specify, if the original network installation point is unavailable. For more information about how to specify Additional network sources, see Office Customization Tool (OCT) reference for Office 2013.

NoteNote:
If you are concerned about the effect on network bandwidth of multiple users who are installing Office from a network installation point at the same time, you can copy (precache) the product and language files to the user's computer. Then, the user can run the Setup program from that local installation source. For more information, see Deploy Office 2013 from a local installation source.

As part of deploying Office from a network installation point, you might want to customize the installation or create a scripted installation that performs a silent (unattended) installation and that requires no input from the users. The following articles provide information that will help you customize or script installations of a Windows Installer-based version of Office:

To deploy a Click-to-Run version of Office from a network installation point, use the Office Deployment Tool.

First, create a customized Configuration.xml file to specify which Office products and languages for the Office Deployment Tool to download. In the Configuration.xml, you can use the SourcePath attribute to specify the network share as the download location. Then, run the Office Deployment Tool with the /download command. The tool reads the information in the customized Configuration.xml file and then downloads the specified Office products and languages to the network share that you specify.

To install specific Office products and languages to a user's computer, make sure that the network share is specified as the SourcePath in the Configuration.xml file, and then run the Office Deployment Tool with the /configure command.

For more information about how to use the Office Deployment Tool to deploy a Click-to-Run version of Office from a network installation point, see the following articles:

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