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Overview of Office on Demand in Office 2013


Applies to: Office 365 ProPlus, Office 2013

Topic Last Modified: 2014-02-23

Summary: Introduces the Office on Demand technology and how it is used with Office 2013.

Audience: IT Professionals

Office on Demand uses Click-to-Run streaming technology to deliver Office 2013 on demand to a Windows 7 or Windows 8 computer that connects to the Office 365 service. A user can access Office on Demand through OneDrive for Business in Office 365. An Office 2013 application, such as Word, Excel, or PowerPoint, is streamed to the computer and can be used before the application is completely downloaded. A user can start to use an Office on Demand application within 30 seconds of the initial streaming of the application.

Downloading Office on Demand is an excellent way to train users on the new Office user interface and features without requiring that you fully deploy Office 2013. You do not have to grant administrative credentials to users, because users do not have to be local administrators on their computers to be able to use Office on Demand.

This article is part of the Getting started guide for deploying Office 365 ProPlus for IT Professionals. It applies to Office 365 ProPlus.
Are you looking for help with installing Office with Office 365? You may be looking for Get started with Office 365 and Install Office with Office 365, which will help you learn how to set up and use Office 365 on your computer, phone, and tablet.

In this article:

Office on Demand is available for Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Access, Publisher,Project, and Visio.
Office on Demand is not available for Lync, OneNote, or Outlook.

Because Office on Demand does not require administrative credentials on the computer, it can be used on any Internet-connected Windows 7 or Windows 8 computer. This includes computers that are used temporarily. Office 365 ProPlus subscription users are not limited by the number of computers on which they can access Office on Demand. All application processes run from the user's profile. By default, files are opened from and saved to a OneDrive for Business location that is associated with the user account.

Office on Demand applications are delivered through application virtualization, and therefore it is not possible to customize Office on Demand applications with add-ins, dependent applications, or other customizations unless they already exist in Office installations. The Office on Demand application does not register itself in the system or automatically associate with Windows file types. After the user closes the Office on Demand application session, other users can't access the Office 2013 applications or the previous user’s remotely stored files.

When Office on Demand is delivered, it always contains the latest builds of Office 365 ProPlus programs. They are always delivered through Office 365 public cloud services. Therefore, unlike Click-to-Run on-premises delivery, Office on Demand cannot be delivered to an on-premises infrastructure.

The Office on Demand application data is stored in the %userprofile% root folder. After Office on Demand runs for the first time and Office is fully cached in the %userprofile% root folder, successive starts of Office on Demand applications are almost instantaneous because the applications are executing from the local cache. When the Office builds are updated on the Office content delivery network (CDN), starting Office on Demand streams the Office applications again with the updated build.

Users access Office on Demand applications through an active OneDrive for Business account in Office 365. When a user opens, updates, and closes a document, it is saved back to the online location from which the document was opened. Office on Demand disables the long-term local cache to make sure that when the application is closed and the user is signed out, the user’s files are stored back to the online location from which they were opened.

Figure: OneDrive for Business documents folder

Shows OneDrive for Business documents folder

Before Office on Demand can run for the first time, you must install the Microsoft Office (Roaming) add-on as follows.

  1. In Internet Explorer, choose the Tools menu, and choose Manage Add-ons. The Manage Add-ons tool is displayed.

  2. Under Add-on Types, choose Toolbars and Extensions. In the pane that is under Microsoft Corporation, locate the Microsoft Office (Roaming) add-on.

  3. Verify that the Microsoft Office (Roaming) add-on is enabled. If it is not, select the add-on and choose the Enable button in the bottom corner of the tool.

Figure: Manage Add-ons dialog box

Interface for managing add-ons

The act of choosing a document starts the Office Online program that is associated with the file. In many cases, Office Online provides both view and edit functionality for the file. If you want to use functionality that is not available in Office Online, you can choose to edit the document in an already existing Office installation or by starting the full Office application in the Office Online viewer.

For example, to start the full Word application from the Word Online viewer:

  1. Choose the EDIT DOCUMENT menu in the Word Online viewer.

  2. Choose Edit in Word.

Similarly, you can start the full versions of other Office applications such as PowerPoint and Excel.

Figure: Using the Word Online viewer to choose how to edit a Word document

Edit either through the web app or the full app

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