Overview of 2007 Office System Deployment
Figure 1 provides an overview of the 2007 Office system upgrade process.
The 2007 Office system deployment process should follow specific milestones that integrate well with overall BDD 2007 milestones and objectives. This guide describes each of the following stages:
Creating a project plan. As with any project, careful planning leads to greater chances of success. In this phase, the team analyzes current Microsoft Office deployments, plans migration of documents and settings, determines optimal placement of deployment servers, and acquires resources for completing the project.
Creating an installation point. The first phase of development, creation of the 2007 Office system installation point, creates a shared folder containing the 2007 Office release installation files.
Customizing installation. Most organizations require some changes to the default settings for the 2007 Office release. Consolidate these settings into a Microsoft Office customization file that can then be applied to the installation point.
Testing Microsoft Office deployment. Before releasing the 2007 Office system to production, careful testing of the 2007 Office system deployment process ensures that the Deployment feature team encounters no surprises in the field.
Deploying to production. The Deployment feature team takes over at this stage, activating deployment policies to provide the 2007 Office release to client computers.
Transitioning to information technology (IT) Operations. After the deployment plan has been executed, the deployment infrastructure is handed off to IT Operations for long-term operation and management.
On This Page
Planning for Deployment
Figure 2 provides a detailed breakdown of the activities accomplished during the Planning Phase. These activities are divided into two categories: establishing the lab and identifying the deployment issues that the feature team must address over the course of the project.
Note Sample planning templates are available as job aids in BDD 2007. These can be found in the “Upgrading Office” section within the BDD Documentation Explorer. Using these templates, organizations can quickly plan their 2007 Office system configuration.
Establishing the Lab
During the Planning Phase, the lab environment, in which all the development work is conducted, is established. Typically, feature teams can share the lab infrastructure. The Application Management feature team, however, must ensure that it has the required licensed software media as defined previously in the “Prerequisites” section of this guide.
Choosing the Right Package
The 2007 Office release is available in a variety of suites and stand-alone products. Rarely does a single suite meet all an organization’s requirements. For example, the Application Management feature team might deploy Microsoft Office Professional 2007 to most users in the organization but deploy Microsoft Office Professional Plus 2007 to those users who require Microsoft Office InfoPath® 2007 or Microsoft Office Groove® 2007.
For the 2007 Office release suites that will be available, see 2007 Microsoft Office System Packaging at http://www.microsoft.com/office/preview/suites.mspx.
Defining the 2007 Office System Settings
The Application Management feature team can make extensive customizations before installing the 2007 Office system on users’ computers. The team can also customize many aspects of the installation process itself. Begin by evaluating who the users are and how they will use the 2007 Office release programs. Some users may work exclusively in English, for example, whereas others may routinely view or edit documents in multiple languages. Consider the following points when planning 2007 Office system customizations, and document them in the Office Upgrade Configuration Plan:
Should there be a uniform configuration throughout the organization? If multiple users share one computer or if users roam from one computer to another, establish a standard Microsoft Office configuration.
How many different configurations of the 2007 Office system are needed and for which groups of users? The Application Management feature team can distribute different configurations of Microsoft Office from a single administrative installation point or compressed CD image.
Will the deployment of 2007 Office release programs be staged? Some organizations stagger their deployment of 2007 Office release programs. By using the Office Customization Tool (OCT), the Application Management feature team can specify settings for applications that will be installed later. Use the Office Setup Controller to add 2007 Office release programs to an existing configuration. For example, the Application Management feature team can schedule a Microsoft Office Outlook® 2007 installation to coincide with a mail server upgrade rather than with Microsoft Office installation.
What other products will be included in the 2007 Office system installation? The Application Management feature team can specify additional Microsoft Windows® Installer packages to install with the 2007 Office release. 2007 Office system Setup coordinates these installations after Microsoft Office installation is complete.
Should users be able to change the default settings and customize the 2007 Office release programs for themselves , or will settings be enforced? Settings that the Application Management feature team distributes in a setup update (.msp) file or a 2007 Office system configuration (.xml) file appear as the default settings when users install 2007 Office release programs, but users can modify them. To enforce settings, use policies.
Do some users need to keep earlier versions of Microsoft Office programs on their computers? By default, when the Application Management feature team runs the 2007 Office system Setup in quiet mode, all earlier versions of Microsoft Office programs are removed. However, the team can specify earlier versions that should be kept.
What is the best way to customize Office Outlook 2007 to work in the organization’s messaging environment? In the OCT, the Application Management feature team can create or modify Office Outlook 2007 profiles, set up new e-mail accounts, or configure Office Outlook 2007 to work with a computer running Microsoft Exchange Server.
Five tools are available for analyzing, customizing, and deploying 2007 Office release programs. Some of these tools are built into the 2007 Office release, while others are available as free downloads at Microsoft Office Online (http://www.microsoft.com/office). Microsoft Office Migration Management Technologies include:
Microsoft Office Migration Planning Manager.
Microsoft Office File Conversion Tool.
Microsoft Office Setup Controller.
Microsoft Office Local Installation Source (LIS).
Office Deployment Tools
The sections that follow describe the Microsoft Office Migration Management Technologies in detail.
The Office Customization Tool
When planning customizations, the OCT is the primary tool, so it is an obvious place to start. Think of the process as taking a dry run through the Setup wizard. During this run, Application Management feature team members can configure settings for each 2007 Office release program, and then save the result to a setup update (.msp) file. After a few test runs, team members may want to clear the Completion notice and Suppress modal check boxes and set the Display level to none to create a setup update file for a silent installation.
Although the initial settings will likely change, a dry run jump-starts the configuration by showing the possibilities. Spend some time looking at the settings on the Modify User Settings folder to get an idea of which customizations are available. Also, spend some time looking at the Office Security Settings folder.
Each setup update (.msp) file that the Application Management feature team uses the OCT to create roughly corresponds to a configuration for one group of users. Document in the deployment plan each unique configuration and its corresponding setup patch. For example, if the team is deploying two 2007 Office system configurations—one for the majority of the organization and one for users who require Microsoft Office Access 2007—document the updates for each configuration.
Office Migration Planning Manager
The Office Migration Planning Manager is a command-line tool with which desktop administrators scan any client computer, file server, Microsoft Office SharePoint® Server 2007 computer, or any other Web-based Distributed Authoring and Versioning (WebDAV)–enabled document library. The Office Migration Planning Manager takes an inventory of all Microsoft Office system files and determines their properties. Known issues are identified within those files so that they can be addressed before they are opened with, or converted to, 2007 Office release programs.
Office File Conversion Tool
In the process of upgrading to the 2007 Office system, organizations may want to move all or many of their existing documents to the new Office Open XML Formats. Using the Office File Conversion Tool, desktop administrators can convert documents saved in Microsoft Office 97 through Microsoft Office 2003 formats to the new Office Open XML Formats. By using output from the Office Migration Planning Manager, the Office File Conversion Tool can be employed to run documents through an open-and-save-as process.
Office Setup Controller
The Office Setup Controller manages the overall 2007 Office system installation experience. It is responsible for making sure that the local installation source is present and complete. After verifying that each computer has been properly prepared, the Setup engine installs and configures the chosen programs. Changes are made to both the file system and the registry by using the underlying Windows Installer technology, which helps ensure maximum compatibility and robustness for all users.
Office Local Installation Source
Through the Office LIS, a complete but compressed copy of Microsoft Office programs to be cached resides on a user’s computer. That way, it is available for any activities that require media, such as installation, resiliency, installation on demand, and updating. Using the Office LIS can also minimize demand on an organization’s network in two ways: first, by sending a compressed copy of Microsoft Office programs over the network, and second, by allowing desktop administrators to separate the distribution of the new 2007 Office release source files from the actual installation process. First introduced with Microsoft Office 2003, the Office LIS is a required component of the 2007 Office system.
Identifying the Upgrade Issues
Three primary issues must be addressed when upgrading from earlier Microsoft Office versions to the 2007 Office system. The primary issues are:
Feature installation states.
Custom Microsoft Office–based solutions, such as macros and Microsoft Visual Basic® for Applications (VBA).
File coexistence with multiple versions of Microsoft Office.
In addition to the packaging and customization, these issues could have a significant effect on the user experience after the 2007 Office system is installed.
Feature State Migration
When running the 2007 Office system Setup interactively, users can choose which applications and features are installed by selecting options from the feature tree that the Setup program displays. 2007 Office system features can be installed in any of the following states:
Copied to the local hard disk
Installed on first use, which means that the 2007 Office system Setup does not install the feature until the first time it is used
Not installed but accessible to users through the Add or Remove Programs Control Panel item or the command line
Not installed, not displayed during installation, and not accessible to users after installation
By using the OCT, the Application Management feature team can make these choices for users ahead of time. When users run the 2007 Office system Setup interactively, the installation states that what team members specify in the setup update (.msp) file appear as the default selections. When the 2007 Office system Setup runs quietly, team members’ choices determine how the features are installed.
To make an installation more efficient, the 2007 Office system Setup automatically sets default feature installation states in the following circumstances:
When upgrading to the 2007 Office system, Setup detects and matches feature installation states from the earlier Microsoft Office version. For example, if Microsoft Office Word 2003 is installed to run from the network, the 2007 Office system Setup installs Microsoft Office Word 2007 to run from the network. If Microsoft Office PowerPoint® 2003 is set to Not Available, Setup does not install Microsoft Office PowerPoint 2007.
When installing the 2007 Office system under Microsoft Windows Server® 2003 Terminal Services, Setup applies the most efficient installation state for each feature. For example, because the speech-recognition feature does not run efficiently over most networks and might not be supported by all clients, Terminal Services automatically changes the feature installation state from Installed on First Use to Not Available.
The OCT provides even more control of feature installation states than this section has described. For example, the Application Management feature team can disable feature-installation states that require a network connection. The team can lock feature-installation states to prevent users from changing them. For more information about these settings, see the link to the ORK in the “Education and References” section.
By default, if an earlier version of Microsoft Office is installed on a user’s computer, Windows Installer copies the earlier application settings for that version to the 2007 Office system. Migrated settings are applied the first time each user starts a 2007 Office release program, and the user's migrated settings overwrite any duplicate settings added to the setup update.
On the Modify user settings page of the OCT, team members can change this behavior. When users install the 2007 Office system with the update, Setup migrates relevant settings from an earlier version. If team members specify their settings on the Modify user settings page and clear the Migrate user settings check box, the migrated settings will not be used.
Note The 2007 Office system does not use .ops files for transformations as Microsoft Office 2003 did. Instead, it uses the same setup update file to specify Microsoft Office features and user settings.
The 2007 Office system uses a new, Extensible Markup Language (XML)-based file format—Office Open XML Formats. This format is currently used in the 2007 Office system programs Excel® 2007, Word 2007, and PowerPoint 2007 files. The new XML-based file formats in these programs enable broader integration and interoperability between Microsoft Office documents and enterprise applications. In addition, 2007 Office system files are all wrapped by using extraction technologies, which allows for easy access to the content parts as well as standard compression, reducing file sizes and improving reliability and data recovery.
Users can migrate files created in earlier versions of Microsoft Office programs to Office Open XML Formats by using the Office File Conversion Tool. Because of the new file format, conversion issues may surface during deployment and should be dealt with early in the deployment project life cycle.
When identifying file-conversion issues, consider the following:
Word, Excel, and PowerPoint in Microsoft Office 97, Microsoft Office 2000, Microsoft Office 2003, and Microsoft Office XP share the same file format. Documents created with these versions of Microsoft Office require conversion to edit them with the corresponding 2007 Office release programs.
The 2007 Office release programs can convert individual files created with earlier versions of the corresponding Microsoft Office programs, and the 2007 Office release includes the Office File Conversion Tool for converting multiple documents at a time.
For backward compatibility, the 2007 Office system can be configured in compatibility mode so that files saved in Word, Excel, and PowerPoint can use the same binary format used by earlier versions of those Microsoft Office programs.
For interoperability, apply updates to computers running Microsoft Office XP and Microsoft Office 2003 to allow those versions to save files in Office Open XML Formats.
Office Access 2007 uses a new file format, .accdb. For interoperability, save Office Access 2007 files in the Microsoft Office Access 2003 or Office Access 2000 format (.mdb). Office Access 2007 can also open .mdb files for editing.
Note For more information about Office Open XML Formats, read “Microsoft Office Open XML Formats Overview” at http://www.microsoft.com/office/preview/itpro/fileoverview.mspx.
Custom Microsoft Office–Based Solutions
Many organizations have used the advanced features of Microsoft Office to develop custom solutions. These organizations apply macros and application programming constructs such as VBA and Microsoft Visual Studio® 2005 Tools for the Microsoft Office System to extend the base functionality of Microsoft Office. Like data-file structures, these macros and programming structures have evolved with Microsoft Office and may require migration strategies to ensure that business requirements continue to be met after the migration to the 2007 Office system.
When planning to deploy the 2007 Office system, consider the following questions:
Is an inventory available of the non-Microsoft and internally built programs and customizations based on the Microsoft Office System?
Has each non-Microsoft and internally built Microsoft Office–based solution been tested for compatibility with the 2007 Office system?
When the list of custom Microsoft Office–based applications is complete, develop a plan to modify each application to use 2007 Office system components, if necessary, for coexistence with 2007 Office release applications. Include this plan in the overall 2007 Office system deployment plan.
Although an organization may have the goal of migrating everyone to the 2007 Office system, the complete migration of the organization is not likely to occur instantly. A plan must be devised and implemented that permits users of the 2007 Office system to collaborate on documents with teammates who are using earlier versions of the Microsoft Office System. The User State Migration feature team must understand these issues and identify the effect of each issue on the organization. For example, a company that is migrating from Microsoft Office XP to the 2007 Office system is likely to experience more issues than a company migrating from Microsoft Office 2003.
Consider the following questions:
Which versions of the Microsoft Office System are users running?
Which groups of users share documents with which other groups of users? Do they need to share documents in one direction, or will users of the earlier Microsoft Office release be using 2007 Office release documents?
During a 2007 Office system deployment, a variety of solutions is available to enable users to share documents among various Microsoft Office System versions. If the organization is migrating from Microsoft Office 97 to the 2007 Office system, for example, these solutions ensure that users who have not yet migrated can still exchange information with users who have. The white paper, “Microsoft Office XP and File Sharing in a Heterogeneous Office Environment,” at http://www.microsoft.com/technet/prodtechnol/office/officexp/maintain/fileshar.mspx provides a full treatment of these solutions. (It applies equally well to the 2007 Office system, even though the white paper talks specifically about Microsoft Office XP.)
The solutions that the Application Management feature team uses depend on whether users share documents with other groups. The solutions also depend on whether users share documents one way or two ways and whether they need to change the documents they share. The Application Management feature team can migrate groups of users who do not share documents with other groups to the 2007 Office system at any time without reducing their productivity.
If a group of users shares documents with other groups, however, the Application Management feature team must decide whether document recipients require read-only access to those documents or whether they must be able to edit and return those documents. If they require read-only access, a larger variety of solutions is available, including file viewers, saving documents as Web pages, and so on. If users must edit and return documents to the sending group, consider restricting both groups to a common file format until both groups have fully migrated to the 2007 Office system. Also, to ensure continuity, plan to migrate dependent groups at the same time.
In those areas or departments in which 2007 Office system developers have reason to believe that significant issues might arise with the 2007 Office system, ask the department to provide an SME to act as a liaison with the developers. For example, having an SME from the accounting department available to the developers is generally helpful to ensure that all 2007 Office system issues related to the use of Office Excel 2007 are identified and addressed, because accounting departments often use complex Excel workbooks.
Identifying Chained Applications
Using the 2007 Office system Setup, the Application Management feature team can deploy the 2007 Office release and related applications in one seamless process by chaining additional packages (.msi files) or executable programs. In this scenario, the Setup program first completes the core 2007 Office system installation, and then immediately calls Windows Installer to install the additional programs in the order specified on the Add installations and run programs page of the OCT.
Installing 2007 Office System Updates
The 2007 Office system Setup automatically installs any updates included in the Updates folder under the installation share. Updates are only installed during Setup. The Application Management feature team can also include security updates and other updates released as .msp files in this folder. The Setup installer automatically includes these updates at installation time.
The following list describes additional development work that most organizations perform and where to find detailed information in the ORK for each:
Messaging. A close review of the organization’s messaging needs helps plan the optimal Office Outlook 2007 deployment. Among the configuration and installation choices made are deciding which e-mail messaging server to use with Office Outlook 2007 and timing the Office Outlook 2007 deployment to suit the organization’s needs. Look for ORKMessaging.doc in the ORK documentation folder.
Multilingual deployment. The Application Management feature team can install, customize, and maintain a single version of the 2007 Office system that meets the organization’s multilingual needs. Through the plug-in language features in the 2007 Office system and Microsoft Office multilingual resources, such as the Multilingual User Interface pack (MUI pack), users in international locales can work in their own languages. The 2007 Office system consists of a language-neutral core to which multilingual packs can be added. Find more information in ORKDeployment.doc and ORKPlan.doc.
Security. Security was a major focus in the development of the 2007 Office system. More emphasis was placed on eliminating security flaws than in any earlier release of the Microsoft Office System, which helped produce the most robust level of security to date. However, improper configuration of settings and user methods can still expose administrative and user-level security vulnerabilities. This section addresses specific security issues an administrator should take into consideration when deploying or maintaining a Microsoft Office configuration in a corporate setting. Along with this information are suggestions and recommendations for how to limit exposure to attacks and how to manage the security of a deployed installation through security-related policies. For additional information on 2007 Office System security, see the 2007 ORK at http://technet2.microsoft.com/Office/en-us/library/8b22eff4-37d1-4748-8342-f115216c2f541033.mspx.
Customizing the 2007 Office System
Figure 3 shows at a high level the development process for customizing the 2007 Office system.
Creating a customized 2007 Office system installation is a multi-step process. After creating and testing this package, insert it into the BDD imaging process so that the customized 2007 Office system configuration can be included automatically in all computer images.
The steps necessary to create the custom 2007 Office system installation are:
Create a distribution point.
Copy the contents of the 2007 Office system DVD to a network share. Apply any available service packs and updates to the distribution point.
Create an .msp file.
Start the OCT by running setup /admin. Specify features, user settings, and security settings to be applied.
Manually test the configuration.
Before adding the 2007 Office system configuration to the BDD 2007 image, manually test it in a lab environment to ensure that it is correct. To do so, run setup /adminfile msp_file_path.
Change the .msp file to perform a silent installation.
Run setup admin again, open the .msp file to be changed, and change the Licensing and user interface page by clearing the Completion notice and Suppress modal check boxes and setting the display level to none.
Create a Distribution Point
To create the first distribution point, simply copy all the content on the 2007 Office system DVD to a network share. After copying the Setup files, verify whether any service releases are available for the 2007 Office system and place them in the Updates folder under the network share.
The Application Management feature team can use the OCT to specify multiple network shares to be used during installation when the distribution point that a given computer uses for installation is offline. When creating such distribution points, it is important to keep all distribution points synchronized, which the team can do by using file replication or a software distribution tool such as Microsoft Systems Management Server (SMS) 2003. Document all distribution points before moving on to the next step.
Integrating Service Releases
The 2007 Office system service releases are interim upgrades that address performance, reliability, and security issues. If the deployment plans require it, integrate the latest service release with the existing 2007 Office system source files.
Note Download service releases from the Office Admin Update Center at http://office.microsoft.com/en-us/FX011511561033.aspx. Service releases are update files with the .msp extension. Use a software-distribution process such as SMS 2003 to install the service releases.
Update the 2007 Office system distribution points with current service releases before deploying them. To integrate a service release into a Setup share, copy the .msp files to the Updates folder in the share. (Microsoft Office applications will automatically install any updates found in this folder.)
Note Many organizations use Microsoft Update or Microsoft Windows Server Update Services (WSUS) to download and distribute updates and security fixes to Microsoft operating systems and Microsoft Office. Bear in mind, however, that the amount of time a system remains vulnerable after installation increases proportionally to the amount of time it takes to be fully updated. For this reason, it is helpful to maintain a fully updated 2007 Office system distribution point.
Create a Setup Customization File
Use the OCT to define 2007 Office system features, user settings, and security settings for use during 2007 Office system installation. For the 2007 Office release, use the OCT to save settings by application or group of applications. This feature is particularly useful when staging the 2007 Office system deployment; the Application Management feature team can limit the settings saved in the .msp file to only those applications the team is deploying at a given time.
When creating an .msp file, the OCT allows team members to perform the following tasks:
Define the path in which the 2007 Office system is installed on users’ computers.
Accept the End User License Agreement (EULA) and type a product key on behalf of users who are installing the 2007 Office system from a compressed DVD image.
Define the default installation state for 2007 Office release programs and features. For example, the Application Management feature team can install Office Word 2007 immediately on the local computer but set Office PowerPoint 2007 to be installed on demand.
Specify 2007 Office system security settings to be applied to the computers.
Modify user settings, such as whether Office Word 2007 should use AutoRecovery.
Modify 2007 Office release program shortcuts, specifying where they are installed and customizing their properties.
Define a list of servers for the 2007 Office system to use if the primary installation source is unavailable.
Specify other products to install or programs to run on users’ computers after Setup is complete.
Configure Office Outlook 2007 mail settings. For example, specify a default user profile.
Specify which earlier versions of Microsoft Office are removed.
To create an .msp file
On any computer, run setup /admin \ from the network share previously created. For example, run \\servername\Office12\Setup.exe /admin, where servername is the name of the server on which the source 2007 Office system files reside.
Select Create a new Setup customization file for the following product.
Select Microsoft Office Professional Plus 2007 (or the chosen edition) from the list of available products, and then click OK.
Customize settings on the different pages available through the OCT.
From the File menu, click Save As, and then save the .msp file in the network share. (Save all .msp files to the Updates folder.)
Manually Test the Configuration
To manually test the custom 2007 Office system package, start with a clean Windows Vista computer that has been recently built, preferably with no other applications installed. In this way, the Application Management feature team has a clean starting point from which to test the 2007 Office system package.
Install the 2007 Office system package with a command similar to the following:
\\server\share\Setup.exe /config \\server\share\suite.WW\Config.xml
(where \\server\share is the server name and share name, respectively, of the distribution point for 2007 Office system and suite.WW is the path to the config.xml file for the Microsoft Office edition being installed).
Note Setup customization files placed in the Updates folder are used automatically.
Application Management feature team members can iterate through creating and testing the transforms until they meet the organization’s requirements. After these requirements have been met with manual installation, team members can proceed to integrate the package into the BDD 2007 imaging and deployment processes.
Change the Setup Customization File to Perform a Silent Installation
After the settings specified in the configuration file are working according to the organization’s policies, Application Management feature team members can change the .msp file so that user interaction is not required during installation. To do so, change the .msp file to perform a silent installation.
To change an .msp file
On any computer, run setup /admin \ from the network share previously created—for example, \\servername\Office12\Setup.exe /admin.
Select Open an existing Setup customization, and then select the file to be changed.
On the Licensing and user interface page, clear the Completion notice and Suppress modal check boxes, and then set the display level to none.
Save the file.
Integrate 2007 Office Release Programs into BDD 2007
Team members can integrate 2007 Office system installations with BDD 2007 in one of two ways—either as part of the desktop deployment image (known as a thick image) or after desktop image deployment (known as a thin image).
Thick Image Installations
To preinstall the 2007 Office system on the desktop deployment image, execute the appropriate installation commands before collecting the deployment image. Microsoft Office will be installed on the image, allowing the deployment of a complete Windows Vista/2007 Office system image at one time. Doing so increases the size of the desktop image but simplifies Deployment Workbench configuration.
Thin Image Installations
To integrate 2007 Office release programs into BDD 2007 as supplemental applications, use the Add Application feature of the Deployment Workbench to point to the customized Microsoft Office distribution point. (See the Computer Imaging System Feature Team Guide for more details on adding applications.) The Deployment Workbench offers customized steps for the integration of the 2007 Office system, taking into account specific requirements of the 2007 Office system in the application settings used to deploy the package.
Note To install multiple Microsoft Office programs, add each separately to the applications list contained in the Deployment Workbench.
To configure the 2007 Office system using the Deployment Workbench
Right-click Applications, and then click New to start the New Application Wizard.
Note See the Computer Imaging System Feature Team Guide for specific guidance on adding applications.
Complete the New Application Wizard, using the path and setup command for the 2007 Office system.
Right-click the resulting package, and then click Properties to display the properties dialog box for the 2007 Office system (see Figure 4).
Click the Office Products tab to configure additional Microsoft Office settings.
Note In addition to basic settings, this tab also provides access to edit the config.xml file and to run the OCT.
Complete configuration settings, and then click Apply or OK to accept changes.
Test 2007 Office System Deployment
With the application servers updated with the custom 2007 Office system configuration, the Application Management feature team can begin testing. When the team is satisfied that the 2007 Office system installation is working as planned, the 2007 Office system package is ready for pilot during the Stabilizing Phase of the BDD 2007 project. During the Stabilizing and Deploying Phases, the Application Management feature team focuses on quickly resolving any issues found in the customized installations.
Testing must be performed to ensure that the 2007 Office system configuration and planned deployment solution function as designed. Divide the testing tasks by functional area, such as the following:
The deployment server
2007 Office system configuration
Deployment process testing
Perform testing on a variety of hardware that represents the hardware present throughout the organization. Document all test results for review.
Pilot 2007 Office System Deployment
The solution is ready for the pilot deployment as soon as a full build has been through testing and passed. Follow the pilot plan, revising it as necessary to incorporate new developments in the project. Use the communications and training materials developed to keep users informed as to the nature and progress of the pilot. A well-planned pilot of a sufficiently tested solution should present few surprises.
Although the Application Management feature team will not have deployed the solution to the full production environment at this point, the team will need to have at least part of the support structure in place to address issues arising from the pilot, with support personnel standing by to assist users. Tell users how long the feedback period will last and how to communicate their comments. Process the feedback according to the pilot plan. If the team has been using an issue-tracking database throughout development, continue its use during the feedback period to record issues that users uncover. When customer and user feedback indicates that the pilot is working, the team reviews the work that has been performed during this phase and proceeds to the Deploying Phase.
Candidates for Pilot Deployment
SMEs chosen to assist the Application Management feature team during the 2007 Office system deployment process are natural selections for the pilot deployment. Others can be nominated by department heads or selected by the Application Management feature team based on their ability to test critical aspects of the system.
Deploying the 2007 Office System to Production
With the Developing and Stabilizing Phases complete, the servers are ready to process computer deployments. Figure 5 provides the detailed task breakdown for the Deploying Phase.
The Deploying Phase includes the following three steps:
Initiate deployment. The BDD 2007 project deploys the 2007 Office system on client computers by including it in the desktop image (thick image deployments) or by linking it to the image deployment through use of the Deployment Workbench (thin image deployments). Subsequent deployments will use the 2007 Office system distribution point. Use Group Policy to publish or assign the 2007 Office system to organizational units (OUs) containing client computers. When a client system is re-imaged, the 2007 Office system is installed as the Group Policy settings direct.
Monitor file migration. Migration of existing Microsoft Office program data files may take some time. In addition, some files might not migrate properly. Monitor this process, and intervene when appropriate to ensure business continuity.
Resolve deployment issues. Unforeseen issues can arise during a large-scale deployment. Monitor the deployment process closely, and intervene if necessary to preserve business continuity.
Using Group Policy
Microsoft Windows 2000 and later operating systems include tools with which administrators can install and maintain software applications through Group Policy with the Microsoft Active Directory® directory service. Using Group Policy software-installation features, assign or publish the 2007 Office system and MUI packs to all the users or computers in a designated group. Using Group Policy to deploy the 2007 Office system can be a good choice in the following settings:
Small- or medium-sized organizations that have already deployed and configured Active Directory
Organizations or departments that comprise a single geographic area
Organizations with consistent hardware and software configurations on both client computers and servers
Install and manage 2007 Office release programs by policy in any of three ways:
Assign the 2007 Office system to computers.
Assign the 2007 Office system to users.
Publish the 2007 Office system to users.
Assign the 2007 Office System to Computers
Assigning the 2007 Office system to computers is the simplest way to use Group Policy to manage a package this large and complex. With this method, the 2007 Office system is installed on the computer the next time the computer starts and is available to all users of that computer. Assigned applications are resilient. If a user removes a 2007 Office release program from the computer, Windows automatically reinstalls it the next time the computer starts. Users can repair 2007 Office release programs, but only administrators can remove programs.
Assign the 2007 Office System to Users
When the 2007 Office system is assigned to users, information about the software is advertised on users’ computers in the Windows registry and on the Start menu or Windows desktop the next time the users log on. When a user clicks a 2007 Office release program shortcut, Windows Installer retrieves the package from the software distribution point, installs the application on the user’s computer, and starts the application. If the Application Management feature team chooses to activate installation by file extension, clicking a 2007 Office system item (such as an Office Word 2007 document or an Office Excel 2007 worksheet) automatically installs the corresponding application in the same way.
Applications assigned to users are also resilient. If a user removes an assigned 2007 Office release program from the computer, Windows automatically restores the registry information and Windows Installer shortcuts the next time the user logs on.
Note Do not assign the 2007 Office system to both a user and a computer. When assigned to a computer, 2007 Office release programs are installed locally (based on settings in the transform). When assigned to a user, these programs are advertised on the computer but are not installed until the user activates them—one Windows Installer shortcut at a time. Assigning the 2007 Office system to both users and computers can create conflicts in which the programs appear to be installed locally but are actually only advertised. In addition, if assigning the 2007 Office system to both users and computers and also applying different transforms, Windows automatically uninstalls and reinstalls the 2007 Office system every time the computer starts or the user logs on.
Publish the 2007 Office System to Users
When the Application Management feature team publishes the 2007 Office system to users, no information about the software is present in the registry or in the Start menu. However, users can open the Add or Remove Programs Control Panel item and view a list of all software published to them.
If a user selects the 2007 Office system from this list, the Add or Remove Programs Control Panel item retrieves information about the 2007 Office system installation location from Active Directory, and Windows Installer installs the package on the computer and applies any transform associated with the 2007 Office system package.
If the Application Management feature team plans to have users run the 2007 Office system themselves (for example, if the organization routinely makes a variety of software applications available to users from an installation location on the network), consider publishing the 2007 Office system to users. In this case, users in the designated group can install the 2007 Office system from Add or Remove Programs anytime they choose.
Unlike assigned applications, published applications are not automatically reinstalled. If a user removes the 2007 Office system after installing it through Add or Remove Programs, the shortcuts and registry information are not automatically reapplied on the computer. However, the next time the user logs on to the network, the 2007 Office system is republished in Add or Remove Programs.
Using Scripted Installations
For small deployments, a Lite Touch Installation (LTI) deployment process might be a viable method for deploying the 2007 Office system. In an LTI scenario, the Application Management feature team can use the following methods for launching the installation:
Shortcuts to the Setup program sent through e-mail or posted to an intranet
Desktop visits by a technician to start the installation
Transitioning to IT Operations
After the initial deployment is complete and the Application Management feature team has verified that the computers are operating properly, the project is transitioned from the Deployment feature team to IT Operations. The IT Operations group is then responsible for ongoing computer maintenance and support. This process is typically well structured and formal, and documentation, knowledge, and other materials are formally transferred from one group to another. The handoff to operations is well documented in the “Closing the Project” section of the Plan, Build, and Deploy Guide.