Deploying Office 2003

Published : November 11, 2004

This section describes how to use SMS 2003 to deploy Office 2003 in a large, diverse corporate organization containing multiple primary and secondary SMS sites.

This scenario assumes that you, as the administrator, are familiar with the Custom Installation Wizard and issues regarding Office 2003 deployments and supported installation methods. For technical background on relevant issues, see the “Important Concepts and Issues” section earlier in this white paper. You should also be familiar with SMS software distribution, collections, queries, and reporting.

On This Page

Business Requirements
Enterprise Configuration
Client Configuration
Planning the Deployment
Deploying Office 2003

Business Requirements

The scenarios and instructions outlined in this white paper for using SMS 2003 to deploy Office 2003 assume that the following business requirements, site, and client configurations are present. These requirements are a superset of the most common requirements for any particular enterprise.  

The SMS administrator in the sample scenario must be able to:

  • Perform a full installation of Office 2003 on local computers.

  • Perform a partial installation of Office 2003 on local computers, with Install on First Use available for other Office 2003 programs.

  • Use customized and additional templates.

  • Use specific preconfigured options in some of the Office 2003 programs.

  • Install Office 2003 on all new computers that connect to the network.

  • Install Office 2003 at multiple sites.

  • Upgrade Office 2003 installations without user intervention.

  • Minimize the overall administrative requirements for Office 2003 deployment.

  • Report the distribution results, and present an ongoing management report of computers that do and do not have Office 2003 installed.

  • Maintain the Windows Installer support for repairing Office 2003 core files to reduce support costs.

  • Reduce drive space usage by reducing the number of Office 2003 distribution points after Office 2003 deployment.

Enterprise Configuration

SMS 2003 is configured in this sample scenario as follows:

  • One central site has ten primary sites.

  • Each of the primary sites has 40 secondary sites attached.

  • Each secondary site is separated from its respective parent site by a WAN link.

  • Client and site traffic is minimized architecturally. Each SMS site is contained within one continuous fast link. Slow links are managed by separating sites, and none of the sites span a slow link. Throttling and sending times are controlled to prevent SMS from using significant bandwidth during prime operating hours.

  • SMS 2003 is deployed in the enterprise.

Corporate migration to the Active Directory structure for the corporation is completed.

Client Configuration

The company in this scenario has a mix of client operating systems configured as follows:

  • Most client computers run Windows 2000 Professional and Windows XP Professional, although some run Windows Server 2003, Windows NT®4.0 SP6a Workstation, and Windows 98.

  • Users at some of the sites do not have local administrator rights on their client computers.

  • Users are upgrading from Office XP.

Planning the Deployment

This section assumes that you have successfully tested your deployment in a lab using hardware and software identical to your enterprise. After you have tested your deployment in a lab environment, you are ready to begin the Office 2003 deployment in the first production-pilot environment. This first deployment should be a small pilot group, which you can carefully monitor, and adjust plans according to findings.

Before deploying Office 2003 in a production environment, you must:

  1. Consider basic planning issues.

  2. Determine the systems and sites that will be upgraded.

  3. Plan for clients without administrative credentials.

  4. Determine which clients require software upgrades prior to installing Office 2003 (through software inventory and queries).

  5. Plan installation options.

  6. Plan the strategy for collections and program advertisements.

Basic Planning Considerations

  • Verify that the clients have the hardware and software required to run Office 2003. See “Office 2003 Operating System Requirements” earlier in this white paper.

  • Know the terminology and processes of SMS 2003 software distribution, the Office 2003 Custom Installation Wizard, and the Office Profile Wizard.

  • Review the features and options available with Office 2003. Ensure that you properly implemented the configuration (.mst file) you built using the Office 2003 Custom Installation Wizard and Office Profile Wizard.

  • Determine which Office 2003 features you want to install, and which systems you want to receive each group of features. Each group run setup with a custom transform file.

  • Decide whether to do an attended or unattended installation, so that you can properly configure the SMS program and advertisement properties.

  • Decide if your installation is going to be mandatory or optional. If the installation is mandatory, you can allow users to install it before the scheduled time. If users do not install the program early, the program automatically runs at the scheduled time.

    Unattended mandatory deployments offer potentially increased benefits to the enterprise, because users are not present or needed during installation. Mandatory installation also ensures standardization within the business unit.

Determine the Systems and Sites That Will Be Upgraded

In this example scenario, you have decided to deploy Office 2003 to the central site (CTL) and the remote site (RMT) across a WAN link, using two different custom configurations of Office 2003. CTL is the parent site of RMT. Productivity needs at both sites have determined the requirement for the upgrade to Office 2003.

Plan for Clients Without Administrative Credentials

Office 2003 installation requires administrative credentials, therefore, you must specify administrative credentials in the SMS program for low-rights users. This setting is included in the package definition files.

Determine Which Clients Require Upgrades Prior to Installing Office 2003

In the sample scenario, the administrator and the corporate decision-maker decided to upgrade the operating systems that are not supported by Office 2003 as show in Table 4.

Table  4   Actions Based on Client Environment

Client environment


Windows NT 4.0 SP6a  (Office 2000 Public Update 1 is already installed)

Upgrade clients to Windows 2000 Professional or Windows XP Professional.

Windows 98

Upgrade clients to Windows 2000 Professional or Windows XP Professional.

Windows XP and Windows 2000 Professional

No action needed.

Windows Server 2003 family

No action needed.

Plan Installation Options

You have the following options when installing Office 2003:

  • Use the SMS administrative context with the programs included in the package definition file.

  • Use the SMS administrative context with Install on Demand.

Plan the Strategy for Collections and Program Advertisements

The Office 2003 package definition file creates the Microsoft Office 2003 Applications 11.0 English package, a package that contains four automatically created programs. These programs are templates to deliver Office 2003 to different clients or under different situations. For example, with SMS 2003 you can create collections based on whether or not clients need hardware, and advertise a program to an appropriate collection. For example, you might want to create a collection as shown in Table  5.

Table  5   Collections Based on Hardware Requirement


Client operating system


Computers ready for Office 2003 upgrade

Windows 2000, Windows XP, and Windows Server 2003 family

These computers meet the minimum speed processor and amount of RAM required by Office 2003.

Deploying Office 2003

The following is a summary of the steps for deploying Office 2003, each of which are fully discussed in subsequent sections. Some steps, such as Office 2003 source customization, might not be necessary in your deployment, but most deployments follow this basic pattern.

  1. Create the administrative installation point.

  2. Create the transform file using the Office Custom Installation Wizard.

  3. Create an .ops customization file using the Office Profile Wizard, if necessary.

  4. Create SMS software distribution objects.

    • Import the package definition file and create the Office 2003 package.

    • Create programs for Office 2003 Install on Demand, if necessary.

    • Assign distribution points to the Office 2003 package.

    • Create the collections.

  5. Check the progress of your installation.

    • Monitor the installation using SMS reports.

    • Conduct inventory and reporting of the Office 2003 installations.

    • Run a query to confirm that Office 2003 was successfully deployed.

Create the Administrative Installation Point

An administrative installation point is a server share that contains all the expanded files you need to install Office 2003 by using SMS 2003. When SMS 2003 packages are distributed, the files in the administrative installation point are copied to SMS distribution points. Restrict access to these source files through share permissions or NTFS file system privileges.  You can accomplish this by setting access accounts in the package object in the SMS Administrator console.

Using the administrative installation point can eliminate interactions at the client, such as prompting for a product key. Valid licensing is required, and all licensing requirements apply when you deploy Office 2003.

The following steps describe how to create an administrative installation point. For more information, see the Microsoft Office 2003 Resource Kit.

  1. Use SMS to create the package source files and share. This share will be the source file location for the Office 2003 package. The transform files created by the Custom Installation Wizard should also be placed in the root of this share, along with the .ops file created in the Office Profile Wizard used to further customize Office 2003 programs.

  2. Connect to the server share using an account that has write access to the share. The computer must be running a supported operating system, such as Windows Server 2003, Windows XP Professional, or Windows 2000 Professional.

  3. On the Start menu, click Run, and then run setup /a from the root of the Office 2003 product CD.

  4. Enter the organization name that you want to define for all users who install Office 2003.

  5. Enter the server and folder you created as the installation location. For this scenario, select a local path, to avoid unnecessary network traffic. If a remote path is selected, then the administrative installation is copied on the network. In our scenario, the path is C:\Office 2003.

  6. Enter the 25-character product key and click Next. You must enter a valid, purchased product key when you create the administrative installation point. Users who install Office 2003 from this administrative image do not have to enter the product key when they install Office 2003 or start an Office 2003 program for the first time.

  7. Accept the end-user license agreement and click Install. By accepting the agreement, you are accepting on behalf of all users who install Office 2003 from this administrative installation or any SMS distribution point the SMS administrator creates from this administrative installation.

Setup expands and copies the files from the Office 2003 CD to the administrative installation point, extracts the compressed cabinet (.cab) files, and creates a hierarchy of folders in the root folder of the share.

By creating multiple transform files, you can also install different Office 2003 configurations to different groups of users from the same Office 2003 source file location (also called an administrative installation point).

You can use a transform file to create any kind of customization in an Office 2003 command-line by using the Custom Installation Wizard. You can create transform files for:

  • Adding additional servers.

  • Creating customized programs or configurations for different sets of users.

  • Selecting the Office 2003 features that you want to install.

  • Modifying shortcuts.

  • Customizing options for Microsoft Outlook®.

  • Adding custom files to the installation.

  • Customizing Office 2003 Multilingual User Interface Packs.

Create the Transform File by Using the Office CIW

To customize the Office 2003 installation, you can create a custom transform file by using the Microsoft Office Custom Installation Wizard (CIW).

Table  6 describes some feature states that you can configure using the CIW, and that are displayed on the Set Feature Installation States page of the CIW.

Table  6   Feature States

Feature State


Install on demand

This feature state is indicated by the number “1” next to the component name, and means that the component is installed on the computer the first time it is used.

Install to hard disk

This feature state is indicated by a disc drive icon next to the component feature, and means that the component is installed on the client hard disk during the initial installation.

Not Available

This feature state is indicated by a red “X” next to the component name, and means that the component is not installed.

In the example scenario, you decide that there will be one transform file per site, because all the distribution points within a site will be local. As a result, any distribution points will be local, and traffic associated with repairs and install-on-demand applications will not cross WAN links in the future.

You create the transform file by using the Custom Installation Wizard. Repeat the following steps for each transform file.

  1. Run the Custom Installation Wizard by clicking Start, pointing to Programs, pointing to Microsoft Office, pointing to Microsoft Office Tools, pointing to Microsoft Office 2003 Resource Kit, and then clicking Custom Installation Wizard. The administrator runs the Custom Installation Wizard on a computer that has access to both the administrative share (where the .mst files are copied) and the Pro11.msi file that installs Office 2003.

  2. Specify or Browse to the path of the .msi file to open (for example, D:\pro11.msi), and click Next.

  3. Create a new transform file by selecting Create a new MST file, and then click Next.

  4. Specify or Browse to the path of the new transform file to create (for example, C:\Documents and Settings\user1\my documents\ New Custom Setup File.mst), and then click Next. Long file names are allowed, so give the transform file a descriptive name (including the site name and configurations). This provides an easy way to reference the file later.

  5. Specify the installation location (<ProgramFiles>\Microsoft Office) where Office will be installed on client computers and the company name, and then click Next.

  6. Set the feature installation states and verify that the Office 2003 installation meets the needs of the users. The Installed on First Use option on the Set Feature Installation States page helps minimize setup time for the user, and balances the traffic associated with installation. For example, if you set the feature state for Microsoft Access for Windows to Installed on First Use, the traffic associated with Access is deferred until a user on the system runs Access, or until the user runs an Access file. When applications that are set to Installed on First Use are first activated, there is a delay while the installation runs.

  7. Modify the feature installation states to so that the Office 2003 installation that will install Office 2003 with Word and Excel locally and will install the other applications and tools on first use.

  8. Use the SMS Windows Installer Source List Update feature to provide access to the administrative share files (or CD image) when clients are roaming the SMS hierarchy.

  9. Review the summary, and exit the Custom Installation Wizard to save the transform file.

  10. Copy the transform file saved in the previous step from the location you specified in step 4 into the root of the administrative installation source. The administrative installation source was created by running setup /a from the Office 2003 CD.

    important.gif  Important
    All transform files should be included in the root of the administrative share prior to assigning the SMS package to any distribution points. SMS 2003 uses delta replication to prevent repeated replication of files to all designated sites and distribution points.

Create an .ops Customization File by Using the Office OPW

You can further customize an Office installation using the Office Profile Wizard in the Microsoft Office Resource Kit. The Office Profile Wizard takes a snapshot of the registry settings for an existing Office 2003 installation and saving the settings to an .ops file. This file is then saved in the root of the Office source files in the same location as the .mst file.

Create SMS Software Distribution Objects

If you need customized SMS programs that are different from the ones included in the Office 2003 package definition file, you can modify the programs created by the .sms file after you create the package.

With SMS 2003, you can also create SMS packages by importing the appropriate .msi file (such as Pro11.msi). However, this creates programs different from those created with the package definition file.

The Custom program settings within the package definition files refer to the New Custom Setup File.mst to allow installations to be configured by the transform file. If you have created your own custom transform file, you must modify the file name called by the package definition file you are using. There is also an SMS program created by the .sms file named Typical. The Typical program does not use transform files.

To create the software distribution objects, do the following:

  1. Import the package definition file (.sms file), and create the Office 2003 package.

  2. Create the collections.

  3. Assign distribution points to the Office 2003 package.

Import the package definition file, and create the Office 2003 package.

To create a package from a package definition file, you can use the Create Package from Definition Wizard or the Distribute Software Wizard. Both wizards create a package by importing a package definition file, but the Distribute Software Wizard includes the following additional functionality:

  • Enabling and disabling distribution points for the package

  • Creating an advertisement for the package

To create a package using the Package Definition Wizard:

  1. Start the SMS Administrator console and double-click Site Database.

  2. Right-click Packages, point to New, and then click Package From Definition.

  3. On the Create Package from Definition Wizard page, click Next.

  4. The Package Definition page is displayed; however, the Office11.sms file does not appear in the list because it has not been imported into the SMS Administrator console. Click Browse.

  5. Open the folder containing the package definition files included in the Office 2003 Resource Kit, C:\Program Files\ORKTOOLS\ORK11\Lists and Samples\Package Definition Files\ by default, and then click Office11.sms, and then click Open.

  6. Click Microsoft Office 2003 Applications, and then click Next.

  7. On the Source Files page, select the Always obtain files from a source directory check box, and then click Next.

  8. On the Source Directory page, specify the location of your administrative installation point. You must specify a local path on the site server or a network path to the administrative installation.

  9. Click Browse to locate the source location for the Office 2003 administrative installation (C:\Office 2003 in the example), and then click Next.

Verify that the information is correct, and then click Finish to create the package named Microsoft Office 2003 Applications 11.0 English.

Create the collections

A dynamic collection is created in SMS by running a query, which includes systems based on their compliance with the query rules. For example, your query should contain a minimum RAM requirement that you have tested and verified to be successful for your users. If you make the RAM requirement part of the query rules for the collection, only systems with sufficient RAM are targeted for the Office 2003 installation.

Determine which computers in your sites should receive Office 2003. These computers are grouped into an SMS collection. You can use several methods, depending on the business rules your organization has in place. In the example, it is assumed that all clients currently running Office 2000 Public Update 1 are upgraded, and computers running unsupported operating systems excluded. Computers with less than 128 MB of RAM and less than 600 MB of free disk space are also excluded.

Create a dynamic collection that encompasses all systems that you want to receive Office 2003. All computers in this collection require Office 2003 with Word and Excel installed locally, while Access and PowerPoint are installed on first use. When new systems come online or meet these criteria, the Office 2003 package is also assigned to them. This way, the SMS administrator adheres to the company’s corporate policy to have new systems install Office 2003.

The query can be written to create collections based on the criteria in Table  7.

Table  7   Criteria for Collections Queries


Site Name

Operating system

Current Office Version

At least 128 MB RAM

At least a P233 MHz processor

At least 600 MB disk space



Windows Server 2003







Windows XP Professional







Windows 2000 Professional





Assign distribution points to the Office 2003 package

Planning for the distribution points is essential to providing local distribution points for the Office 2003 package. If you need additional servers to access the Office 2003 package, you should use Windows Installer Source List Update feature.

You can assign distribution points and create an advertisement by using one of the following:

  • Manually, using the SMS Administrator console

  • The Distribute Software Wizard. When you are ready to deploy Office 2003 to your clients, you can run the Distribute Software Wizard to create the distribution points and the advertisement targeted at all systems in your organization.

After Office 2003 deployment, you might plan to reduce the number of distribution points. At least one distribution point remains locally at each site so that Office 2003 Windows Installer can automatically repair a corrupt core file by accessing a local distribution point. Also, application installations occurring on first use continue to have access to these distribution points.

note.gif  Note
By design, SMS clients receive only information regarding distribution points in their own site, except when clients roam.

To create an advertisement and assign SMS distribution points using the Distribute Software Wizard

  1. In the SMS Administrator console, navigate to Packages, right-click your package, point to All Tasks, and then click Distribute Software.

  2. On the Distribute Package Wizard page, click Next.

  3. On the Distribution Points page, select the distribution points you want for the Office 2003 distribution, and then click Next.

  4. On the Advertise a Program page, click Yes, and then click Next.

  5. On the Select a Program to Advertise page, click the program that you want to include in this advertisement, and then click Next.

  6. On the Advertisement Target page, select the Advertise the program to an existing collection option, click Browse to select a collection, click OK, and then click Next.

  7. On the Advertisement Name page, type Office11 and then click Next.

  8. On the Advertise to Subcollections page, select the appropriate option, and then click Next.

  9. On the Advertisement Schedule page, select the appropriate schedule, and determine whether you want the advertisement to expire. If you are using the distribution points as resilient sources, select the No. This advertisement never expires check box, and then click Next.

  10. On the Assign Program page, select the appropriate option, and then click Next.

  11. On the Completing the Distribute Software Wizard page, verify the information under Details, and then click Finish to start the distribution.

Following the standard method for advertising to a collection, the SMS administrator decides to create the advertisement shown in Table  8.

Table  8  Advertisement









Office 2003

Custom (quiet)



Weekly, at midnight on Fridays

Office 2003 installs from local distribution points, with local resilient resources. Also, the corporate policy to install Office 2003 on new systems is met.

Check the Progress of the Installation

To check the progress of your installation:

  1. Monitor the installation with SMS status and SMS reporting.

  2. Conduct inventory and reporting of the Office 2003 installations.

Monitoring the installation with SMS status and SMS reporting

After distribution starts, you can use the SMS 2003 status system to monitor the status of your distribution, packages, and advertisements. In SMS 2003, you can get detailed package status and advertisement status. SMS reporting offers numerous reports the status of distributed software and advertisements.

Conducting inventory and reporting of the Office 2003 installations

The SMS administrator uses the Add/Remove Programs information from the hardware inventory system to collect and report on the finalized installation of the Office 2003 installation.

For detailed information about using the reporting features of software inventory, flowcharts, and query support for the software inventory function, read the SMS 2003 Operations Guide available from the Systems Management Server 2003 Product Documentation Web site at