Hi
I have just started browsing the install notes for Office 2007...Where on earth did Microsoft get the idea that creating a .msp file rather than .mst for customizations was a good one!!!!

Anyways rant over, I was just enquiring about how anyone deploying solely via group policy coped with this?

Did you use the Config.xml method or did you create a script to apply the .msp post deployment. Or some other method

Regards
Jimmy
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My reading of the appallingly bad MS documentation on deploying Office 2007 with GP was that you have no customisation options. In order to use CONFIG.XML (to pass the Product Key, for example) you have to use Setup.EXE and, to put the tin hat on it, patches are ignored by GP.

I'm happy to be corrected, of course.

In the end, we gave up and used SCCM.
Answered 06/06/2009 by: VBScab
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Hi folks,
by now, there seem to be a lot of myths about O2k7 installs.
And MS did its great share of work, to build this situation.

In my view, there a two aspects of this:
Technically, the use of MSP-files makes sense. Why?
It's an existing feature and has been available since the introduction of WI.
And most important: It's a lot more flexible than transforms, because it can contain multiples transforms and CAB's.
That's most likeley the reason, why they switched to MSP's.

The other side is the communication of this change. MS did this in a hidden manner, not even IT-pros where informed about the reasons. That the office team, as inventor of WI, "missuses" the patching function, would have proved for a very good explanation, IMHO.

The possibilities of a GPO install for O2k7 are documented here:
http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/cc179214.aspx

But be aware: The mayor downside are difficulties with scheduling installation and providing feedback on the status of the installation!

In short: You can only use a "config.xml" file, but not an MSP form the OCT to customize the installation.

However, there is an other possibility: You can apply a ShellMUI.mst to your GPO-SW-install and (ab)use it for the settings.
Most of the the custom settings from the OCT patch, are applied to the EnterpriseWW.msi by transforms inside the patch. And most of them are just registry settings.
One can move them to a own transform and apply it with the GPO install.
This could be done like this: Open EnterpriseWW.msi read only two times in ORCA. On one side you view the patch from OCT, go to the registry table, select and Shift-Copy the green marked rows. On the other, you open ShellMUI.mst from the Office.xx-XX folder, go to the registry table too and Shift-Paste them in. Of course you have to associate this settings with its components and its feature. So do the same procedure for the rows in the Feature, Component and FeatureComponents tables too.
Some work by hand, but you can choose the settings with OCT, which is a live saver for this huge amount of settings.

But there is a far better aproach for most scenarios: Use Group Policy settings to configure this stuff! Especially, if you already have set up a GPO to install it!

Hope, this gives some ideas here and there.

Regards, Nick
Answered 06/07/2009 by: nheim
Tenth Degree Black Belt

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The possibilities of a GPO install for O2k7 are documented here:
http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/cc179214.aspx
I'm not having at go at you, Nick, but now...see...when MS is this disingenuous, they simply enforce the negative vibe that so many people have about the company. All that tosh about Office 2007 and GP applies to practically ANY application, not just Office.

Also, I don't see anything there detailing the hoops you describe, Nick. For 99.99% of apps, you create an MST, apply or assign the MSI, add the transform and move on to the next app. Now, I have to do all this NONSENSE?!? It woudn't be so bad if there had been some communication to the community about the change, reasons for it, pros/cons, but no. The dog's breakfast is served and you'd best be damn grateful.

Don't get me started on Adobe's rat's breakfast...
Answered 06/07/2009 by: VBScab
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Hi Ian,
agree with you, of course.
But it helps nothing to worry to much about it. Just trying to get the things together, so they work.
For O2k and GPO, the MSP thing isn't the biggest issue.
The unreliable scheduling is a far greater problem. Basically, you have to make sure, that no other installation gets in the way and all the clients are up and running for an hour. If the install gets interrupted, it does not finish the process at all!
Hope they hear the complains and do a better job next time.
Regards, Nick
Answered 06/07/2009 by: nheim
Tenth Degree Black Belt

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In discussions with Microsoft around this issue, it was mentioned that it is not designed to run from Active Directory, and is more geared for deployment from SMS\SCCM\Altiris etc (in which case the MSP thing works as it is supposed to). But still short sighted, and incredibly annoying. And doesn't uninstall natively with GPO either.
Answered 06/07/2009 by: DeployTech
Orange Senior Belt

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Many Thanks for your replies guys.

Sounds like i'm going to have fun with the AD route!

Nick, you mention group policy settings for cinfiguration, I'm guessing that there are adm files out there that covers most of the settings that can be found in the OCT?

Jimmy
Answered 06/08/2009 by: jimmyx
Purple Belt

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The unreliable scheduling is a far greater problem. Basically, you have to make sure, that no other installation gets in the way and all the clients are up and running for an hour. If the install gets interrupted, it does not finish the process at all!Disingenuous again.

- Clients in the sort of environment where GP is used for deployment are well used to apps taking a long time to install, especially something as major as Office. Hell, they sit through their Bloomberg "updates" once a month!

- GP deploys one app at a time. What other app installations could possibly "get in the way"?
Answered 06/08/2009 by: VBScab
Red Belt

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