I'm certain this has been answered here -- but I am at a total loss. I cannot believe how unavailable this information generally is and how many different options there seem to be -- so, hence the endless confusion.

My situation is really quite simple:

I want to deploy Office 2003 out to my users via an automated script.

Deploying isn't the problem. The problem is *how* do I package it ? I have the Product Key, where do I put this so that it's applied during each install ? I've downloaded AdminStudio 6 and have created a TRANSFORM -- however, I don't have a fucking clue what it really is and why I really need it since the SETUP.EXE that comes with Office is really just the MSI installer.

I have searched high and low on Google and MS -- this should be well documented and very easy to find -- very frustrating indeed. I don't want to spend hours reading White Papers and Best Practices -- I just want to know how to do it. Where does the SETUP.INI file come in ? How can I tell it what to and what not to install ? How can I tell it to install shortcuts into the Quick Launch area ? and so on ...

Please help. Thanks. Jason
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Community Chosen Answer

Hi Jason

First, try to start with the Office 2003 Resource Kit. Do you know that? It has a very useful tool called Custom Installation Wizard in it. Download the ORK from here:

With this tool you can create your own transform (.mst) file to customize your Office installation (like adding your licence key, telling what to install and where and so on).
After that you can install the original Office .msi together with your .mst.
That's it.

Hope, that is of any help.

Answered 09/20/2005 by: rpfenninger
Second Degree Green Belt

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Thanks Roland -- I'll download and play with that now.
Answered 09/20/2005 by: jscnet
Yellow Belt

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Hi Jason

How do you plan to deploy Office?

If you use Microsoft AD you could deploy it using Group Policy.
You should also download the GPO for MS Office which is very usefull for configure office on the clients.

To make an install you should install it on a fileserver using the setup.exe /a ( -switch for making an administration point )

Answered 09/21/2005 by: andler
Orange Belt

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Thanks Andler --

What's the benefit of making an "Administration Point" ?

Currently the installer is on my server and the client machine(s) has a drive letter mapped to the share where the installer resides -- and this seems to work.

However, with this method UNC paths aren't supported -- are they supported with an "Administration Point" ?

Answered 09/21/2005 by: jscnet
Yellow Belt

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Good to have you here. Hopefully you will find the answers you need, and find AppDeploy as valuable as I do.

Admin Installs extract and flatten out .msi file structures, which is often needed for various types of push installs. Admin installs also "cache" differently on the target machine; some detailed information on this can be found in this thread:


Office 2003 also has a new feature that you can leverage through the Custom Installation Wizard - you can direct your transform (.mst) file it creates to cache the entire installation locally, which is very advantageous when a detect and repair needs to be done and the machine does not have connectivity to the original install point (like a user who is on the road with a laptop). This option appears on page 8 of the Custom Installation Wizard.

As far as Microsoft information on deploying Office 2K3, you might find this useful:


Some Windows Installer packages are single, compressed .msi's. In that case it can be useful to create and admin install point if you need to work with the .msi's files directly.

As far as UNC's, most Windows Installer support them. Do your best, however, to avoid spaces in the paths you create. There are exceptions to UNC support, though. Native pcAnywhere .msi's do not support them.

Craig --<>.
Answered 09/21/2005 by: craig16229
Third Degree Brown Belt

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