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Software Deployment Question


Office 365 Offline Install

04/06/2020 568 views

Hello,

I have recently setup the offline installer for Office 365 Pro Plus and I am about to test it. However I am a little bit unsure how the updates are going to work? I know about the feature updates on the semi annual channel being every 6 months but is this how you get updates as well? Or do they come through Windows Update as normal? 

The config file I have created I have told updates to come from the network share which I am presuming will be feature updates on the semi annual cycle? So security updates I presume will be distributed via normal channels? 

As we use KACE for our patch deployment so I am assuming this would push out security updates and the offline installer would dish out feature updates?

Thanks

James

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Community Chosen Answer

2

Hi James, KACE SMA has support for Office 365 updates. You can use KACE SMA Patching to detect and deploy Office 365 updates for Monthly and Semi-Annual Channels. These updates include both security and feature updates.

Thanks,

Mehul Patel

Answered 04/06/2020 by: mehulpatel2012
Senior White Belt

  • Hi Mehul,

    I have a K1000 subscribed to receive Office 365 updates and I see them being downloaded to the appliance ("Office C2R"). But I noticed they are very small, like 1MB or smaller in size. They appear to be bootstrap files that still need to go out to Microsoft in order to apply the actual patch. Do you know if this is the case?

    This is important in my environment because our firewall has certain Microsoft sites blocked and I believe this is preventing our machines from being updated. We haven't had issues patching everything else (Windows Updates, patches for other apps like Adobe/Mozilla/Chrome/etc.) because the full binaries for them are being copied from our appliance, but the Office C2R patches don't seem to be applying successfully.

All Answers

0

James, I'm in the same situation as yourself. I made the xml config files and ran the deployment tool with "setup.exe /download", which then saves the binaries locally (about 2GB of files) which I then put on a network share. "setup.exe /configure" does the actual installation while pulling from that share.

I have the same question as you regarding updates. Our K1000 is subscribed to Office 365 updates and I see those patches being downloaded, but they are very small (1MB or smaller) and appear to be bootstrap files that still need to go out to Microsoft to apply each patch. This is problematic in my environment because our firewall blocks certain Microsoft sites -- we don't want our machines being able to patch directly from Microsoft, we want the K1000 to be our sole patching mechanism. And if the Office 365 patches on the appliance still need access to Microsoft in order to apply updates, they will fail.

FYI, as you may know if you "setup.exe /download" it'll always grab the latest version of the binaries. Not helpful for updating deployed machines obviously, but might be a factor in your deployment plans.


-Phil

Answered 04/09/2020 by: j1701
White Belt

  • This depends on the configuration of office 365 on client computers. There are two options for where the updates can be installed from, which is defined using UpdatePath attribute in config.xml. This is done by administrator when Office 365 is initially installed. If defaults to the Microsoft CDN, if not specified.
    On the client computer, check the following registry key, which will help determine if the client is configured to receive updates directly from Microsoft or shared folder in your network. Check strings UpdateChannel or UpdateURL at HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Office\ClickToRun\Configuration

    Using SMA, administrators can install any version (not latest). What you see SMA downloading (1MB or smaller file) is just a bootstrap file. The bootstrap files don’t go out to Microsoft site by default. It depends on the client configuration
    1) Client computers configured to receive updates from Office Content Delivery Network (CDN) requires internet connection and access to Microsoft CDN site (e.g. officecdn.microsoft.com)
    2) Client computers configured to receive updates from a shared folder on your network. For this configuration, updates must be downloaded on the network share prior to deployment of updates.
    The bootstrap file will install the specific version mentioned in the Patch in SMA, as long as the patch payload is downloaded to shared folder on your network or directly from Microsoft CDN site, depending on configuration mentioned above.

    Here are couple of articles from Microsoft that will help with Office 365 deployment and configuration.
    https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/DeployOffice/overview-of-the-office-2016-deployment-tool
    https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/DeployOffice/configuration-options-for-the-office-2016-deployment-tool

    Hope this helps. If not, do not hesitate to ask more questions or reach out to KACE Tech Support and we will do our best to resolve it.
    • Thank you Mehul. I just did more reading on how managed updates are supposed to work with Office 365. If I understand correctly, I need to:

      1) Deploy our clients with an UpdatePath in the xml pointing to a local share

      2) Use the Office deployment tool to download new versions into that share, as Microsoft releases new versions

      3) Let KACE initiate the patching process, which will look for the payload on the share

      If I initially installed my clients with (for example) version 1911, since then there have been versions 2002, 2003, etc. I assume that if I always run the deployment tool with "setup.exe /download" as each version becomes available, keeping all the data files in the same share, KACE will be able to pull the appropriate update?

      E.g., if versions 2002 and 2003 are both downloaded to \\Server\OfficeUpdates and my KACE labels are set to update only to 2002, that it will use that version as intended and ignore 2003?
      • That’s correct. SMA will only install the specific version mentioned in the Patch and ignore any other payload present on the file share.
      • OK just so that I understand fully.

        If I were to configure a scheduled task on our server where the Office Installs are located to run a setup.exe /download each month it will pull down any feature updates (version updates) AND security updates? So if there are no feature updates just security updates will be downloaded?

        Then what will happen is KACE will detect there are patches missing and when told to deploy will tell the client to get the updates from the local file share?

        Thanks
      • That’s correct @Morpheus83uk. By default, setup.exe /download will download the latest build, which maybe just a security update or feature update. In our experience feature updates are released on Patch Tuesday (2nd Tuesday of the month), which also includes security updates.
        https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/OfficeUpdates/update-history-office365-proplus-by-date
    • Thank you sir.
      • You are welcome! Also, along with UpdatePath in config xml, you may want to consider other useful options such as “Updates Enabled” (TRUE/FALSE), which will enable or disable auto updates. This gives admin better control over when the clients are updated (via SMA) vs. automatic updates.
  • This information was really helpful! I am having an issue where it needs to patch multiple updates and is only installing the version ahead of the previous one. I do a run now on the schedule the next update installs then hangs. I have to reboot the PC and do a runnow again for the next one to install. Any ideas. I have the updatechannel configured to http://officecdn.microsoft.com/pr/492350f6-3a01-4f97-b9c0-c7c6ddf67d60.
 
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