Learn to Use App-V to Deploy Office 2013

IT administrators, with the release of App-V 5.0 SP2, now have the ability to virtualize the volume license edition of Office 2013. This is new, as previously you could only virtualize the Office 365 version of Office 2013. The article can be used to deploy both, though I will focus primarily on the volume license version. I will cover the 365 version when I get to the download phase.

In order to complete this article, you will need the Microsoft Desktop Optimization Pack (MDOP) 2013 R2 for Software Assurance. The installers for App-V are contained with this package. App-V can be set up in two ways – with SCCM or as a standalone service. This article will focus on SCCM integration. See the Microsoft TechNet documentation for how to deploy App-V as a standalone service.

Deploy the App-V Client

The first thing we must we do is deploy the App-V client. To do this, simply copy the App-V client installer from the MDOP media to you SCCM content location. I recommend creating an application (instead of a package) for this deployment. When it comes time to create your deployment type, use this as the command to install the client:

“appv_client_setup.exe” /quiet /norestart /ACCEPTEULA /ENABLEPACKAGESCRIPTS=1

I recommend using the standard EXE to install the App-V client. This will take care of any prerequisites that may be missing, except for Windows Management Framework 3.0, and pick the correct architecture for the client. The first three parameters in this command are pretty self-explanatory. The last one is needed because the Office 2013 package has scripts that run inside of it. Package scripts must be enabled for the App-V package to deploy and function correctly.

WMF 3.0 needs to be installed separately, due to a required reboot. To create your package for this, download the 32-bit and 64-bit version of WMF 3.0 here: https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/details.aspx?id=34595. Be careful that you download the correct files – Windows 6.0 is Vista, Windows 6.1 is Windows 7. Create another application, and use this command line in your deployment types, replacing “x86” with “x64” for the 64-bit deployment type. Be sure to set the correct architecture in the “Requirements” tab.

c:\windows\System32\wusa.exe “Windows6.1-KB2506143-x86.msu” /quiet /norestart

I recommend using a custom script as your Detection Method. This one, written in VB, should do the trick:

Option Explicit
Dim objWMIService, strComputer
strComputer = “.”
Set objWMIService = GetObject(“winmgmts:” _
& “{impersonationLevel=impersonate}!\\” _
& strComputer & “\root\cimv2”)
Dim QFEs
Dim QFE
Set QFEs = objWMIService.ExecQuery (“Select * from win32_QuickFixEngineering where HotFixID like ‘KB2506143′”)
For Each QFE in QFEs
Wscript.echo “Update KB2506143 was installed by ” & QFE.InstalledBy & ” on ” & QFE.InstalledOn
Next
WScript.Quit

Now, in your App-V application, add the WMF 3.0 deployment as a dependency.

For the App-V client install detection method, add {D5783B51-00A6-4991-B6C3-88B35BA45E94} and {8556995F-384F-4E13-90C8-C423BE9C7478} as Windows Installer product codes (be sure to change the connector to “Or”).

1

Create App-V Package

The first thing we need is the Office Deployment Tool for Click-to-Run, which can be downloaded here: https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/details.aspx?id=36778. Extract the files to a location on your computer. You should have setup.exe and configuration.xml. The next thing we need to do is modify the xml file. Change the “Add SourcePath” parameter to a location on your network, preferably your SCCM content share and the OfficeClientEdition parameter to “32” or “64”, depending on your architecture. Next, change the “Product ID” parameter based on your requirements. For volume license, change it to “ProPlusVolume”. Uncomment the lower properties based on your requirements.

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Now we need to download the click-to-run package. To do that, open a command prompt and navigate to your extract directory. Run this command:

setup.exe /DOWNLOAD <full path to configuration.xml>

This will download the click-to-run package to the directory specified in the configuration.xml file. Once the files are downloaded, we can build the App-V package. To do that, you can use the same configuration.xml file and run this command:

setup.exe /PACKAGER <full path to configuration file> <full path to package output directory>

This will save the App-V package to the output directory.

App-V Package Modifications

I recommend making a few modifications to the App-V package. To do this, you will need the App-V Sequencer, which is found on the MDOP media. The changes that I recommend making are centered on the first-run wizard and video that launches when you first launch Office 2013. I did not want these things presented in my environment, so I pre-populated the registry keys inside my App-V package. In a normal, non-virtualized, deployment, you can simply remove these things using the Office Customization Tool.

We need to add seven registry keys. To get started, launch the App-V Sequencer. Select “Modify an Existing Virtual Application Package”. On the next screen, select “Edit Package”. Navigate to your output directory and select the .appv file.

When the package opens, go to the “Virtual Registry” tab. Expand to USERS\.DEFAULT\Software\Microsoft\Office\15.0. Add these keys and values:

3
4

Key name is “PTWatson”

5
6

These keys will take care of the first-run video and sign-ins, and also the re-registration that takes place between when Office 2010 and 2013 are installed on the same machine. After the registry keys are in, save the package changes.

SCCM Deployment

To import the App-V application, create a new application in SCCM and select “Microsoft Application Virtualization 5” from the first page of the application wizard. Follow the rest of the wizard as you would any other SCCM application.

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You could, if you wanted, add the App-V client as a dependency of your App-V package. This will ensure that any device that tries to install your App-V version of Office will have the App-V client first.

The rest is just like any other SCCM software deployment. You can make the App-V Office application required or optional for deployment.

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