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Installing and using Microsoft Office Products with VMware App Volumes 2.x (2146035)

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Purpose

This article provides instructions and best practices on how to install and use Microsoft Office Products with VMware App Volumes.

Resolution

Office 32-Bit Compared to 64-Bit Versions

  • You should use 32-bit versions of Microsoft Office unless your users have a particular interest in editing large Excel or Project files, in which case you can use 64-bit versions.
  • Mixing 32-bit and 64-bit Office installations on the same machine is not supported.
Installation media
 
Retail and OEM versions of Office cannot be used for view desktops, if ISO files have already been downloaded for you, verify them for use with App Volumes before proceeding with deployment or AppStack provisioning.

Verify the following before you proceed:
  • You must have a folder named Admin on your ISO. If there is no such folder, this is not a suitable ISO.
  • Check that the name of the folder that has a .WW extension such as, ProPlus.WW, Visio.WW, PrjPro.WW, and Standard.WW. If there is a lowercase r before the dot, which means retail (ProPlusr.WW, Visior.WW), then this is not a suitable ISO.

Office 2010

Only supported with MSI based install with App Volumes 2.10 or newer.

Office 2013

Office 365 (2013) only supported with App Volumes 2.10 or newer.

Office 2016

Office 365 (2016) only supported with App Volumes 2.12 or newer.

Note: For machines running on  Windows 10 OS, build 1607 with updates up to February 2017 is supported.

Installing Different Office Versions

This information and rules are recommendations from Microsoft and are taken out of the KB articles mentioned in the sources section of this KB.

The two things that determine whether Office, Visio, and Project can be installed together on the same computer are:
  1. The version: 2013 or 2016
  2. The installation technology: Click-to-Run or Windows Installer (MSI)

Rules:

  • You can install and use more than one version of Office on a single computer.
    For example: You can install and use both Office 2013 and Office 2010 on the same computer. However, it is not recommended.
  • Installation order: You must install the earliest version of Office first. You can’t install two products together that have the same version but use different installation technologies. Office installed using Click-to-Run and Window Installer on same computer isn't supported
  • You cannot install two products together that use different versions of the Click-to-Run installation technology.
  • Office 2016 (whether part of an Office 365 subscription or purchased as a suite of applications such as Office Professional 2016), cannot coexist on the same computer as standalone Office 2013 applications.
  • Outlook 2013 cannot coexist with any earlier version of Outlook. When you install Outlook 2013, the Setup program removes any earlier versions of Outlook that are installed. The Setup program removes these versions of Outlook even if you select the Keep these programs check box in the Removing Previous Versions dialog box.
  • File Type Associations: The last application installed controls the file associations. So with Office 2013 being installed last, Office 2013 applications will open an Office file by double-clicking it. 

Mixing OS versions

The OS version used to provision Office must be the same as the version delivered. This includes Server version for RDSH deployments as well.

Precedence

Use application precedence if you are using multiple Office AppStacks. If an ancillary Office application (Project, Visio, OneNote, etc) are together either in the same or in separate AppStacks from the base Office AppStack, they must be virtualized after you have completed virtualizing Office. Use the Application Precedence feature available under the User Assignments. (note this is not available for a Group assignment)

Writable Volume

When Writable Volumes are in use, ensure that no Office components are installed in a Writable Volume. This can happen with an Office repair action. If Office components are installed in a Writable Volume, there are high chances of Office Reconfigure and Activation failures.
 
Activation

VMware App Volumes supports Key Management Service (KMS) based licensing for Office Products. As a result, only non-retail ISO media that is available from the Microsoft Volume Licensing Service Center (VLSC) must be used. 

The KMS server location can be configured during the provisioning(by running OSPP.VBS with appropriate options) , or the default KMS discovery process will be used along with the default Generic Volume License Keys (GVLKs) typically embedded in non-retail ISO media.

  • If you want to deliver a standalone Office application using App Volumes to a virtual machine that has a full Office Suite installed in the base Operating System (OS) image, the standalone Office application AppStack must be created on a system that includes that Office suite in the OSbase.

    For example:

    To deploy Visio Professional 2013 to virtual machines that contain Office Professional 2013 in the OS base, capture Visio Professional 2013 on a machine that already has Office Professional 2013 installed.

  • The virtual machine used to provision Office cannot include the VMware View Agent. The presence of the View Agent interferes with the ability to capture license information. A desktop pool in View is created from a snapshot of the virtual machine. Revert to this snapshot, uninstall the View Agent and create a new snapshot to use to create the Office AppStack. The snapshot containing the View Agent is used to create the desktop pool. Assign the Office AppStack to users of this desktop pool.

    Note:

    • Use Windows 2008 R2 based RDSH for best functionality results.
    • To ensure search works with Outlook across different virtual machines, disable the Windows Search service. Email search will still work with the service disabled.

      For more information on provisioning machine, see the Best Practices for Provisioning Virtual Machines and Application section in the VMware App Volumes 2.12 User Guide.

Provisioning an Office Appstack

  • Provision all appropriate office applications into a fresh Appstack
  • Use default installation location for all components.
  • Do not open any Microsoft Office applications during the provisioning process

Activation tips

  • KMS activation is the only supported method when not using Office 365 with App Volumes.
  • Install the KMS key only on a KMS server, and do so before you implement App Volumes.
  • Do not enter the KMS key during or after App Volumes installation or when you provision the AppStack.
  • Be aware, that Shared Computer Activation is required when App Volumes delivers Office 365. This functionality is only available with Office 365 subscription plans that include Office 365 ProPlus.(Office 2013 and Office 2016 are available in Office 365, Release prior to App Volumes 2.12 will only support Office 2013. App Volumes 2.12 and above are required to support Office 2016)
Office 2016 specific steps for activation

You must first set up the installer correctly before you can provision, create, and assign the AppStacks containing the Office applications. F ollow the instructions below if you are using a KMS installer in your organization:

Prepare the installer

The KMS installer is embedded with the information required to activate the Office 2016 applications. You might need to edit the information in the installer depending on the configuration set up of your organization.
  1. Locate and open the proplus.ww folder in the KMS installer.
  2. Open the config.xml file in the proplus.ww folder.
  3. Edit the SettingId to point to the KMS Server of the deployment organization:
For Example:

<Configuration Product="ProPlus">
<Display Level="full" CompletionNotice="yes" SuppressModal="no" AcceptEula="no" />
<Setting Id="KMSSERVICENAME" Value="<server-name.org>.com"/>
<Setting Id="AUTO_ACTIVATE" Value="1" />
<!--[if !supportLists]-->4.       
<!--[endif]-->

Provisioning

Prerequisites:
  1. Ensure that the following redistributables are present on the base image before you start the provisioning process . They will also get provisioned into the AppStack along with the Office application: applications. 
    • vc_redist_2015.x64.exe for Win10 
    • vcredist_2013_x64.exe for Win7
  2. Run the Office installer file, setup.exe.
  3. Choose Custom install, and choose to run all applications on the provisioning machine
  4. Follow on-screen instructions and complete the Office installation.
  5. Launch the Office application to ensure that it is activated and installed.

Create an AppStack

Create an AppStack using the App Volumes Manager (if you have not done so already) and install the Office applications in it. See the VMware App Volumes User Guide for instructions to create an AppStack and install applications into it.

Assign the AppStack 

Prerequisites:

Ensure that the assignment machine is identical to the provisioning machine with respect to OS and software updates.

  1. Assign the Office AppStack that you provisioned to a user or group.  See the VMware App Volumes User Guide
  2. Log in as administrator to the machine to which you assigned the AppStack.
  3. Validate that the AppStack is attached and the applications are visible.

Note: When an Office application is launched for the first time on the assigned machine, the application performs certain configurations. Wait for the configuration process to complete successfully.

Request a Product Feature

To request a new product feature or to provide feedback on a VMware product, please visit the Request a Product Feature page.

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