Use System Center Essentials 2010 (Beta) to Deploy Office 2010 (Beta)

Hello, I'm posting a draft copy of this article in order to receive your feedback before the article is published in the Office 2010 Beta Resource Kit on Microsoft TechNet, located here:

I would greatly appreciate your input. For example, is the information adequate? Do you like the layout? What improvements would you suggest? Thank-you for taking the time to read this article and (hopefully)  provide feedback.

Here are the links to download the Office 2010 Beta and System Center Essentials 2010 Beta:

Here is the article:


In this article:

  • Overview

  • Deploying the 2010 Office system in a test environment

  • Resources for deploying the infrastructure

This article provides detailed technical guidance on the processes and procedures when using System Center Essentials 2010 to deploy the 2010 Microsoft Office system in a medium sized organization.


Microsoft System Center Essentials 2010 is an IT management solution designed for system administrators in medium-sized organizations with up to 50 servers and 500 clients. Using a unified console, IT system administrators can easily secure, update, monitor, and track their entire IT environment. This article provides detailed technical guidance for specifically deploying the 2010 Office system.

Although this article illustrates the test network environment used for helping to describe the process of deploying the 2010 Office system by using Essentials 2010, it does not provide information about how to set up the test network infrastructure, such as the Active Directory directory service, Microsoft SQL Server, and Essentials 2010. However, it does provide links for setting up a similar network infrastructure. This information is located in the last section of this article, Resources for deploying the infrastructure.


The target audience for this article is IT professionals. These IT professionals could include network managers, consultants, and IT managers who work for or with medium organizations.


Prior knowledge and experience will help users understand and apply the information in this article, particularly experience in the following areas:

  • System Center Essentials 2007 or System Center Essentials 2010

  • Office Customization Tool (OCT)

  • 2007 Office system or Microsoft Office 2003

Deploying the 2010 Office system in a test environment

This section provides a description of the test network environment for the Essentials 2010 infrastructure. It also includes procedural information of the steps for deploying Microsoft Office Professional 2010 by using Essentials 2010.

Network environment

The test network environment for this article is described as follows:

All of the servers (A and B) are running Windows Server 2008 R2 and are members of the same domain (CPANDL.COM), including the client computers (C), which are running Windows 7 Professional. The applications and roles that each server is running, and the fully qualified domain name (FQDN) for each client computer, are listed as follows:

  • A -  Active Directory, DNS, DHCP <DC.CPANDL.COM>

  • B -  System Center Essentials 2010, SQL Server 2008 Enterprise Edition (SP1) <SCE.CPANDL.COM>

  • C –  Windows 7 Professional, System Center Essentials 2010 client <W7C01.CPANDL.COM, W7C02.CPANDL.COM, and W7C03.CPANDL.COM>

Procedural steps for deploying the 2010 Office system by using Essentials 2010

In this example deployment scenario, detailed information is provided for deploying Office Professional 2010 in the previously defined Essentials 2010 test environment. By following these steps, you can use Essentials 2010 to deploy a silent installation of the 2010 Office system, where the users do not interact with the installation process. In this example, the first step is to create a customization file for the silent installation of the 2007 Office system.

Create a Setup customization file for the 2010 Office system

The application file to create a setup customization file for the 2010 Office system is run from the source directory containing a copy of all the files from your Office CD. In this example the source files were copied to \SCEOffice2010Professional.

In Office 2010 (as in the 2007 Microsoft Office system), Setup controls the complete installation. This includes processes that Windows Installer handled in Office versions earlier than the 2007 Office system. Customizing the default behavior of Setup allows you to control the process. In this example, you customize the installation for a silent installation of Office 2010.

The Office Customization Tool (OCT) is used to create a Setup customization file (MSP file). Setup applies this file when Office is installed on the computers.

It is also possible to use the Config.xml file to configure a silent installation of Office 2010. For more information about how to use Config.xml, see Configure a silent installation of Office 2010 by using Config.xml (



  1. To customize Office Setup, use the command line setup.exe /admin to start the Office Customization Tool. In this example (using Essentials 2010 to deploy Office 2010), at a command prompt, run setup.exe /admin from the package source directory, \SCEOffice2010Professional.

  2. To ensure that Office 2010 is silently installed, modify and configure the settings as follows:

    1. On the Licensing and user interface dialog box, set the Display Level to None, which will then enable the Suppress modal check box.

    2. Verify that the Completion notice and No Cancel options are not selected.

    3. In this example, select the Enter another product key option located under Licensing and user interface and then enter a valid Multiple Activation Key (MAK) key.

    4. Select the I accept the terms in the License Agreement check box.

  3. Save and name the newly created MSP file, and place it in the Updates folder for Office 2010 on the computer that contains the source files, which in this example is \SCEOffice2010ProfessionalUpdatesCustomFileOffice2010SilentInstall.MSP.

During the initial installation of Office 2010 if there are multiple MSP files, the Setup customization file created by using the Office Customization Tool (OCT), located in the Updates folder then you need to ensure that the Setup customization file is the update applied at the beginning of the installation. This is done by ensuring the desired MSP file is alphabetically first. In this example, if there were more than one MSP file then you would rename the file CustomFileOffice2010SilentInstall.MSP to 1_CustomFileOffice2010SilentInstall.MSP.



The next step, using Essentials 2010, is to create a computer group containing the computers on which Office 2010 will be installed.

Create a Computer Group

To create a new computer group containing individually selected computers

  1. In the System Center Essentials console, click Computers.

  2. In the Computer Groups pane, click Create a Computer Group.

  3. Select Select from a list in the Criteria drop-down box and then choose the computers on which Office 2010 will be installed. In this example the following computers were selected: W7C01.CPANDL.COM, W7C02.CPANDL.COM, and W7C03.CPANDL.COM

  4. In the Computer group name dialog box, enter a name for the new computer group and then press the enter key. In this example the name is Office 2010.

The next step is to create a new software deployment package of Office 2010 and then select the previously created group, Office 2010, for the computers on which Office 2010 will be installed.

Create and distribute a package for the 2010 Office system

To create a software package

  1. In the Essentials 2010 console, click Software. In the Software Packages pane, in the Tasks area, click Create new package to start the New Software Package Wizard.

  2. On the Setup File screen select Deploy a package from a setup file requiring additional folders. In the Folder location: dialogue box click Browse… and select the directory containing the Office 2010 source files, which in this example is C:Office2010Professional.

  3. In the Package setup file: dialogue box click Browse… and select the setup.exe file for Office 2010, which in this example is located in the C:Office2010Professional folder. Then click Next.

  4. On the Package details screen in the Package name: dialogue box enter a name for the package, which in this example is Office2010Pro. Then in the Package Description: dialogue box enter a descriptive name for the software package, which in this example is Office-2010-Professional-SCE-Package. Then click Next.

  5. On the Target System Types screen verify the default of No, this package is applicable to all my managed computers. is selected and then click Next.

  6. On the Return Codes screen accept the default return code of 0 (zero) to equal success and then click Next.

  7. On the Install / Uninstall Parameters screen select No and then click Next.

  8. On the Summary screen review the configured settings and then click Finish.

    The progress bar for the software package creation will then appear.

  9. Once the package has been created successfully click Finish. The Add and Remove Approvals dialogue box will appear on which a list of the available computer groups will show. Click the computer group of the computers on which Office 2010 will be installed, which in this example is Office 2010. Then click OK.

  10. The Approval Progress dialogue box with the message, “Approvals have been successfully applied” should then appear. Then click Close.

Verify package deployment status

The approved package will then be deployed to the computers within the selected computer group based on the configured settings for the package and how Automatic Updates is configured on the managed computers. In this example, because there was not a specific deadline set for the software package, the package was not configured as optional, and Automatic Updates is enabled on the managed computers the software package for Office 2010 installation began at the specified time for Automatic Updates to be installed, which defaults to a daily basis at 3:00am. For more information see About Software Deployment in System Center Essentials (

In the Software Packages pane select the software package, which in this example is Office2010Pro, to monitor the status. Upon completion of installing Office 2010 the status will be listed as Successful.

Resources for deploying the infrastructure

This section includes resources to help you understand and configure an infrastructure to test the deployment of the 2010 Office system by using Essentials 2010.

System Center Essentials 2010

Active Directory, DNS, DHCP

SQL Server 2008

Windows 7

Windows 7 Resources on Microsoft TechNet (