Deploy Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Outlook by using Group Policy
Group Policy provides an infrastructure for centralized configuration management of the operating system and applications, such as Dynamics 365 for Outlook, that run on the operating system. The Group Policy settings you create are contained in a Group Policy Object (GPO). To create and edit a GPO, use the Group Policy Management Console (GPMC). By using the GPMC to link a GPO to selected Active Directory sites, domains, and organizational units (OUs), you apply the policy settings in the GPO to the users and computers in those Active Directory objects. More information: Group Policy Overview
Using Group Policy, you can deploy Dynamics 365 for Outlook. This topic shows you how to perform a Group Policy-based software deployment that publishes Dynamics 365 for Outlook making it available for users to install from Control Panel. When you publish software for users, you give them the opportunity to decide if and when they want to install it.
You must run the Microsoft Dynamics CRM for Outlook Setup program (SetupClient.exe) by using the administrative installation option (/A) to create a Windows Installer package (CRMClient_bitversion.msi) for Group Policy deployment. You cannot use the Windows Installer package (Client.msi) that is included with the Dynamics 365 for Outlook installation files to deploy by using Group Policy. For more information about how to perform an administrative installation, see Install Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Outlook.
To complete this procedure, you must be a member of the Domain Administrators security group, the Enterprise Administrators security group, or the Group Policy Creator Owners security group.
Preparing Dynamics 365 for Outlook for a Group Policy deployment
Use this procedure to create the CRMClient_bitversion.msi file that is required for a Dynamics 365 for Outlook Group Policy deployment.
Create the CRMClient_bitversion.msi file
Before you build the CRMClient_bitversion.msi file, you can edit the Default-Client_Config.xml file that is included with the installation files. This file is used by the Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Outlook Configuration Wizard to establish settings, such as the organization URL, after Dynamics 365 for Outlook is installed on the user’s computer. Although this step is optional, it can simplify Dynamics 365 for Outlook configuration for Dynamics 365 users. More information: Step 2: Configure Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Outlook by using an XML configuration file
Determine the distribution share, and then run Microsoft Dynamics CRM for Outlook Setup to build the administrative installation files.
The CRMClient_bitversion.msi file is used as the package for Group Policy software installation. After you follow this procedure, users can select Dynamics 365 for Outlook in Control Panel for on-demand installation. You can’t use the CRMClient_bitversion.msi file directly to install Dynamics 365 for Outlook.
Create a network share that all Dynamics 365 for Outlook users will have access to. This share will be the distribution location for the GPO.
Run SetupClient.exe at the command prompt by using the /A and /targetdir parameters. The /A parameter specifies an administrative installation, and /targetdir parameter specifies the distribution share that you created in the previous step. For more information about Microsoft Dynamics CRM for Outlook Setup command prompt parameters, see Step 1: Install files.
setupclient.exe /a /q /targetdir \\FileShare\CRMforOutlook
Consider using Microsoft Distributed File System (DFS) to help improve the security and availability of your distribution points. For more information about DFS, see DFS Namespaces and DFS Replication Overview. We recommend that you understand the DFS features before you configure your distribution point servers.
Create the Group Policy Object (GPO) and target the application to Dynamics 365 users. To do this, follow these steps:
On a domain controller in the domain where Dynamics 365 is installed, start Group Policy Management.
In Group Policy Management, expand Forest, Domains right-click the domain, and then click Create a GPO in this domain, and Link it here.
In the New GPO dialog, type a name for the GPO, such as Microsoft Dynamics 365 apps Users, and then click OK.
Creating a GPO at the domain level configures the GPO with domain-wide scope.
In the group policy pane, right-click the GPO that you created in the previous step, and then click Edit.
The Group Policy Management Editor opens.
In Group Policy Management Editor, under User Configuration, expand Policies, and then expand Software Settings.
Right-click Software Installation, point to New, and then click Package.
Type the full path or locate the Dynamics 365 for Outlook Windows Installer package (CRMClient_64.msi or CRMClient_32.msi) that was created by the administrative installation, and then click Open. For more information about how to create an administrative install package for Dynamics 365 for Outlook, see the /A parameter in Install Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Outlook using a Command Prompt.
The Dynamics 365 for Outlook administrative installation folders must be on a network share that can be read-accessed by Dynamics 365 users in the domain.
By default, the package name is Microsoft Dynamics 365 apps <version> for Outlook for both 32-bit and 64-bit packages. Consider renaming the package to Dynamics 365 for Outlook <version> 64-(bit) or Dynamics 365 for Outlook <version> (32-bit). This name appears in Control Panel in the list of programs to install from the network.
In the Deploy Software dialog, select Publish to publish the Dynamics 365 for Outlook application, and then click OK.
By default, Dynamics 365 for Outlook is available in Control Panel for all authenticated users the next time that they log on to the domain. To limit the scope to a specific organizational unit (OU), group, or individual user, in Group Policy Management, expand Group Policy Objects, and click the GPO named Microsoft Dynamics 365 apps Users, and then add or remove the security objects that you want, such as a group, in the Security Filtering area of the publication on the Scope tab.
Publish versus Assign
When you publish an application by using GPO deployment, it is made available for users to install by using Program and Features (or in previous versions of Windows, Add or Remove Programs) in Control Panel. Assigned applications are installed when a user logs on to the domain.
Dynamics 365 for Outlook doesn’t support application assignment through GPO installation. For more information about publishing versus assigning software, see the Group Policy deployment documentation for your operating system.