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Isn’t it wonderful when Microsoft listens to us? For nearly a year, Microsoft has tried to push enterprises into using Office 365 ProPlus to cover your virtualization needs. Good news, though! Microsoft announced official App-V support for Office 2013 Professional Plus and Standard. In this guide, we will build our Office 2013 App-V packages. But first, there are a few caveats to this installation that we need to cover.
What is supported? What has changed?
Microsoft supports every Office 2013 activation type. This includes KMS, MAK, and Active Directory-based Activation. This support allows administrators to manage Office activations in the best way for their environment. Virtualizing Office 2013 is even supported when used with Remote Desktop Services.
Creating the App-V packages is a bit different, though certainly not difficult. Office 2013 uses Click-to-Run packaging during the installation. This installation type is mechanically very similar to App-V 5.0 yet doesn’t require any of the App-V infrastructure.
In order for you to use the Office 2013 packages in your App-V 5.0 SP2 environment, you must first start with the Click-to-Run packages and convert them into the manageable App-V package. We won’t be sequencing Office 2013 in the traditional way.
Guide to your Office 2013 App-V package
As mentioned above, the Office 2013 App-V volume license packages are created with the Office Deployment Tool for Click-to-Run. The updated tool can be downloaded here. This tool will require an Internet connection for package downloading. Launch the setup and extract the contents to a dedicated folder (for example, C:\Users\Public\Office2013).
Office 2013 Click-to-Run Administrator tool
Once installed, navigate to the extracted contents and edit configuration.xml in Notepad. The original configuration.xml is built for Office 365 and looks like this:
The unaltered Click-to-Run Office 365 configuration file
To prevent confusion and accidental syntax errors, erase all of the content between <Configuration> and </Configuration>. Now paste the following between the two configuration markers:
<Add OfficeClientEdition="32" <Product ID="ProPlusVolume"> <Language ID="en-us" /> </Product> </Add>
Be sure to change any of the switches above to match your environment. Pay particular attention to the Product ID line. Some possible product IDs include: ProPlusVolume, StandardVolume, ProjectProVolume, and VisioProVolume.
While this basic configuration file will work, you might need to further customize it. This Click-to-Run configuration reference outlines more advanced changes. Make sure that any values you change have quotation marks on both ends.
Once your configuration file is settled, launch an administrative command prompt within the setup.exe folder. You will need to direct setup.exe to download the Office packages. To do this, type setup.exe /download .\configuration.xml. This download will take a while…
Downloading the Click-to-Run Office packages
Now that we have our Office packages, we need to convert them to the App-V package format. This is done with our same setup.exe Click-to-Run tool. To convert, type
Setup.exe /PACKAGER .\Configuration.xml C:\Users\Public\Office2013\Packages\.
This step will take around five minutes and will launch the brightly colored prompt that you see below:
Convert them to the App-V package format
This process will place the App-V packages in the Office2013\Packages\ folder that you specified above. From here, you have everything that you need to import the App-V packages into your App-V environment. And, for clarification, an activation mechanism (such as KMS) is required for volume licensing to work without user intervention.