3 Ways to Deploy Office 365 ProPlus with VMware Workspace ONE

VMware Workspace ONE supports many ways of deploying Office 365, but it can often be confusing on which one is best. The main methods are:
1. Office CSP
2. Full Office Install via Software Distribution
3. Light Office Install via Software Distribution
I’ll detail the steps of each below.

Office CSP

Starting with version 1703 (Creator’s Update), Windows 10 adds the addition of the Office CSP for easy deployment of Office 365. With this method, you don’t have to fuss with the actual files of the Office 365 install; you only have to really manage the “config” file and windows takes care of the rest. However, it is a little harder to schedule the deployment, control the version, or track number of installs as it’s deploy as a profile in Workspace ONE and not an “App”. You also must serialize the XML in order to deploy as custom CSP in Workspace ONE (The product team is hoping to take away the need to do this soon!). 
  1. Go to the Office Customization tool website.
  2. Built and and create your deployment configuration. Here’s what mine looks like exported:
    <Info Description=”VMware production Office 365 Pro Plus configuration.” />
    <Add OfficeClientEdition=”64″ Channel=”Monthly” AllowCdnFallback=”TRUE” ForceUpgrade=”TRUE”>
    <Product ID=”O365ProPlusRetail”>
    <Language ID=”en-us” />
    <ExcludeApp ID=”Groove” />
    <ExcludeApp ID=”Access”/>
    <Property Name=”SharedComputerLicensing” Value=”0″ />
    <Property Name=”PinIconsToTaskbar” Value=”TRUE” />
    <Property Name=”SCLCacheOverride” Value=”0″ />
    <Updates Enabled=”TRUE” />
    <RemoveMSI All=”TRUE” />
    <Setup Name=”Company” Value=”VMware” />
    <Logging Level=”Standard” Path=”%temp%\office365″ />
  3. Now you will need to take this XML and “serialize” it so that it can be read by the Office CSP.  You can go to this free web page to do so. Simply copy/paste your XML in the top box to get the serialized output.
    &lt;Info Description=&quot;VMware production Office 365 Pro Plus configuration.&quot; /&gt;
    &lt;Add OfficeClientEdition=&quot;64&quot; Channel=&quot;Monthly&quot; AllowCdnFallback=&quot;TRUE&quot; ForceUpgrade=&quot;TRUE&quot;&gt;
    &lt;Product ID=&quot;O365ProPlusRetail&quot;&gt;
    &lt;Language ID=&quot;en-us&quot; /&gt;
    &lt;ExcludeApp ID=&quot;Groove&quot; /&gt;
    &lt;ExcludeApp ID=&quot;Access&quot;/&gt;
    &lt;Property Name=&quot;SharedComputerLicensing&quot; Value=&quot;0&quot; /&gt;
    &lt;Property Name=&quot;PinIconsToTaskbar&quot; Value=&quot;TRUE&quot; /&gt;
    &lt;Property Name=&quot;SCLCacheOverride&quot; Value=&quot;0&quot; /&gt;
    &lt;Updates Enabled=&quot;TRUE&quot; /&gt;
    &lt;RemoveMSI All=&quot;TRUE&quot; /&gt;
    &lt;Setup Name=&quot;Company&quot; Value=&quot;VMware&quot; /&gt;
    &lt;Logging Level=&quot;Standard&quot; Path=&quot;%temp%\office365&quot; /&gt;
  4. Before creating a new Workspace ONE profile, we need to generate a custom XML in order to use this CSP.
  5. To do that, go to our Policy Builder tool to generate a custom XML (syncML) that we can use to deploy a Workspace ONE profile.
  6. Select the version of Windows 10 you will be deploying to. See the office Office CSP page for different features supported by MS based on the version of Windows 10.
  7. Search for the “Office” CSP
  8. Check the box next to “Office” and click configure.
  9. Expand the “Device” section and paste in your serialized XML into the “Install” node.For some reason, the DDF that is used to build out this template does not correctly update the target “LocURI” and so you will need to manually update it to the following:
  10. Click the “Copy” button.
  11. Go back to Workspace ONE console.
  12. Create a new Windows 1o profile (Windows –> Windows Desktop –> Device Profile)
  13. Go the “Custom Settings” area at the bottom. Paste the content into the top section.
  14. Add the “Uninstall” XML settings to the bottom section:
    <Format xmlns=”syncml:metinf”>chr</Format>
    <Data>&lt;Configuration&gt;&lt;Remove All=&quot;TRUE&quot;/&gt;&lt;Display Level=&quot;None&quot; AcceptEULA=&quot;TRUE&quot; /&gt;&lt;/Configuration&gt;</Data>
    TIP: Based on my testing, the system does need to reboot first before you can successfully deploy the uninstall command. Also, you can create a separate “Uninstall Microsoft Office 365” profile that has the uninstall command in the “Install Settings” are case you need to do mass uninstall.
  15. The final output should look like this:
  16. Go back to the “General” section of the profile and assign this to your test Smart Group. I’d recommend setting this to “optional” when testing. When ready to deploy, click “Save and Publish. Then on the device you want to deploy it to, browse to the device in the console, go to this profile and click “Install”.
  17. On your device you should start to see the install happening if you open up task manager. The install should complete within a few minutes. It’s a surprisingly fast install!
  18. NOTE: Since you deployed this as a “Device” profile, the end user isn’t going to be able to see progress of the install. If you want to have the user see the install, change the LocURI section to be ./User/Vendor/MSFT/Office/Installation/0AA79349-F334-4859-96E8-B4AB43E9FEA0/install (instead of ./Device/…)

Deploy Full Office via Software Distribution

This is essentially the full offline installer of the Office suite. It involves downloading the files ahead of time per your XML, zipping them up, and then uploading to Workspace ONE and deploying through Software Distribution (SFD). Choose this method if you want to fully leverage Akamai CDN (as opposed to MS’s) and also want to use it for Dell Provisioning for Workspace ONE (which requires offline install).

  1. Create a working folder where these files will live. I’ll use c:\Office
  2. Take your “unserialized” version of the XML and save it as configuration.xml in a folder.
    <Configuration ID=”9cc840fd-62b9-49b0-9295-d6310d26df31″>
    <Add OfficeClientEdition=”64″ Channel=”Monthly” ForceUpgrade=”TRUE”>
    <Product ID=”O365ProPlusRetail”>
    <Language ID=”en-us” />
    <ExcludeApp ID=”Groove” />
    <Property Name=”SharedComputerLicensing” Value=”0″ />
    <Property Name=”PinIconsToTaskbar” Value=”TRUE” />
    <Property Name=”SCLCacheOverride” Value=”0″ />
    <Updates Enabled=”TRUE” />
    <RemoveMSI />
  3. Download the Office Deployment Tool and run officedeploymenttool.exe.
  4. Extract files to your working directory (C:\Office in my case)
  5. This tool will download a number of sample XMLs you can edit and use or you can simply use the one you’ve already created from the web tool. The important file though is setup.exe as this will be used to trigger the actual download.
  6. I like to automate the next step by create a simple cmd file. Create one and call it Download.cmd.
  7. Edit it and put this in:
    @echo off
    pushd %~dp0
    echo Downloading Office 365 Pro Plus Retail x64 source files
    setup.exe /download configuration.xml
  8. At this point you should have at a minimum 3 files:
    • Configuration.xml
    • setup.exe
    • Download.cmd
  9. Double-click Download.cmd to being the download. You’ll notice a new “Office” folder has been created. Inside of this all of the bits will be stored. The cmd window will go away once complete.
  10. OPTIONAL – If you want to have a proper uninstall command in the console, then create an “uninstall.xml” file and put this in:
    <Product ID=”O365ProPlusRetail”>
    <Language ID=”en-us”/>
    <Display Level=”None” AcceptEULA=”TRUE”/>
  11. Once download is complete, select all of your files and right-click Send to > Compressed folder (zip).
  12. This should create an Office.zip file.
  13. Login to Workspace One and browse to Apps and Books section and click “Add Application”.
  14. Browse for the Office.zip file and click Save. Most zips are between 2-4 GB so this upload can take awhile.
  15. Select “No” to Dependency App question and click Continue.
  16. On the Details page, I like to fill in the following fields:
    1. Name: Office 365 Pro Plus
    2. Change Log: uploaded by [name] on [date]
    3. Can update other fields as desired
  17. Click files tab. For the “Uninstall Command” at the bottom. Enter:
    setup.exe /CONFIGURE uninstall.xml

    If you don’t care about an uninstall command or want to do it later, just fill this field with dummy text.

  18. Click on Deployment Options tab.
  19. For Install Command put:
    setup.exe /CONFIGURE configuration.xml
  20. You can change Install Context to be “USER” and “YES” for admin privileges and if you have Display Level node removed, the progress window will show. 
    Remove this section:
    <Display Level=”None” AcceptEULA=”TRUE”/>
  21. For Defining Criteria section, click “Add”
  22. Easiest way I’ve found is to set it to File exists and put the path of Outlook.exe. Note: Leave out the quotes. This is for 64 bit office. For 32 bit office change to C:\Program Files (x86)\
    C:\Program Files\Microsoft Office\root\Office16\OUTLOOK.EXE
  23. Click Add to save the detection criteria
  24. Click Save & Assign and assign to the correct smart groups.
  25. Install begins

Deploy “Light” Office via Software Distribution

This is essentially the same exact process as the Full Office process but without downloading the files ahead of time. They will download from Microsoft CDN as soon as the install happens. The basic steps are:

  1. Use all of the same files but just zip up setup.exe and the XMLs
  2. All of the rest of the steps are the same. Because there is not an “Office” folder in the root, setup.exe will reach out to download from CDN.
  3. Easy!


In summary, there are 3 main ways to deploy Office 365 Pro Plus with Workspace One. You can use the Office CSP which enables you to simply deploy the configuration without having to mess with files. The “full” Office installer method requires you to pre-download all of the files ahead of time and then upload as a zip to Workspace ONE. Since this can be installed fully offline, it can be export as PPKG and sent to Dell in the factory as part of the Dell Provisioning for Workspace ONE offer. And the “light” Office installer method is a bit of a blend in between those methods, but still does require internet connection on the client during install. There is lots of flexibility here so choose the one that works best for you!


This Post Has 10 Comments

  1. The embedded screenshots are not uploading to the website. could you please investigate. Thanks

    1. Photos should be fixed! It also gave me the opportunity to update the article with the latest information.

  2. Why would you do CSP instead of just zipping the setup.exe and configuration.xml like you do with SCCM and deploying it.

    I don’t see much value in using CSP over the standard ODT method.

    1. The CSP method is just one of the methods I detail. Main benefit I guess is that you don’t have to mess with any content at all, it’s just the config. Zipping up the content and deploying it is method #2 I discuss.

  3. Hey Brooks,
    Are there any good troubleshooting steps? We get the profile to install but the apps dont come down. These machines are co managed and then clean – meaning just enrolled in UEM

  4. Thanks I am a mother and very busy! This helped me alot!

  5. Dear Brooks,
    Really, really cool guide. Helped me a lot during preparation of the wsONE App and the golden image for factory provisioning. Thanks for sharing this.
    Keep up the good work!

    1. Thank you! Glad it helped.

  6. Hello! Do you use Twitter? I’d like to follow you if that would be ok.
    I’m definitely enjoying your blog and look forward to new posts.

    1. Yes! @brookspeppin is my handle.

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