Okay, maybe fun isn’t quite the right word, but sometimes that’s really the only way to explain the attraction to dig a little deeper. After the last post where I covered how to take advantage of some of the lesser documented product IDs that work with Office Click To Run, it’s time to see how including a product ID versus ExcludeApp affect what gets deployed. Let’s start with the Lync client, because the one I had to work with most recently from a standalone deployment perspective.
Based on what I covered in the last post, we can approach the Lync deployment from two angles with C2R – we can deploy Lync retail versus deploying Office 365 Pro Plus and excluding everything but Lync. While on the surface that may seem to be suggesting the same process is taking place, that really isn’t the case at all. First of all, if we think about it from what is actually getting deployed, one of the versions of Lync will identify itself as Lync in Programs And Features, while the other identifies itself as standalone Lync. This makes sense, but let’s take a look anyway…
I’ll come back to discuss some of the longer term implications of one approach versus the other, but first let’s see what the properties are from within the Lync client. What you will notice is that the Lync install from Office 365 ProPlus calls this out on the second line – so there really shouldn’t be any confusion about which one you are working with.
What differences are there between the two installs? Well, it’s pretty much what you would expect, the Lync only Office 365 ProPlus installation is larger than LyncRetail. The majority of the consumed space is in the DCF folder which contains the necessary bits for the Database File Compare tool.
What about adding additional applications in? I deliberately started with Lync because it, shall we say, doesn’t exactly conform to the backstage view that the Office desktop applications have been moving towards with Office 2007. Granted, Lync is a very different type of client to the other desktop applications, so I’m not going to be to harsh on them about this. Now let’s add Word to both of these virtual machines.
All we need to do is replace LyncRetail with WordRetail inside of a configuration xml file for the standalone installer, and we need to remove Word as an Excluded App ID in the Office 365 ProPlus configuration xml file.
While it’s easy to install Word alongside Lync, you can’t use your Office 365 credentials to activate it. Those who have tried to use their P plan credentials to activate Office 365 Pro Plus would have seen a similar problem.
The Office 365 ProPlus install acts as expected – I can activate it with my Office 365 E3 credentials, and it’s easy to see that it’s part of the overall suite, despite Lync being the only other installed application.
What’s the takeaway of all of this? Be careful when you are deploying via Click 2 Run to ensure that you are deploying the right version of the required application. If you aren’t sure what the user will need and want to pre-install the single image, use the Office OPK that I mentioned in the previous post on this topic. If you do know that the user is going to be using Office 365 Pro Plus, you can either install the whole suite, or exclude the non-required apps. You can see from the above screenshot that adding in new applications is easily done, and it’s a pretty quick process to do it.