How to create an Office 2016 App-V Package

UPDATE: Based on the following TechNet Forum Thread, creating Volume Licensing App-V Packages of Office 2016 is no longer supported. See here for a list of supported Product IDs: Product IDs that are supported by the Office Deployment Tool for Click-to-Run


If you are currently deploying Microsoft Office using for example ConfigMgr, you are probably using the MSI based Installation Method. Creating a Custom MSP with the OCT (Office Customization Tool) is pretty simple and was long a Best-Practice.

Since Office 2013, Microsoft has changed the Way, how they deliver Microsoft Office. With the Click-To-Run Installer, there is actually a built-in App-V Client in Office. (To verify that you can search for *AppV* in the Office Installation folder and you will find some EXEs and DLLs that will be very familiar if you know App-V.) With that knowledge that Office Itself is running virtualized when using Click-To-Run, the steps for creating an App-V Package are very straight forward. Microsoft actually recommends to go for a Click-To-Run or App-V based Deployment.

Let’s go trough some facts first:

  • You need to use ODT (Office Deployment Toolkit) to generate the App-V Package. Sequencing Office 2016 manually using the App-V Sequencer is not supported!
  • It is only supported to run one (1) App-V Package that contains Office Components. If you want to deploy for example Office Professional Plus 2016 and Visio 2016 you have to create 1 Package with both components in it.
  • A generated Office App-V Package is supported 1 Year. After that you need to update it to include the latest Office Updates. (Statement of a MSFT Employee)
  • It is not supported to edit the generated App-V Package using the App-V Sequencer.
  • You can Enable / Disable Shortcuts and Applications to hide some Components.
  • You can use AppLocker to lock down some components.
  • You can Configure the virtualized Office normally using Group Policy Objects.
  • You can use your normal KMS to activate Office.

More Informations about the Packaging, publishing and deployment requirements can be found in the following TechNet Article: Deploying Microsoft Office 2016 by Using App-V

In this Blog Post, we will create an App-V Package, that contains the following Components:

  • Office Professional Plus 2016 (Volume License Edition)
  • Visio Pro 2016 (Volume License Edition)
  • Project Pro 2016 (Volume License Edition)

Creating the App-V Package

1. Create the following two Folders on your C: Drive, using PowerShell:

2. Download the Office 2016 Deployment Tool

3. Run the Setup and extract the Files to C:\Temp\Office 2016

4. Open the configuration.xml:
appv_office2016_part2

Here you can specify the components which will be included in our App-V Package. You can take my Configuration as Template and adjust it, that it fits your needs. You can also use the following XML Generator, to quickly create your customized template.

Let’s go through each tag.

Add

  • SourcePath: Specify here the temporary folder, that you already created in Step 1, which will store the downloaded office data.
  • OfficeClientEdition: Specify if you want the 32-bit or the 64-bit Version of Office.
  • Branch: Specify the Branch (Current or Business) that you want to download.

Product
Specify here, which components or Products you want to include in your App-V Package. You can choose from the following:

  • O365ProPlusRetail
  • O365BusinessRetail
  • ProPlusVolume (no longer supported, see Note on the Top)
  • VisioProRetail
  • VisioProVolume (no longer supported, see Note on the Top)
  • ProjectProRetail
  • ProjectProVolume (no longer supported, see Note on the Top)
  • SPDRetail

Project and Visio must be added as separated products, as in the XML Configuration Example above.

Language
Specify the language in which Office should be delivered.

 

5. Execute the following command in an elevated command prompt to download the Installation Files:

Depending on your Internet Connection, your Installation Files will be downloaded within a few minutes. The Download is finished, as soon as the last command was finished executing.
appv_office2016_part3

You can view the downloaded files in the folder “C:\Temp\Office 2016\Office\Data\{Version}”:
appv_office2016_part4

6. Execute the following command in an elevated command prompt, to create the App-V Package from the downloaded files:

Based on the performance of your Workstation, this step can take up to 10 Minutes. After a short time, you can see the Package getting created. So, sit back and enjoy the Show 🙂

7. Navigate to the folder “C:\Temp\Office 2016 AppV\AppVPackages”, where you will find your App-V Package:
appv_office2016_part6

 

Deploying the App-V Package

For deploying the App-V Package, you can use either ConfigMgr or you can do it manually via PowerShell. The Deploying Process is no different from any other App-V Package. If you want to deploy the Package using an App-V Full Infrastructure, you can checkout my blog post: How to configure an App-V 5.1 Full Infrastructure

My Demo Machine that I use in this Example contains a Windows 10 Enterprise and an App-V 5.1 Client.

1. For the App-V Package to work, you need to enable Package Scripts first! You can do this using Group Policy Objects or PowerShell:

Computer Configuration\Administrative Templates\System\App-V\Scripting\Enable Package Scripts = Enabled
appv_office2016_part7

You can also use the following PowerShell Code that must be executed in an Elevated PowerShell Prompt, to configure the Package Scripts locally on a specific client.

2. Execute the following PowerShell Command in an Elevated PowerShell Prompt, to Add and Publish the Office Package. Adjust the Path to your appv File if necessary.

appv_office2016_part8

3. You should now find all the Office Shortcuts in the Start Menu and you should be able to Start and use the Products.

To verify that Office runs virtualized, you can run the following PowerShell Command while some Office Components are started.

appv_office2016_part11

If you have any question or additional notes, drop them in the comment section below.

How to create an Office 2016 App-V Package
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