In this post, I will provide details about how to enable Office 365 client updates, create collections for Office 365 upgrades?, and Office 365 Client Upgrade.
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Managing Office 365 client update is very challenging for many organization as Microsoft release office 365 update very frequently, which is based on the channels which you have used in your organization.
Many organizations do it via an auto-update to update their clients, some has not used it, and some of are using legacy method to create application/package and deploy it to their clients.
SCCM can manage Office 365 client updates by using Software Update management. First, we need to confirm all the requirements and prerequisites are in place to be able to deploy the Office 365 updates.
If you have to create the Office365 Package in SCCM, you can go through How to Install Office 365 ProPlus Client package with all the steps.
In this blog post, I will describe on the setup the ADR that will be used for the Deployments of Office 365 ProPlus Semi-Annual Channel.
Before start the Office 365 client update, you must have to verify the requirements for using SCCM to manage Office 365 client updates:
Requirements – Office 365 Client Upgrade
- SCCM update 1602 or later
- An Office 365 client
- Supported channel version for Office 365 client
- Windows Server Update Services (WSUS) 4.0
You need to enable office 365 clients to receive the updates from SCCM, you can allow it to via SCCM client setting or Group policy, and in SCCM you need to enable the office 365 client updates.
Enable Office 365 clients
After configuring this setting and deploy Office 365 updates, the SCCM client agent communicates with the Office 365 client agent to download the updates from a distribution point and install them. SCCM takes inventory of Office 365 ProPlus Client settings.
- In the SCCM console, click Administration > Overview > Client Settings.
- Click default client settings Properties then go to Software Updates and select Yes for the Enable management of the Office 365 Client Agent setting
Other method is to Enable Office 365 clients to receive updates from SCCM by using the Office Deployment tool or Group Policy.
Enable Classification and Product for Office 365
To manage Office 365 updates via SCCM we need to enable following classification and product.
- Navigate to SCCM console – \Administration\Overview\Site Configuration\Sites. Click on Settings – Configure Site Components – Software Update point component – Properties.
- Go to Classification tab and enable Updates. Once updates from classification tab is enabled (to support Office 365 update), you can go to Products tab to enable “Office 365 Client“.
Create Collections for Office 365 ProPlus
First, we will create collections for Office 365 updates. Each Collection is defined by the CDNBaseURL, which gets populated upon installation. This property is leveraged over other options as it provides the most consistent and accurate definition of the Office Channel.
The following query rule should be used for each of the Channels. Be sure to update each with the proper CDNBaseURL value.
select SMS_R_SYSTEM.ResourceID,SMS_R_SYSTEM.ResourceType,SMS_R_SYSTEM.Name,SMS_R_SYSTEM.SMSUniqueIdentifier,SMS_R_SYSTEM.ResourceDomainORWorkgroup,SMS_R_SYSTEM.Client from SMS_R_System inner join SMS_G_System_OFFICE365PROPLUSCONFIGURATIONS on SMS_G_System_OFFICE365PROPLUSCONFIGURATIONS.ResourceID = SMS_R_System.ResourceId where SMS_G_System_OFFICE365PROPLUSCONFIGURATIONS.CDNBaseUrl = "http://officecdn.microsoft.com/pr/7ffbc6bf-bc32-4f92-8982-f9dd17fd3114"
- Monthly Channel (Current Channel): CDNBaseUrl = http://officecdn.microsoft.com/pr/492350f6-3a01-4f97-b9c0-c7c6ddf67d60
- Semi-Annual Channel (Deferred Channel): CDNBaseUrl = http://officecdn.microsoft.com/pr/7ffbc6bf-bc32-4f92-8982-f9dd17fd3114
- Monthly Channel (Targeted) (First Release for Current Channel): CDNBaseUrl = http://officecdn.microsoft.com/pr/64256afe-f5d9-4f86-8936-8840a6a4f5be
- Semi-Annual Channel (Targeted) (First Release for Deferred Channel): CDNBaseUrl = http://officecdn.microsoft.com/pr/b8f9b850-328d-4355-9145-c59439a0c4cf
Semi-Annual Channel Updates
Depending on the Organizations and their needs, the number of deployments will differ. The following deployments are my own and will showcase three (3) servicing deployments, each allowing 15 days of deployment availability.
This provides time for an Administrator to delay a deployment if an issue is identified. The availability date is based on the date when the new version of the Semi-Annual Channel is released (Every six months, in January and July) and when the ADR rule is scheduled to run.
Create Automatic Deployment Rule
This ADR will be scheduled to run every month on the 2nd Wednesday of the month. This option gives the IT Administrator the necessary time to update this rule to reflect the most recent version of Semi-Annual Channel released build.
In the SCCM, click Software Library >Software Updates > Automatic Deployment Rules> Create Automatic Deployment Rule
Then next add the distribution points and download location, languages.
Add additional deployments
Now we have ADR created, and that is deployed on Phase-1 IT users; to do the testing of office 365 and its new features, the next action is to deploy the updates on Phase-2 on Pilot users then deploy on all production users.
The default user experience behavior is Hide in Software Center and All notifications. There are loads of granularity options in setting up the deadline behavior, Device restart behavior.
So I hope that the above process will help to simplify the deployment of Office 365 updates as much as possible.