Office and LOB (Line of Business) App Delivery – Step 3 of Desktop Deployment

Office and LOB (Line of Business) App Delivery – Step 3 of Desktop Deployment

Welcome to Desktop Deployment Essentials.
Our new series to help you prepare for your shift to Windows 10 an Office 365
ProPlus. In the next few minutes I’m going to walk you through our third step
in our recommended deployment process wheel to prepare you for the delivery of
Office and your line of business apps. Now for those of you starting with
Microsoft Office 2010 or a volume activation version of Office 2013 or
2016, don’t worry I’m also going to show you a crash course of what you need to
know about Click-to-Run application packaging for office and how you can
configure your Office apps and get them ready for automated deployment. In step
one of our deployment process we walked you through device and app
readiness as the way to inventory your PC hardware and software and prioritize and
triage issues by accessing known compatibility information and fixes from
Windows and Office. Now those fixes can be to update retire, replace, or apply a
compatibility fix to ensure that your apps work on Windows 10 and the air
add-ins work on Office 365 ProPlus now one of the biggest decisions you’re
gonna make here is whether to use 32 or 64-bit natively compiled apps especially
when both options exist such as the case with Office 365 ProPlus. Now to take
advantage of additional compute and RAM on new devices, it’s often worth figuring
out any add-in or file related compatibility challenges to move to
64-bit if nothing is blocking you from deploying 64-bit Office. It’s a good idea
to move forward with this option as it will usually be better and more
future-proof choice. So let’s talk about where to start now there are many
methods and models for installing apps on Windows. So let’s look at your options
for app delivery, packaging and distribution of your line of business
apps now your lob apps. You’re probably using things like MSI packages or
executables to install your apps is part of a deployment task sequence. Tools like
System Center Configuration Manager and Intune are optimized to deliver MSI
packaged apps and Windows 10 obviously continues to support those
packages next there’s ConfigMgr if you’re using ConfigMgr now for app
delivery once you validated your apps on Windows 10 you can either assign them as
required out so they’re automatically installed on all targeted pcs or you can
use Software Center so that users can choose additional apps published by the
IT team for their PCs. And of course if you’re using Intune the Company Portal
serves a similar function across devices. Equally perhaps one of
most popular app delivery methods is using imaging. Imaging approaches to
build and capture can also save time when provisioning new PCs. In this case
applications are either installed by a task sequence or manually then an image
is captured and the required applications are pre-installed. Now
remember though the operating systems as well as the apps inside that image can
become stale quickly especially if images aren’t frequently refreshed. Now
the cumulative update model for Windows 10 and office 365 ProPlus helps with
this problem because it contains all the updates between when you seal that image until when you apply the image sometimes that can be several months later. Now
this doesn’t eliminate all issues associated with staleness completely.
This is why we recommend a thin image approach where applications are
installed from outside the image at deploy time also Office 365 ProPlus can
not be pre-activated by the system admin it’s because it’s a user-based
activation. Now, you can pre-install Office using the Office Deployment Tool
and skip user sign-in so the user can sign-in for the first time Office is
launched then be assigned the activation and also take advantage of other
capabilities that leverage sign-in like getting to your most recently used files
wherever they are. Now speaking of Office 365 ProPlus deployment, you’ll need to
familiarize yourself with the Click to Run installation approach office 365
ProPlus in every version of Office in the upcoming 2019 released users click
to run technology vs. MSI packaging it also brings with it a number of
advantages like improved installation time faster and more efficient updating
and cleaner uninstallation. Now for broad Office 365 roll-outs Configuration
Manager Current Branch has native support for the updated Office
Customization Tool package customization for Click-to-Run install time and
native support for software update management post installation. Microsoft
Intune also has native installation configuration support for Office 365
ProPlus packages. So let’s move on to browser-based apps. Beyond your 32 or
64-bit line of business apps, there are a few things to consider in order to make
sure that your browser-based applications continue to work as
expected. Now if you have specific websites and apps you know have
compatibility problems with Microsoft Edge you can use the Enterprise Mode
site list so that those websites automatically open using Internet
Explorer 11. Now everything that we’ve just explored falls into the realm of
common approaches currently used to configure package and
distribute your apps. There are also some new options to consider first the
Microsoft Store for Business provides a flexible way to discover acquire manage
and distribute free and paid apps and Windows 10 devices at scale as an IT admin
you can manage Microsoft Store apps and private line of business apps all from
one inventory plus assign and reuse licenses as needed users can find and
install apps that you’ve approved from the store and you can publish those
along with your own custom apps to your own private store store apps can be
natively built as UWP apps or you can use the Desktop Bridge to repackage your
existing apps for the store and add modern experiences for Windows 10. Now
aside from the code that you use to light up Windows 10 experiences your
apps will remain unchanged they’ll just work as-is. Next, MSIX is another
emerging option for application packaging that uses containerization
technology available in Windows and also brings many of the best aspects of Click-to-Run UWP and MSI packaging together as a containerized package the application
will be delivered and dynamically integrated by the operating system
containerization separates the applications from the operating system
and there are a number of advantages to this, such as clean uninstall and removal
packages, so unlike MSI and EXE based packages today that leave items on the
system, these are much cleaner you don’t need administrative
credentials to install or see native Windows integration so a standard user
account will work. So that was an overview of a few core options for app
delivery as you prepare for your desktop deployment. Next up we’re going to cover
your considerations for migrating user files and settings between Windows
environments as you move to the next step in the deployment process wheel and
to learn more about what we cover today visit our Modern Desktop Deployment
Center and keep following our Desktop Deployment Essentials series here in
Microsoft Mechanics. Thanks for watching!

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  1. Better later than never ๐Ÿ™‚

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