Deploying Outlook 2007 via Group Policy

Deploying Outlook 2007 via Group Policy

There are 2 options for deploying Outlook 2007 via Group Policy:

1) Using the supplied MSI and modifying the config.xml file

2) Calling setup from a group-policy machine start up script and installing using a customised MSP file.


Option 1 Cons / Option 2 Pros

Option 1 is limiting in that you are not able to integrate service packs and updates by adding the MSP files to the Upgrades directory in the root of your installation folder. Option 2 allows you to achieve this. This means you cannot automate integration of SP1 with Option 1.

Option 1 also limits your setup options, whereas you can use the following command to create an entirely modified and personalised Outlook 2007 setup: setup /adminOption 1 will not allow you to upgrade a previous version of Outlook to 2007 unless you specifically deployed Outlook via group policy and not a complete Office Suite installation that included Outlook.

If you attempt to upgrade using Option 1 setup will install the files but Outlook 2007 will show as ‘Not Available’ when you try to modify the setup. This is due to Group Policy; even though you specify the ‘Setting Id=”RemovePrevious” Value=”OUTLOOKFiles” ’ setup will not upgrade the previous version as group policy does not see the installation as an upgrade.

Furthermore, instructing the new Outlook 2007 GPO to upgrade your previous version of Office will also fail.Option 2 will allow you to upgrade a previous installation of Outlook to 2007, even if your Outlook install is part of an full Office Suite.


Option 1 Pros / Option 2 Cons

Option 2, however, will not allow you to ‘manage’ the software; if a machine falls out of the scope of the install script Outlook will not be uninstalled. Option 1 would enable you to manage software in this way.



With the above in mind I opted for Option 2 as I was performing an upgrade to 2007 from 2000 so it really was a no brainer. I combined the MSP based setup with a start-up script written in vbScript. This is configured in a new GPO and set as a machine start-up script. The scope of the GPO depends upon machine membership within a particular group within AD: thus providing a granular and controlled method of deployment.

Const HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE = &H80000002
Set WshShell = CreateObject(“WScript.Shell”)
Set fso = CreateObject(“Scripting.FileSystemObject”)
Set objNetwork = CreateObject(“Wscript.Network”)
strComputerName = objNetwork.ComputerName
InstallDIR = WshShell.ExpandEnvironmentStrings(“%PROGRAMFILES%”) & “Microsoft OfficeOffice12”
target = InstallDIR & “OUTLOOK.exe”
If NOT fso.FileExists(target) Then ”If there is no Outlook 2007 executable install Outlook 2007
    cmd = WshShell.Run(“file_serveroutlook2007$setup.exe /adminfile file_serveroutlook2007$Outlook2K7UPDT.MSP”,0,True)
    ‘Create Outlook Desktop Icon
    Set objNetwork = CreateObject(“Wscript.Network”)
    Set wmiLocator = CreateObject(“WbemScripting.SWbemLocator”) ”Object used to get StdRegProv Namespace
    Set wmiNameSpace = wmiLocator.ConnectServer(objNetwork.ComputerName, “rootdefault”) ‘ Registry Provider (StdRegProv) lives in rootdefault namespace.
    Set objRegistry = wmiNameSpace.Get(“StdRegProv”)
    objRegistry.CreateKey HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE, ”   SoftwareMicrosoftWindowsCurrentVersionExplorerDesktopNameSpace{00020D75-0000-0000-C000-000000000046}]”
End If