In our environment, we actually prepare both Office 2013 and Office 2016 C2R versions for deployment by just doubling this setup. It's pretty straightforward on how to do this.

First, set up two folders for the solution:

  • \Source.Apps\Microsoft\MSFT.Office365.16.ProPlus.Binaries
  • \Source.Apps\Microsoft\MSFT.Office365.16.ProPlus.DeploymentTool

Download the deployment tool by searching for "Office 2016 Deployment Tool". Microsoft occasionally updates these. There is a unique version for Office 2016 and one of Office 2013. Extract the SETUP.EXE and Configuration.xml files out and into the *.DeploymentTool folder.

Edit the Configuration.xml file to tell the solution where to store the downloaded cache files.

<Add SourcePath="D:\Source.Apps\Microsoft\MSFT.Office365.16.ProPlus.Binaries" OfficeClientEdition="32" Branch="Current" > 
<Product ID="O365ProPlusRetail"> 
<Language ID="en-us" /> 
<Product ID="VisioProRetail"> 
<Language ID="en-us" /> 
<Display Level="Full" AcceptEULA="TRUE" /> 
<Logging Path="C:\Windows\Temp" /> 

The key changes are in that <Add> element. The SourcePath is where the system will place the downloaded cache. The OfficeClientEdition can be either "32" or "64", depending on what you need. The Branch is where you decide which flavor to download:

  • Current - This is the Current Branch. AKA the Consumer Branch. Usually the most recent updates.
  • Business - This is the Current Business Branch. AKA the Deferred Branch. Usually delayed from the Current Branch by about six months. Only applies to Office 2016 and later.
  • Validation - This is the First Release for the Business Branch. Usually delayed from the Current Branch by about three months. Only applies to Office 2016 and later.

For Products, you can include additional products in the download. These could be installed on the destination computer, but including them here does not license them. Products are:

  • O365ProPlusRetail - The core Office application suite (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, Access, OneNote)
  • VisioProRetail - Visio
  • ProjectProRetail - Project
  • SPDRetail - SharePoint Designer (only Office 2013)

The O365ProPlusRetail must be the first product listed in order for the user experience to operate as expected.

Download the Initial Cache to Seed the File System

Execute the following command to download the initial cache of files according to the XML file. There is no real UI for this process and it can take a while. It is downloading about a gigabyte or more of data (depending on choices made in product selection).

setup.exe /download configuration.xml


Next, you should create an Install.cmd file. This script is what gets called during OS deployment to actually install the C2R data from the USB hard disk over to the local machine. This is a little convoluted, but here's what's going on.

  1. First, the script shares out the path to the cached binaries. You could probably rewrite that bit so that the next stage points directly to the correct path, but this was chosen initially because the drive letter of the disk couldn't be guaranteed.
  2. Second, the script creates a new configuration.xml file for use in local installs. Customize this to select which products actually get installed on the deployed computer. This does not license them - the user must have the correct Office 365 licenses in order to authenticate the application when they first start it up.
  3. Third, it calls the Setup.exe utility to perform the setup itself.
  4. Finally, it cleans up the share that it created for the install.
@echo off

REM Share out path
net share office16 /DELETE
pushd "..\Microsoft Office 365 ProPlus Binaries 2016"
net share Office16=%CD% /GRANT:Everyone,CHANGE

REM Create Configuration.XML
ECHO ^<Configuration^> > configuration.xml
ECHO ^<Add SourcePath="\\%COMPUTERNAME%\Office16\" OfficeClientEdition="32" Branch="Current" ^> >> configuration.xml
ECHO ^<Product ID="O365ProPlusRetail"^> >> configuration.xml
ECHO ^<Language ID="en-us" /^> >> configuration.xml
ECHO ^</Product^> >> configuration.xml
ECHO ^<Product ID="VisioProRetail"^> >> configuration.xml
ECHO ^<Language ID="en-us /^> >> configuration.xml
ECHO ^</Product^> >> configuration.xml
ECHO ^</Add^> >> configuration.xml
ECHO ^<Display Level="None" AcceptEULA="TRUE" /^> >> configuration.xml
ECHO ^<Logging Path="C:\Windows\Temp" /^> >> configuration.xml
ECHO ^</Configuration^> >> configuration.xml

REM Initiate install
start /wait "" setup.exe \\%COMPUTERNAME%\Office16\configuration.xml

REM Cleanup share
net share office16 /DELETE

Import into Deployment Workbench

Once you have the basics set up, you need to import the two main folders as two separate applications.

The binaries are loaded in such that the folder that is created is Microsoft Office 365 ProPlus Binaries 2016. Make sure that the folder name matches what is listed in the Install.cmd script (the pushd statement). Don't worry too much about having an install script selected. If necessary, you can type in what ever data you wish since we'll never actually call this folder - we're using it just to make sure that the content is transferred to the deployment disk.

The second app is the .DeploymentTools folder with the Install.cmd script being called to perform the installation.

Add that second app to your task sequence (either directly or via a selection in CustomSettings.ini) and you should be good to go. Just be sure that the first app is included in the list of applications destined for your deployment media.