New feature: Make changes to Office deployments without changing the version

August 21, 2019
The original article is published on the Microsoft Tech Community Office 365 Blog.

With the most recent release of the Office Deployment Tool (ODT) we have implemented a new feature based on customer's feedback. Starting with version 16.0.11615.33602 it is possible to make changes to an existing installation of Office 365 ProPlus while keeping the installed version as is, even when a newer one is available on the Office CDN or in your network share/local folder.

Scenario

Let's assume that you want to add e.g. a Language Pack to an installation of Office 365 ProPlus on a certain device in an automated fashion. We also assume, that the device is not on the most recent build of their update channel, e.g. the device is still on SAC 1803. Maybe there is still some testing to be done before SAC 1808 can be deployed across the organization.

The updated “version” handling allows you to add e.g. Language Packs, Proofing Tools, additional products (like Visio or Project) or apps without updating the installed build, even when a newer build is available in the source location (Office CDN or the specified source path).

In the past the ODT automatically updated the installation to the latest build while installing the specified product, Language Pack or Proofing Tool.

 

 

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How to use

The usage of the new feature is straight forward. Instead of specifying a build number (like 16.0.9126.2356), you just specify “MatchInstalled”. This instructs the ODT to keep whatever build version is already installed.

Benefit

In the past we saw different workaround in order to pin the version. These ranged from manually updating the configuation.xml with the correct build number every time to custom scripts which injected the build number into the configuration.xml on the fly. The new feature allows you to retire such workarounds and use a consistent method across update channels and versions.

Sample XMLs

The following XML will install Project, match the languages to already installed Office products and keep everything else (architecture (x86/x64), update channel and version) as is:

 

<Configuration>
	<Add Version="MatchInstalled">
		<Product ID="ProjectProRetail">
<Language ID="MatchInstalled" TargetProduct="All" /> </Product> </Add> </Configuration>

 

The following XML will add the German Language Pack and keep the architecture (x86/x64), update channel and version as is:

 

<Configuration>
	<Add Version="MatchInstalled">
		<Product ID="LanguagePack">
			<Language ID="de-de"/>
		</Product>
	</Add>
</Configuration>

Prerequisites

In order to use the new feature, the following prerequisites apply:

  • Use Office Deployment Tool 16.0.11615.33602 or newer
  • The feature is intended to be used when an existing installation is modified or something added to it. If no installation is present, “MatchInstalled” for “Version” will be ignored and the ODT will go through normal detection to install proper version. No hard error in such case.
  • If you are not using the Office CDN as an installation source, make sure to have the matching source files in your specified source path.

The Authors

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