I've heard several people ask how to deploy Office 2003 using Microsoft Deployment, as they have been given the impression that Microsoft Deployment doesn't support Office 2003 deployment.  While it's true that Microsoft Deployment provides no specific tools or documentation about deploying Office 2003, that doesn't mean you can't do it.  Office 2003 is just another application that can be included in your reference image creation process or in your deployment process.  You just need to know how to set it up, which is what I want to review in this posting.

(Now, I have to ask: Why are you deploying Office 2003 instead of the 2007 Office system?  OK, I've got that off my chest.)

It seems like it's been ages since I worked with Office 2003, so I had to go back and review the steps myself.  Here they are in a nutshell when performing a Lite Touch deployment:

  1. Install the Office Resource Kit (ORK) for Office 2003.  See http://office.microsoft.com/en-us/ork2003/default.aspx for the download links.
  2. Copy the entire Office 2003 CD to a directory on disk, e.g. \\server\share\Office2003, as you'll be making some additions and customizations to it.  Be sure to copy all hidden files and directories - almost all the real install files are hidden.
  3. Use the ORK Custom Installation Wizard to create a transform to automate the installation of Office 2003.  At the minimum, this transform should specify the installation product key and accept the EULA, otherwise the installation won't run without user interaction.  Save this transform in the same directory you created in the previous step using a name like "MyTransform.mst".
  4. Optionally customize the SETUP.INI file to change cache settings, chain additional application installs or hotfixes (e.g. OHOTFIX.EXE), etc.  There are lots of options here, but none are required.  See http://www.microsoft.com/office/ork/2003/ref/RefA03.htm#sub_10 for more information.
  5. Test the installation before you try anything else.  On a machine that doesn't have Office 2003, run \\server\share\Office2003\SETUP.EXE TRANSFORMS=\\server\share\Office2003\MyTransform.mst /qb-!.
  6. Now add a new application to the Deployment Workbench by right-clicking on the Distribution Share\Applications node and choosing "New".  Specify "Application with source files" to copy the folder into the Microsoft Deployment distribution share.  Specify a publisher of "Microsoft" and an application name of "Office 2003".  For the source directory, specify the path you created above, e.g. \\server\share\Office2003.  For the command line, specify "SETUP.EXE TRANSFORMS=.\MyTransform.mst /QB-!".

Now you're ready to go.  You can add this application to an existing task sequence, or you can choose it during the Lite Touch deployment process in the deployment wizard.

If you are performing a Zero Touch deployment using SMS 2003 or System Center Configuration Manager 2007, the steps are the same at least until step 6.  Instead of creating an application in the Deployment Workbench, you would create a package with a program to run the same command line, distribution that package to all distribution points, and add it to the task sequences.