Outlook 2003 deployment via group policy in Small Business Server 2003

Hello experts,

I got lost when trying to deploy outlook 2003 in mixed win2000/winXP environment (currently office 2000/office XP installed). I've done software installation via group policy a couple of times so created installation version of outlook on SBS2003 during system setup when prompted to put Outlook 2003 disc.

My intension is to perform outlook upgrade to newer version within existing Office packages.

I created GPO and assigned software installation to computers, at this time only to two test machines. GPO is linked to the whole domain and security permissions are set up to only those two PCs.
Simple thing but doesn't want to work.. tried gpupdate /force on XP boxes - doesn't produce any results.
Do I have to prepare outlook configuration file or something like that to perform an upgrade via group policy?

Thanks for any ideas
Who is Participating?
Jeffrey Kane - TechSoEasyConnect With a Mentor Principal ConsultantCommented:
I realize that this question is a bit stale, but thought I'd provide you with the correct answer so you can close it out.

On SBS 2003, you don't need to deploy Outlook 2003 via Group Policy... it's done automatically with the "Assign Applications to Client Computers" wizard.

Outlook 2003 should already be on your SBS administratively ready to deploy to workstations, in C:\ClientApps\Outlook2003\

First uninstall any older versions of Outlook from workstations.  

If you did not originally join the workstations to the domain using http://<servername>/connectcomputer, then you should take this time to fix that.  Not only will this help by automatically configuring Outlook when it gets installed, but there are about 40 other things that ConnectComputer accomplishes which make management and maintenance easier.  Follow the steps I've outlined here:  http://sbsurl.com/rejoin

Then open the SBS's Server Management Console > Client Computers and click on the "Assign Applications to Client Computers" link to start the wizard.

Click the "Add All" button to add all workstations, and then click NEXT.  
Tick the boxes for both Outlook 2003 as well as Shared Fax Client if you have a modem set up on SBS for faxing.
Click NEXT two more times, and then Finish.

(If Outlook is not listed on the available applications screen you will need to do an Adminstrative Install of it by running Add/Remove Programs > Windows Small Business Server 2003 > Change.  Then on the Components Selection Screen expand "Client Deployment" and set that to Maintenance, and Outlook 2003 to "Install")

Users will need to log off and back onto Windows for Outlook to get installed.  Then, when they log back on and open Outlook it should configure itself automatically.  (If you joined the workstaitons to the domain using http://<servername>/connectcomputer).


Stephen MandersonSoftware EngineerCommented:
Was the office 2000 deployed via GPO? I have come across issues in the past in which upgrading from 2000 to 2003 wouldnt work if I hadnt done the 2000 install from GPO.

The way I got round this was by scripting the removal of office 2000 (or if can be done via GPO) and just assigning the 2003 as a new install and not an upgrade.

Here is more info on removing the 2000 clients via scripts.

Also try running rsop.msc on the client machines to see if the packages are showing up on the clients policy

DanbrascoAuthor Commented:
No, nothing was deployed via group policy before.. Computers came with office pre-installed or it was installed manually. Honestly - if i need to uninstall anything to do it via Group policy I'd rather walk from computer to computer and do outlook upgrade manually.. This is SBS and there are less than 50 PCs. Anyway - I wanted to do it nicely :)
Stephen MandersonSoftware EngineerCommented:
It would be much easier to deploy via group policy and just script the removal of 2000.

Plus it wouldnt be practical to go round 50 machines and wait while each go through an upgrade. The main thing being that down the line you may want to upgrade again.
Stephen MandersonSoftware EngineerCommented:
And you have full control of the 50 office 2003 installations from your SBS server. It would be much easier to manage and alot less hastle for yourself in the long run :)
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