Can I manage multiple versions of office/outlook with GPO using multiple ADM templates?

Posted on 2009-05-08
Medium Priority
Last Modified: 2012-05-06
My office has users with both Office 2003 and Office 2007 (on XP, 2003, and Vista).  I have a need to set some settings in Outlook and planned to use the Outlk.adm template file, however there are multiple versions of this file (one for each version of outlook).

I know most outlook settings are in version specific registry keys, so I'm betting I'm going to have to apply both ADM templates to cover my entire installation base.  

Is this possible?  Am I going to have to run multiple GPOs (one for each adm?).  Can I apply both ADMs to everyone (regardless of version in hopes they get the settings they need) or will that cause issues?  

What about the fact that Vista uses .admx files?  Am I going to have to account for that with another GPO/ADMx collaboration?

I can't seem to find many posts regarding this issue so maybe it's either just not an issue, or we're silly for allowing both versions in our office/windows vs. using a single standard.

Question by:FADVMSAdmin
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Accepted Solution

Joemonkey earned 1500 total points
ID: 24339863
I would create a GPO for the Office 2003 settings and a separate GPO for the Office 2007 settings then set up a WMI filter for "only if Office 2003 installed" and another for "only if Office 2007 installed" and apply the filter to the matching GPO

How you do it is your choice, either something like

SELECT * FROM Win32_RegistryAction WHERE Key = "SOFTWARE\\Microsoft\\Office\\11.0"


Author Comment

ID: 24339994
OK so that sounds like a great idea.  I will give that some thought/testing.  

What about the Vista using ADMX files?  Are they required?  I loaded up my gpedit.msc and successfully loaded the 2007 adm file on my Vista machine and I see the policy items.  I cannot however load the admx file so I'm confused as to what that even is.

Assisted Solution

Joemonkey earned 1500 total points
ID: 24341100
Pretty sure policies set up in a .adm file still apply to vista.  It was my understanding that the .admx files hold all settings the .adm files hold as well as extra settings that can only apply to vista and server 2008

.admx files don't get "loaded" like .adm files, you have to create the central repository for them

Lots of good info in these links


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Author Comment

ID: 24354680
Thank you for the information.  I won't get to do any testing or any research for a few days, maybe a week due to my workload, so this thread may sit idle for a while until I get some time.

Thank you!

Author Comment

ID: 24396770
Well I started looking into using the WMI filter suggestion but I don't think I'm going to have much luck with it.  I decided to first test the WMI query you provided to see if it would provide the intended results and I am having difficulty.

I'm using a tool called Wmitest.exe and I loaded the query you provided.  The application just freezes when trying to execute the query.  I opened up ProcMon (sysinternals) and show that while the app is freezing, the WMIprvse.exe process is basically querying my entire registry.  It's been running for over 10 minutes now and is still going!  This is obviously not going to work as a wmi filter.

Thoughts?  I will be out of the office next week so I won't be able to do much more testing for a while.

Author Closing Comment

ID: 31579625
Thank you Joemonkey for your help.  While I'm not a 100% sure how I'm going to accomplish what I've set out to do, you've put me on the right track.

It really looks like I have no choice but to have multiple GPOs.  I just have to find out how I'm going to apply only one of them to each client based on office version.  It looks like I'm going to have to use a custom script for this.

Thanks for the guidance on admx files too.  I now understand how all that works.

Thanks again!

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