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Office templates rollout

I'd like to be able to push out company templates to users on the network. Ideally the template should always end up on users hard drive. Another capability I am looking for is centralized update for those templates.

Office programs are Power Point and Word, both 2007 and 2010 version.

Environment is AD with 2008R2 servers, XP and 7 clients.  

Any suggestions are welcome and appreciated.
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adneprov
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adneprov
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2 Solutions
 
Adam BrownSr Solutions ArchitectCommented:
You can use Group Policy Preferences to accomplish this. It's just a little tricky. If you deploy a File preference, you can deploy each individual template file. Go to User Configuration\Preferences\File and add a new file. In the source, put the source file stored in a share. For the destination put %AppDataDir%\Microsoft\Templates\<filename> and set the Action to replace. Link the GPO to the OU that contains all the users you want to have this going for. When you do this, the files will be downloaded every time someone logs in, but if you change the Template file you just need to replace the file at the source location and it will be updated automatically when the users update group policy at login or at the refresh interval.
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Adam BrownSr Solutions ArchitectCommented:
If you don't want to have the files downloaded at every login, you can change the action on the preference to update or create, and when you update the template files change it to Replace for a few days, then back to update. It's a little resource intensive and workload heavy, but it will work and doesn't requite third party utilities.
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adneprovAuthor Commented:
Thanks for recommendation, I will test it out. The PPT file is rather large and if downloaded every time can hinder performance. Is there a way to check on the new vs. deployed version and skip the download when there is a match?
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RobSampsonCommented:
Hi, here's a method we use (as a VBS logon script) for the normal.dotm template, and now the blank.pot for PowerPoint as well, although that's not in the script.

It uses a central dotm file, and checks it's modification date against that on the user's drive.  Only if the central template has a newer modified date, is it copied over.  The old one for the user is backed up.

http://www.experts-exchange.com/Programming/Languages/Scripting/Shell/Batch/Q_26910011.html

Regards,

Rob.
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adneprovAuthor Commented:
I have a question in regards to the GP file approach (suggested by acbrown2010), how do you differentiate between WinXP and Win7 clients? The template paths are not the same.
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Adam BrownSr Solutions ArchitectCommented:
Using %appdatadir% differentiates automatically because it utilizes the %appdata% environment mapping, which is the same for both version and goes to C:\Users\Username\Appdata\Roaming for windows 7 and C:\Documents and Settings\Username\Application data for windows xp.

Unfortunately, the GP Preferences system doesn't seem to have a method for determining if a file is newer than the one that exists. You would have to manually change the replace option to update or create after everyone has a copy of the updated files. Another option you could utilize for this is to use Robocopy in a login or startup script to push the files out. Robocopy is capable of checking versions on a file to determine if the one being copied is newer. http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/cc733145%28WS.10%29.aspx has information on Syntax. The only problem with this technique is that robocopy doesn't come with Windows XP like it does Windows 7 and 2008, but you may be able to copy the executable for Robocopy to a shared folder and run it from the server in a script.
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adneprovAuthor Commented:
Thanks for your help. Works like a charm.
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