Using Microsoft Systems Management Server to Deploy Office

Microsoft® Systems Management Server (SMS) is a software distribution tool designed for medium- and large-sized organizations that manage large numbers of clients in a complex and rapidly changing business environment. Unlike Group Policy, SMS does not require that you have an Active Directory® directory service structure set up, and you can use SMS to deploy software applications to a mixture of Microsoft Windows® clients.

When you use SMS to install and maintain Microsoft Office 2003 and Microsoft Office 2003 Multilingual User Interface Packs (MUI Packs), you can help to set a precise control over the deployment process. For example, by using SMS you can query client computers for software requirements before you install Office, and you can target the installation only to computers that meet your criteria.

Systems Management Server features span the full range of deployment tasks, including the following:

  • Creating an inventory of hardware and software already deployed across the organization.
  • Deploying Office 2003 with or without MUI Packs to a large number of clients or across multiple sites.
  • Scheduling and tracking the status of application deployment.
  • Pushing, or forcing, installation of Office 2003 on client computers.
  • Deploying to users who do not have administrative rights on the local computer.
  • Reporting and troubleshooting installation processes.

 Note    You must have Systems Management Server 2.0 with Service Pack 2 to deploy Office 2003.

If your organization has deployed Systems Management Server 2.0 with Service Pack 2 and you plan to use it to install Office 2003, you can install the package definition files (PDF files) from the Office 2003 Editions Resource Kit. PDF files contain the information required for Systems Management Server to create a software distribution package. The PDF files for Office 2003 have been consolidated into two files: Office11.sms (for all Office editions) and MUI11.sms (for Office MUI Packs).

Toolbox     The Office 2003 PDF files are available as part of an Office 2003 Editions Resource Kit install. See Package Definition Files for more information. Microsoft Office Project 2003 uses the same PDF file as Office 2003 (Office11.sms); Microsoft Office Visio 2003 uses its own PDF file (Visio11.sms).

In a small- or medium-sized organization, Group Policy may be the preferred tool for managing software deployment, particularly if you have already deployed the Active Directory directory service and you have clients with consistent software and hardware configurations. For more information about using Group Policy to deploy Office 2003, see Using Group Policy to Deploy Office.

For a comparison of application software deployment features in Systems Management Server 2.0 and Windows 2000, see Application Deployment Using Microsoft Management Technologies on the Windows 2000 Web site.

For more information about using Systems Management Server to deploy Office, see Using SMS 2.0 to Deploy Microsoft Office XP on the TechNet Web site. Note that this white paper references Office XP. Procedures specific to SMS 2.0 have not changed for Office 2003; however, some Office XP requirements are no longer relevant for Office 2003. For example, the system file update for Office XP is no longer required for Office 2003.

For more information about Systems Management Server 2.0, including information about upgrading to the latest version, see the Systems Management Server Web site.

Applies to:
Deployment Center 2003