Steven Westwell’s blog

My outlook on a few things of interest to me, and hopefully you.

Posts Tagged ‘Office 2007’

Isnt it odd…

Posted by Steven Westwell on March 26, 2008

…how some people check facebook more than email these days.

It’s a good thing from my professional point of view, but this is quickly becoming a blog post rather than the short facebook message I was about to send a friend.

More and more I find myself communicating with friends via facebook / social networking platform of choice or by reading RSS feeds from their blogs, or by a combination of both:

From a collaboration point of view, the indirect dissemination of information is fantastic, typically emails are only sent to those the sender thinks wants to see it, however with well constructed social networking platforms the readers can also choose to be told about such things happening in their relevant circles of interest. The obvious benefit of this is that the content is also readily available on a website rather than having to ask someone to forward an email.

Socially this change has been happening for some time, I rarely check my personal emails as most of the time I am contacted through IM or some social networking site that I check via RSS.

How soon is this to being reality for businesses? Microsoft being one of the biggest players in the workspace / productivity arena are making some distinct paths into this approach, SharePoint as a platform is extremely flexible, provides RSS feeds and readers by default and places much more control in the hands of users rather than that of the webmasters, allowing much more relevant content to be disseminated as described above.  Outlook 2007 now has an RSS reader built in, and various other interesting ways to view sharepoint content. 

Note: I am trying really hard at this point not to list out all the extremely cool functionality of both these product sets.

I know there are other players out there, but again, I do not want to go into too much depth and this point and wish to use MS as an example that almost everyone out there has heard of, and most have used MS Office in some shape or form.

So as we now enter the era of Windows Vista (with the release of SP1) and Office 2007 (well, why not if you are upgrading the OS?) will we see more and more take up of alternative communication methods? Probably, but this will not mean the end of email.

Growth of IM in the business is almost a certainty, as happened in the homes of many some time ago. 

Adoption of social platform like intranets, most probably, as we can see happening in peoples homes right now with blogs like these and the massive amounts of social networking users on facebook, myspace, live spaces, bebo, etc…

Email will more than likely than not stay on the table, and the previously mentioned alternatives should certainly not be viewed as replacements, they are complimentary products that provide more options that may often be better suited to the type of communication required for a given purpose than that of a typical email.

One of my biggest bugbears is the emailing of large documents and especially spreadsheets around a project team to “collaborate”, when web based workspaces are available that allow concurrent editing and dynamic viewing.

Again to use the Microsoft example, Excel spreadsheets -> SharePoint Lists.

There are some key benefits to converting excel spreadsheets to a sharepoint list when collecting information from several people, the lists can still be exported to excel for more advanced reporting options, but within sharepoint the concurrent editing, multiple views, event triggers and workflow type behaviour (and even RSS feeds of changes!) add a huge amount of functionality, especially when these types of documents are related to ongoing business processes.

I could even be monitoring all of this from outlook 2007 right alongside my email.

Once (and if) a final set of data has been created, I might IM the large file to a manager, or Email the file to a customer if I need a formal record and proof that it has been sent / received, and also allows for interoperability should they not be using IM or collaborative workspaces.

The signs are all positive that this will happen, and soon we will find those who have grown up with such technologies will easily and readily adopt them in a professional capacity, and greatly enhance their productivity.

Personally, I find this an exciting prospect and I begin to wonder what is next? what new toy will the next generation grow up with that will some day end up in the workplace? what technologies will make some everyday tasks practically dissapear and allow us to spend even more time delving into the important value add activities that hopefully offer some level of personal gratification, reduced learning curves due to wealth and structure of knowledge available.  According to Time Management courses I attended in the past, this could potentially offer reduced stress, better enjoyment of work and ongoing job satisfaction.

I’m sold 🙂


Posted in Collaboration | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

OCS Localisation

Posted by Steven Westwell on February 21, 2008

As mentioned by John Lamb in his blog over at Modality Systems, we have been looking into automating the localisation of Office Communicator client.

After a bit of thought it seems most obvious to match the language of Office Communicator to the operating system language rather than Office, however before this happened I put together the following code to match the office communicator client to office 2007:

  If Err.Number <> 0 Then
   ologging.CreateEntry "zAZCFG-OCSLanguage: Office Language Key not found, defaulting to: en-US", LogTypeInfo 
   oShell.RegWrite "HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Communicator MUI\Default Language", 1033, "REG_DWORD"
   iRetVal = Success
   If OfficeCode = 1033 Or OfficeCode = 2052 Or OfficeCode =  1043 _
    Or OfficeCode = 1036 Or OfficeCode = 1031 Or OfficeCode = 1041 _
    Or OfficeCode = 1042 Or OfficeCode = 1046 Or OfficeCode = 3082 _
    Or OfficeCode = 1028 Or OfficeCode = 1030 Or OfficeCode = 1035 _
    Or OfficeCode = 1040 Or OfficeCode = 1053    

    ologging.CreateEntry "zAZCFG-OCSLanguage: Writing language code to OCS key: " & OfficeCode, LogTypeInfo 
    oShell.RegWrite "HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Communicator MUI\Default Language", OfficeCode, "REG_DWORD"
    iRetVal = Success
    ologging.CreateEntry "zAZCFG-OCSLanguage: Office Language Key not supported in OCS MUI, defaulting to: en-US", LogTypeInfo 
    oShell.RegWrite "HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Communicator MUI\Default Language", 1033, "REG_DWORD"
    iRetVal = Success
   End If 
  End If 

oshell is a windows shell object and ologging is a ZTIUtility file writing parameter.

In the near future I will update with a script to set office communicator to match Vista 🙂


Posted in Collaboration | Tagged: , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

Office 2007 + OSD + DFS issue

Posted by Steven Westwell on February 11, 2008


Whilst deploying office 2007 via SMS OSD, with an updates location specified in the config.xml set as a DFS path (Windows 2003 SP2), Office 2007 fails to install intermittantly. In the below situation Office 2007 has been cached in the LIS (Local Installation Source) of our Windows Vista Image / .wim. 

When deploying the image to a new machine we run c:\msocache\all users\{[insert guid later]}\setup.exe /config config.xml to install Office 2007 from the locally cached source.  This config.xml stipulates the language to install office in and the update locations to check for additional MSP files to be applied during the install.

Expected Behaviour 

Office 2007 parses remote supdatelocations listed in the config.xml then the locally cached msp files.


The Office installer picks up all supdatelocations listed in the config.xml

Config.XML Extract:

<SetupUpdates CheckForSUpdates="Yes" SUpdateLocation\\DFSStore\ParentFolder\OfficeUpdates\ />
<AddLanguage Id="de-DE" ShellTransform="Yes" />
<Logging Type="Verbose" Path="c:\minint\" Template="MSOVerboseLog-(*).txt" /> 

The Beginning of the log file showing supdatelocations parsed:

PERF: TickCount=471325 Name=OBootStrapper::Run Description=Begin function
Operating System version: 6.0.6000 . Platform ID: 2
Running on a 32-bit operating system.
Command line: setup.exe /config "c:\msocache\config.xml"
Parsing command line.
Handling command line option: /config
Config XML file specified: c:\msocache\config.xml
Parsing config.xml at: c:\msocache\config.xml
Preferred product specified in config.xml to be: PROPLUS
Parsed AddLangauge: CultureTag with value: de-de in config.xml.
Parsed AddLanguage\ShellTransform: true.
Logging type verbose specified in config.xml.
Log directory: c:\minint\ specified in config.xml
Log file template: MSOVerboseLog-(*).txt specified in config.xml
Display level basic specified in config.xml.
Show modal dialogs specified in config.xml.
Hide completion notice specified in config.xml.
Auto accept license specified in config.xml.
PIDKEY element successfully parsed in config.xml
COMPANYNAME specified in config.xml.
SUpdateLocation path specified in config.xml: \\DFSStore\ParentFolder\OfficeUpdates\
Log level changed from: Standard to: Verbose
Searching for best setup controller dll to load...
Checking for setup controller dll at [\\DFSStore\ParentFolder\OfficeUpdates\].
Checking for setup controller dll at [c:\MSOCache\All Users\{90120000-0011-0000-0000-0000000FF1CE}-C\Updates].
Checking for setup controller dll at [c:\MSOCache\All Users\{90120000-0011-0000-0000-0000000FF1CE}-C].
  Found setup controller dll at [c:\MSOCache\All Users\{90120000-0011-0000-0000-0000000FF1CE}-C\OSETUP.DLL].
  Version [12.0.4518.1014].
Verify file signature in "c:\MSOCache\All Users\{90120000-0011-0000-0000-0000000FF1CE}-C\setup.exe"
"c:\MSOCache\All Users\{90120000-0011-0000-0000-0000000FF1CE}-C\setup.exe" is verified to be a valid file
Verify file signature in "c:\MSOCache\All Users\{90120000-0011-0000-0000-0000000FF1CE}-C\OSETUP.DLL"
"c:\MSOCache\All Users\{90120000-0011-0000-0000-0000000FF1CE}-C\OSETUP.DLL" is verified to be a valid file
Using setup controller dll at [c:\MSOCache\All Users\{90120000-0011-0000-0000-0000000FF1CE}-C\OSETUP.DLL].
PERF: TickCount=489655 Name=OBootStrapper::Run Description=Calling RunSetup
Opening log file c:\minint\MSOVerboseLog-(20080128154209130).txt.

However, Later, roughly 3470 lines further into the log, we see two different types of behaviour

a) Office installation suceeds

From the following log file it looks like the DFS share has not been searched, but the local MSP files have been applied.

Searching for patches in: c:\MSOCache\All Users\PROPLUSOFFICE12PATCH-C
Discovered patch c:\MSOCache\All Users\PROPLUSOFFICE12PATCH-C\Patch00000000.msp
Patch c:\MSOCache\All Users\PROPLUSOFFICE12PATCH-C\Patch00000000.msp is applicable for the current chained install.
Discovered patch c:\MSOCache\All Users\PROPLUSOFFICE12PATCH-C\Patch00000001.msp
Discovered patch c:\MSOCache\All Users\PROPLUSOFFICE12PATCH-C\Patch00000002.msp
Patch c:\MSOCache\All Users\PROPLUSOFFICE12PATCH-C\Patch00000002.msp is applicable for the current chained install.
Discovered patch c:\MSOCache\All Users\PROPLUSOFFICE12PATCH-C\Patch00000003.msp
Discovered patch c:\MSOCache\All Users\PROPLUSOFFICE12PATCH-C\Patch00000004.msp
Discovered patch c:\MSOCache\All Users\PROPLUSOFFICE12PATCH-C\Patch00000005.msp
Discovered patch c:\MSOCache\All Users\PROPLUSOFFICE12PATCH-C\Patch00000006.msp
Discovered patch c:\MSOCache\All Users\PROPLUSOFFICE12PATCH-C\Patch00000007.msp
Discovered patch c:\MSOCache\All Users\PROPLUSOFFICE12PATCH-C\Patch00000008.msp
Discovered patch c:\MSOCache\All Users\PROPLUSOFFICE12PATCH-C\Patch00000009.msp
Patch c:\MSOCache\All Users\PROPLUSOFFICE12PATCH-C\Patch00000009.msp is applicable for the current chained install.
Discovered patch c:\MSOCache\All Users\PROPLUSOFFICE12PATCH-C\Patch0000000a.msp
Patch c:\MSOCache\All Users\PROPLUSOFFICE12PATCH-C\Patch0000000a.msp is applicable for the current chained install.

b) Office installation fails

We see that Office has attempted to read from the DFS share but errors.

Searching for patches in: \\DFSStore\ParentFolder\OfficeUpdates\
Error: file search failed ErrorCode: 5(0x5).
Error: file search failed ErrorCode: 5(0x5).
Catalyst execution finished: 01/28/2008 15:42:13.  Return code: 30015.  Exception caught: ErrorCodeOnly.
PERF: TickCount=494507 Name=RunSetup Description=End function
Setup temp foler set to [C:\Windows\TEMP\Setup00000130].


In a word, permissions, the account SMS is attempting to install Office 2007 with does not have read access to the DFS share where the MSP files are stored.  By giving the “Domain Computers” group read permissions on the share Office installs without incident every time.

Other network share types tested show that a lack of permissions on a standard share logged as per the failed logs, except that the install continues on to search additional supdatelocation’s without failing.

This may only be an issue with DFS on Windows 2003 SP2, and possibly be due to other environmental circumstances i.e. poor network connectivity and time outs.

If anyone else experiences similar issues with the Office 2007 installer accessing DFS shares I would be interested to hear about it.


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