Introduction

Microsoft Office 365 ProPlus follows a similar servicing procedure as that of Windows 10 and SCCM.

These updates also align with the above products, and it is important for you as an administrator in an enterprise client environment to know how to handle this.

In this blog post, I cover what the Office 365 Client Updates are, some things to think about and some bugs that I have seen.

Different Microsoft Office 365 ProPlus Update Channels

There are three update channels for Microsoft Office 365 ProPlus:

  • Monthly Channel
  • Semi-Annual Channel
  • Semi-Annual Channel (Targeted)

Which update channel you will receive depends on which update channel (CDN) is configured on the client.

Scconfigmgr.com has written a great blog post about how to create collections and change update channel in SCCM for this.

Some things to note about Office 365 Client Updates

They are not released at the same time as Windows Updates

A customer contacted me the other day because their Office 365 client updates were not released to clients in a timely fashion.

Their configuration was one Automatic Deployment Rule (ADR) for all client updates, with the following configuration:

  • Date Released or Revised: Last 1 day
  • Office 365 client updates enabled
  • Evaluation schedule: Every Second Tuesday at 23:55

This is a fine setup except for the following scenarios:

  • Out of band patches are not included
  • Windows Defender Definitions in SCCM will not be up to date as they are released more frequently

Software Updates released by Microsoft are generally released on Patch Tuesday, which occurs every Second Tuesday of each month at 10 AM Los Angeles time.

Living in Sweden, this should be around 7 PM.

Looking at the Windows Updates, we can see that all of them were released at 7 PM.

office 365 sccm updates

Office 365 client updates, however, do not follow this timing, as you can see in the below picture:

The effect of the configuration was that the latest Office 365 patches were not included when the ADR was evaluated.

Office 365 Client Updates are large

Every update channel contains its separate Data folder for Office 365 Client Update.

Since this folder is over 1 GB in size, it makes sense to split up the Deployment Packages that you use for Software Updates and use one Deployment Package per channel. Then you will need to continuously clean these Deployment Packages of superseded and expired updates.

Scconfigmgr.com has provided a console extension for handling this, that I frequently use.

Known bugs for Office 365 Client Updates in SCCM

A bug that I have seen with Office 365 Client Updates in SCCM is that not all data is downloaded when using multiple languages of Office 365 ProPlus. The solution to this problem seems to be to manually download the required updates to the Deployment Package.

Solution

There are a number of ways to handle this.

  • Increase the evaluation frequency of your Automatic Deployment Rule, if you are only using one to handle client updates.
  • Create a separate Automatic Deployment Rule for Office 365 Client Updates.

References

For more information about the issues regarding timezones and ADRs, please refer to the following link: https://blogs.technet.microsoft.com/scott/2016/08/10/scheduling-software-updates-to-run-on-patch-tuesday/

Updates related to Automatic Deployment Rules in System Center Configuration Manager Technical Preview 1801: https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/sccm/core/get-started/capabilities-in-technical-preview-1801

Overview of Update Channels for Microsoft Office 365 ProPlus: https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/deployoffice/overview-of-update-channels-for-office-365-proplus

Related posts

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here