Best uses of Office XP for small business

Microsoft Office XP is the newest version of Office and includes many enhancements. This technical article describes how to effectively plan for and deploy Office XP on a Microsoft Small Business Server 2000 network.

This article includes planning Office XP deployment, staging Office XP deployment,

deploying Office XP, configuring Outlook and finding additional resources.

Planning Office XP deployment

The first step in planning Office XP deployment is to determine which product fits your business needs.

The following Office XP products are available:

Office XP Standard

Office XP Professional

Office XP Professional with Microsoft FrontPage (includes SharePoint Team Services)

Office XP Developer

To install Office XP on your network, it must be licensed under one of the Microsoft volume licensing programs. When you license Office XP through one of these programs, you can install Office on multiple client computers without entering a product key each time.

Microsoft has various volume licensing programs. You may find that the open license is suitable for Small Business Server 2000 customers. To find out more about the open license program. When you perform an administrative installation, you will be prompted to enter your volume license product key. This product key is specific to your company.

Before deploying Office XP, make sure that the client computers on the network meet the following system requirements. Any computers that do not meet the minimum requirements must be upgraded before you install Office XP.

All versions of Office XP require Microsoft Internet Explorer 4.01 Service Pack 2 (SP2) or later; Internet Explorer 5.01 or later is recommended. Office uses Internet Explorer as the default browser.

Internet Explorer 5.01 is included with Small Business Server 2000.

Before you deploy Office XP on the Small Business Server 2000 network, consider how files can be migrated to Office XP.

How you migrate files depends on the applications installed. Users with Office 97, Office 2000, and Office XP can share files in the same format. To migrate files, users open documents, spreadsheets, and presentations in Office XP and then save these files. The Office XP format is applied.

Access 97, which has a different format from Access 2000 and Access 2002, is the only exception. If some users continue to use Access 97, it may be necessary to save databases in the original, older format. Users who open Access databases in formats earlier than that of Access 2000 can manipulate data and use the application, but they cannot make any changes to tables, queries, reports, forms, macros, or modules. If the user wants to make those types of changes, the database must be converted to an Access 2002 or Access 2000 format. This process leaves a copy of the database in the old format. Make sure all databases are thoroughly tested before discontinuing use of the old format.

Setup can convert files from other applications, such as Lotus 1-2-3 and WordPerfect. For more information, see the “Upgrading Reference” in the Microsoft Office XP Resource Kit.

Before deploying Office XP, take the following into account:

Consider a one time vs. a gradual deployment

An important consideration in a deployment is the rollout of client applications. The fastest way to make Office XP available is to deploy it to all client computers at one time. On the other hand, it may be beneficial to deploy it gradually so that there is ample time for troubleshooting, accommodating any customizations, and addressing user requests.

Consider the time of day you are deploying Office

Choosing a time to install Office XP depends on network usage. Installing an application such as Office XP on all client computers on a network at one time may consume significant bandwidth and temporarily degrade network performance. If you need to maintain network performance, deploy Office XP in the early morning or late evening, when the network experiences low usage.

Allow time for troubleshooting

Allow time for user education

Time should be set aside to teach users about new Office XP features and to answer questions.

Staging Office XP deployment

The following steps guide you through the process of deploying Office XP to the Small Business Server 2000 network. The first step is to create a shared folder from which you can install Office XP on to client computers. The benefits of using a shared folder to install Office XP include:

The ability to install Office XP on multiple client computers over the network.

The ability to choose which client computers get Office XP.

Using the Office XP Setup files to repair or reinstall Office XP on a client computer.

Small Business Server 2000 is set up with a shared folder to install applications. This location of the folder is: C:\ClntApps\ClientApps5\OfficeXP

and the full network path is: \\\ClientApps5\OfficeXP

Make sure that users have Read & Execute and List Folder Contents permissions for this shared folder.

If you have an older version of Office on your server, you may want to keep it available if some users are still running it. Make sure that the older version’s installation location is different from that of Office XP. The administrative installation of Office XP is not meant to be an upgrade for older versions of Office on the server.

You must create an administrative installation of Office XP to the shared folder. This sets up Office XP so that it can be installed from a client computer.

Insert the Office XP CD-ROM into the appropriate disk drive of your Small Business Server computer.

Click Start, click Run, and then type cmd.

Navigate to your CD-ROM drive; for example, type cd D:

Type setup.exe /a, which starts the administrative setup of Office XP. The Office XP Setup Wizard appears.

Enter the name of the Small Business Server network.

Select the target installation directory. This should be the shared folder created for Office XP.

Enter the 25-character product key given to the organization through the Microsoft licensing program. When Office is installed on client computers, users will not have to enter this product key.

When installation is complete, all of the Setup files on the Office XP CD-ROM will be in the shared folder that you specified.

Part two of this three part series will focus on deploying and configuring Office XP

Would you recommend this article?


Thanks for taking the time to let us know what you think of this article!
We'd love to hear your opinion about this or any other story you read in our publication.

Jim Love, Chief Content Officer, IT World Canada

Featured Download

Related Tech News

Get ITBusiness Delivered

Our experienced team of journalists brings you engaging content targeted to IT professionals and line-of-business executives delivered directly to your inbox.