Use Casper to deploy and manage Office for Mac 2011

Yesterday, I had the opportunity to attend JAMF Software‘s National User Group held in downtown Minneapolis and speak about deploying and managing Office 2011 using their product Casper. Although 97 folks had RSVPed, my guess is that at least 120 were present.

My company has been using Casper to manage our Macs around the world for the past six years and because JAMF is a Twin Cities company, we’ve had close ties to their product and their developers. JAMF has grown from just a handful of people to nearly 50 and they’re still growing, which is great to hear in uncertain economic times! For anyone unfamiliar with their flagship product Casper Suite, it enables administrators to inventory, image, manage and deploy software to their Macs and so much more.

My talk was a precursor to one I’ll be giving at Macworld 2011 in January as part of the Mac OS X Deployment sessions of the MacIT conference. It covered three things:

  • Deploying Office 2011 with Casper
  • Configuring Outlook for Exchange using my AppleScript
  • Managing Office 2011 preferences using MCX

I’ve already covered using my Outlook Exchange Setup script and some MCX settings, which can be used with Casper’s management server, on this site. I promised folks that I would properly document my deployment methods here as well. I’ll try to get this done before the end of November.

Below are my slides from the presentation. I’m loathe to put up just the slides because they really mean nothing without some explanation but those who attended the user group may find them helpful.

Thanks to all the folks who stopped and asked questions or gave me feedback about my presentation. I appreciated the kudos too!

Update: I’ve posted a detailed page based on my presentation in our Deployment section of the site.

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6 comments to Use Casper to deploy and manage Office for Mac 2011

  • Dana

    Do you happen to know how to automate the import of the Entourage 2008 identity to Outlook 2011 via Casper or a script.

    • Unfortunately, that’s just simply not scriptable. The syntax is not built into Outlook’s AppleScript dictionary and Casper can’t do anything more than what the application can be scripted to do.

      Still looking for this magic bullet. For now, you’ll either need to provide your users very good upgrade instructions or have admins help them.

  • Joe

    Hi, I’ve some questions:
    1. Is there a way to migrate entourage to outlook 2011 on mac silently without need user intervention (automation).
    2. How to configure the outlook setting silently using a script?


    • Hi Joe!

      1. Silently? No, unfortunately. While much of Outlook’s preferences have migrated to .plist files, which we can manage with MCX, user data is still in a proprietary database format. The only way that data can be manipulated is with Outlook. Outlook is AppleScriptable but that requires Outlook to be running under the user’s Mac OS X account.

      2. Again, this cannot be done silently because AppleScript requires Outlook to be running in order to manipulate user data.

      I’ve just this afternoon completed a 60-user migration from Entourage 2008 to Outlook. I’ll try to get up a blog post about it to share my experiences. It really wasn’t a big ordeal for my users.

  • Yos


    Could you share your blog how to migrate from Entourage 2008 to Outlook?

    Thanks very much