Unorthodox configuration: How to use VLK and Click-to-run Office Apps side-by-side (Visio and Office 2016 as an example)

Ever had issues with different versions of Office programs not living in harmony together? Me too! This post describes how I was able to fix the issue and get Visio and Office 2016 of different installation types to play well together.

Preface

This blog post was inspired by my need to have Office 365 ProPlus (2016 versions) and Visio running side-by-side on my laptop. That turned out to be a lot more complicated than it arguably should be, so I documented the steps for further use. These instructions are written for that particular scenario (installing MS Visio on a machine with pre-existing Office 2016/365 ProPlus installation). My laptop is running Windows 10 Enterprise, which probably caused one of the issues I ran into.

Let’s get started! 

Steps

You can get a rough outline of the steps here. Being Microsoft’s documentation, it doesn’t really tell you what to do, though.

1. Office Deployment Tool

First of all, download Office Deployment Tool, which then enables you to download and package a Click-to-run version of Visio installer. If you have Office 2016 installed already, you’ll need to use the 2013 installer for Visio. You can download the 2016 version of the Office Deployment Tool here, or the 2013 version here. Unpack it to a safe directory somewhere.

2. Using the tool to create an App-V -package

Next you’ll need to exit the configuration file (configuration.xml). Open it, and make it look something like this:

Save and close it. (You can find more of the Product ID:s here.)

Next you’ll need to run the tool. Open a command line, cd to the directory where you have setup.exe, and run it. You’ll get the help for the tool:

Run the following commands (change <yourpath> to be the path you downloaded the tool to):

As a result, after a packaging process that seems to take forever, you’ll get a AppV -package for MS Visio. It’s located in <yourpath>/output/AppVPackages -folder, which also has UserConfig.xml and DeploymentConfig.xml -files for your chosen build.

3. Deploying the App-V -package

3.1 Try to deploy the App-V -package (it might work for you)

“The heck am I going to do with this steamy bile of nonsense?”, you might ask. So did I, as double-clicking that bugger doesn’t do you any good. However, quick googling took me to an instructions document, that told me to run some PowerShell-magic to get the package installing.

That’s all swell, except even the first cmdlet refused to work for me. I got the following error:

It’s possible, that I got the error because of how I’ve configured my environment. It might work for you just fine. In case it doesn’t, below are some steps on how to possible remediate the issue.

3.2 Fixing the issues stopping the deployment

Oh! Well, that must be an easy fix. There’s a service with roughly that name, and it’s disabled. Just start the service, then it’ll work fine, right?

AppV Service Shenanigans

AppV Service Shenanigans

In reality, trying to Start the service, you get an error. The one below, or similar. It might be dependent on your environment.

AppV Service Start error

AppV Service Start error

To get around this, you actually don’t need to touch the service at all. As a matter of fact, the fix doesn’t touch the service at all, at least not directly.

Pop the PowerShell open again and run these:

This should enable App-V client for you. Now you can actually try installing and publishing the App-V -package.

This might fail with an error like this:

If it does, you’ll need to make a small registry change. Run regedit and navigate to this:

Then you should enable (set value to 1) for EnablePackageScripts.

Regedit to enable appv scripts

Regedit to enable appv scripts

Now we should be good!

3.3 Retry the App-V -package installation…

Finally, this should work:

After a while you should have Visio installed. Easy as pie!

References

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A Software Developer working on SharePoint, Azure, Office 365 and a lot of other stuff. Writing this blog to document interesting things I've found out here and there.

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