Enterprise / Corporate deployment How-To for IT Administrators

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Overview

This article provides guidance to IT administrators and corporate software groups who are evaluating or deploying the Office Timeline add-in. It covers system requirements, software distribution system configuration, and registry key settings.

Other notes

The Office Timeline End User License Agreement (EULA) can be found in the product at installation.  A licensing overview can be found here: https://www.officetimeline.com/license. The most current build of Office Timeline can be found here: https://www.officetimeline.com/updates

System requirements

In order to successfully deploy Office Timeline, each machine must meet Microsoft's requirements for add-ins. Here are the minimum requirements:

  • Windows Vista, Windows 7, Windows 8, Windows 10 
  • Microsoft Office 2007, 2010, 2013 or 2016
  • .NET Framework 4.5.2
  • VSTO 2010 Runtime (v10.0.50903) or newer
  • .NET Programmability Support for PowerPoint enabled in Microsoft Office. This is typically enabled by default during an Office install.

* Although Windows XP is not supported, many customers use Office Timeline on Windows XP.


Tech Notes

To deploy Office Timeline within a corporation, follow the instructions below:

  1. Purchase a volume license (multi-licenses).  Contact sales@officetimeline.com for info.

  2. Download OfficeTimeline.zip from here and install on a prep system.

  3. Make sure the target systems have the following software installed:

    - Office 2007 or newer (2010 or newer is recommended)
    - Office 2007 must have Service Pack 3 installed
    - .NET Framework 4.5.2
    - VSTO 2010 Runtime v10.0.50903 or newer (download from here)

  4. Configure your software distribution system to install Office Timeline using the following command line: msiexec /i OfficeTimeline.msi LICENSEKEY=AAAA-BBBB-CCCCC-DDDDD-EEEEE-FFFFF (Replace the AAAA-... part with your actual volume license product key.) The installation must execute with a user logged on.

    It is possible the installation will execute without a user being logged on, but this scenario is not supported yet. If the activation cannot be performed by the setup (because the activation server is blocked by your company firewall, for example), the add-in will display the activation dialog at the very first run and the user or the system administrator will have to manually enter the product key in that dialog (this solution was chosen to protect the product key).

  5. To configure the add-in to not send usage data to Office Timeline, add this parameter to the command line: DISABLETELEMETRY=1

  6. To block the add-in from checking for updates, add the following parameter to the command line:DISABLECHECKFORUPDATES=1

    This will disable both automatic update queries and the ones performed manually by users.

  7. If you want to only deploy the Free Edition, configure the following command line: msiexec /i OfficeTimeline.msi


Corporate Firewall

If automatic activation fails due to a corporate firewall and you would like automatic activation to function, you will need to make exclusions in the firewall for the Office Timeline website and activation service:

  • activation.officetimeline.com:443 HTTP/1.1
  • www.officetimeline.com:443 HTTP/1.1

 


 

Upgrading an Existing Office Timeline Deployment to Pro

If the Office Timeline Add-in is already installed on end-user machines, either through a previous automated deployment or manual install, you need to be aware of some things for a smooth upgrade:

  • Office Timeline version 3.x is an older release that does not contain Pro Edition or the drag & drop UI. A major update to Office Timeline was released in October, 2019, version 4.0, which contains Pro Edition (Swimlane functionality) and the drag & drop UI.

  • Office Timeline Free, Plus, and Pro Editions are bundled into a single executable file. The only thing that differentiates what the user sees (Free Edition, Plus Edition, or Pro Edition) is the Office Timeline license file. This license file is stored here: %ProgramData%\Office Timeline\Current\OfficeTimeline.dll.license

  • When upgrading your license from Plus Edition to Pro Edition, you will no longer be able to activate version 3.x with the same key.  You will only be able to activate version 4.0 or newer bits. If users try to activate version 3.x with the Pro Edition key, it will not activate and users will see “Free Edition” in the ribbon. This means that when we upgrade the key, you’ll need to make sure that all users are prepared to use version 4.x moving forward and they will not be installing or activating version 3.x.

  • When you do an automated roll-out with the latest bits, during installation, Pro Edition gets installed and automatically activated for the end user. The MSI package you create (per the instructions above), will look for a command line parameter LICENSEKEY; If this parameter exists, the install will activate the local machine during roll-out. This process overwrites any existing Office Timeline license (e.g. Plus Edition license). In order for activation to happen during roll-out, you’ll want to make sure that the communication from PowerPoint/Office Timeline to the Internet is not blocked by your firewall. The benefit of doing a deployment and pushing it out is that setup overwrites the existing license and activates Pro Edition for the end user. End users will not need to go to Help > About > Refresh. Another benefit of a roll-out is that no uninstall of the existing installation is necessary. Office Timeline will automatically uninstall previous versions before installing 4.x.

  • If you create an install package of version 4.x (Pro Edition) that users can pull from an internal website and do the install themselves, they will need to refresh the license manually by pressing Help > About > Refresh on the Office Timeline ribbon in PowerPoint in order to see Pro Edition. If existing users do not refresh their license, even if they are on version 4.x, they will see the Plus Edition version. This is because an existing Plus user already had Plus Edition activated and we do not update the license file during a manual install. The same is true if existing Plus users who already have Office Timeline 3.x install the latest version of Office Timeline from our website. They too will need to press Help > About > Refresh in order to get Pro Edition to appear, instead of Plus Edition.

  • If a user has never had Office Timeline installed on their machine and they install the latest release via any means (manual install, custom package from intranet portal, or roll-out), they will see Pro Edition.
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