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Using OffCat

Created: 31 Jul 2013 • Updated: 29 May 2014
Rob.Wilcox's picture
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Deployments of Microsoft Office can become quite complex in large organisations. Usually there are two or more different versions, and often times three or even four different service pack levels floating around out there on machines. Sometimes these types of issues can cause problems when it comes to your Enterprise Vault deployment, particularly if the version of Office is old.

Microsoft have a tool that can help figure out exactly which versions of which Office products are deployed on a per-machine basis. It's called Office Configuration Analyzer Tool or OffCat for short. You can get it from here:

http://blogs.technet.com/b/exchange/archive/2013/03/20/released-office-configuration-analyzer-offcat-tool.aspx

I ran it on one of my test machines, to see how easy it was to use. There are a few options for downloading, including :

- ZIP file, 8 MB (this is what I downloaded)
- MSI, 7.6 MB
- OffCatv1.adm, 9 KB - a group policy template
- Word Document, 2.4 MB

Having downloaded and decompressed the ZIP file, I just had to run the OffCat.exe file. There is a license agreement to agree to, and then in Microsoft Best Practice Analyzer (BPA) style you can get the program to check for updates, before running a scan. The scan, per installed Office application, is pretty quick, and you get a nice report in an easy to read format.

It would be great to have this functionality available from a remote location, but, I haven't figured out how to do that. The information it gives though may be invaluable in troubleshooting complex office installations, particularly those where versions co-exist, or upgrades from Office version to Office version have been performed. Have you ever used the OffCat tool? Let me know in the comments below.