On 2018-Sep-24, Microsoft began their 2019 release schedule. The DIS team received “preview” data for the Microsoft Office products and these "editions" were added to the global database ahead of the release, to ensure all customer upgrades to the latest version of Microsoft’s products, transition as seamlessly as possible.
Some major challenges the DIS team faced with Microsoft’s major version releases, is that, in many cases, we do not know how the data will be reported before we receive the data to the global database. We may be able to predict how the data will be reported, based on patterns in the previous data we have collected, but it’s not always guaranteed to stay the same between releases. There may be different naming standards, version standards or other differences.
Some may be aware, that there are applications included in the 2019 release, that have a “Preview” edition available for selected Microsoft customers. Previously, in the 2013 release, this edition was available in the data reported to us, which allowed us to differentiate this edition from the actual full release of the Microsoft products, whereas in the 2016 and 2019 release, this piece of the information puzzle was excluded, making it difficult to not only differentiate the editions, but correctly target the version.
In the past, version data has been presented in the following ways:
2010 = Version 14.x
2013 = Version 15.x
2016 = Version 16.x
Following this trend, we were expecting to see 2019 applications to have a version of 17.x, This was not the case. We did not see any global data reported with this version, only reported as 16.x. We researched into this a lot further and saw that the 2019 release was not a “Major” release of the Microsoft Office products, but rather a “Minor” build update, which meant that the Major versions used for rule detection was no longer suitable.
With dedicated resources and some powerful Snow minds on the task, we got to work in developing a much better way of detecting individual instances of whether Office 2016 / 2019 / O365 applications are installed on devices. This allows for a much more accurate reporting of how Microsoft Office applications have been purchased, and which method is used for deployment. So now whether you have an O365 subscription, or a perpetual 2019 license, SLM will be able to give you more detailed insights into your estate. And for Visio and Project users, we haven’t forgotten you! You will also be able to see your Visio Professional or Project Professional applications to be viewed through an O365 deployment or regular 2019 Perpetual purchases.
For Snow customers looking for a deeper technical description of how to maximise your license management of Microsoft Office products, please visit the Snow Software Knowledge Base:
KB0020083 - FAQ: Microsoft Office 365 / 2019 / 2016
Snow’s product catalogue for Microsoft (Applications and Bundles) currently stands at 5000+ applications. While this is a large number, quantity is not our focus as a DIS team. Our main focus for the DIS global database, will always be quality. Quality involves ensuring the Application Family structure allows Upgrades/Downgrades, that the correct life-cycle dates are set, the right UNSPSC/Snow Types have been assigned for reporting, the bundles are configured with the correct components, that we assign the relevant 3rd Party Connector data to these applications, and many more attributes.
For an updated list of all Microsoft 2019 applications officially released, please visit the website below: https://support.microsoft.com/en-gb/lifecycle/search?alpha=2019