Microsoft 365 Apps update channels

A few months ago Microsoft changed the names of the Microsoft 365 Apps update channels (May 2020) and the titles of the Microsoft 365 Apps update channels monthly feature/security updates (July 2020). In this post I will show you what impact this could have on your active Office 365 environment in MECM (SCCM).

The following table shows the new name and previous name for each Microsoft 365 Apps update channel.

New NamePrevious Name
Beta ChannelInsider
(sometimes referred to as Insider Fast)
Current Channel (Preview)Monthly Channel (Targeted)
(sometimes referred to as Insider Slow)
Current ChannelMonthly Channel
Monthly Enterprise Channel(No previous name, this is a new channel)
Semi-Annual Enterprise Channel (Preview)Semi-Annual Channel (Targeted)
Semi-Annual Enterprise ChannelSemi-Annual Channel

Automatic Deployment Rules

If you have created automatic deployment rules for all of the different Office 365 update channels you perhaps have to change the following.

Change the names of the ADR’s in the names corresponding in the new names (see the table above) like:

Microsoft 365 Apps Monthly Enterprise Channel

In order for each ADR to only show the updates corresponding to the Channels you can change the property filter: Title

Open the properties of the ADR and go to the Tab: Software Updates. In this example we use the ADR of the Monthly Enterprise Channel.

Now Click on the Title in the Search Criteria section and add the following criteria:

Monthly Enterprise Channel (This will show the Monthly Enterprise Channel updates)
-(Preview) (this will not show the monthly channel preview updates)

If you click the preview button, you will see which updates will be found.

In this case we only see the Monthly Enterprise Channel updates, so this ADR is fine now.

Repeat these steps for all of your Office 365 ADR’s in order for them to work with the new channel names.

Office Deployment Tool (XML)

When using the Office Deployment Tool, you can specify the Channel attribute in your configuration XML file. This sets the default Update channel after installing the Microsoft 365 Apps.

The following table shows the new name and previous name for each attribute value. So perhaps you also have to change this in your active xml files that you use for the Microsoft 365 Apps.

Update channelNew attribute valuePrevious attribute value
Beta ChannelBetaChannelInsiderFast
Current Channel (Preview)CurrentPreviewInsiders
Current ChannelCurrent
Monthly Enterprise ChannelMonthlyEnterprise
Semi-Annual Enterprise Channel (Preview)SemiAnnualPreview
Semi-Annual Enterprise ChannelSemiAnnualBroad

In the Office 365 deployment xml you can change the channel in the highlighted section below:

Configuration Items

If you have created Configuration Items and baselines in MECM (SCCM) to change the Update channel of a workstation based on a registry entry you might have to check the Configuration Item of the Monthly channel. Because the Monthly changed to the Current and the new Monthly is a new channel so the url changed.

Channel NameURL
Beta Channel
Current Channel (Preview)
Current Channel
Monthly Enterprise Channel
Semi-Annual Enterprise Channel (Preview)
Semi-Annual Enterprise Channel

Open the properties off the Configuration Item you have to change. Open the tab Settings and open the setting for the CDNBaseUrl.

Go to the tab Compliance Rules and open edit the rule. Change the CDNBaseUrl in the new url of the Monthly Enterprise Channel listed in the table above.

Be sure and check all of your Configuration items for the update channel if the CDNBaseURl is still the correct channel.

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