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Distribute Office 2016 Javascript Add-In Privately on Business Domain RRS feed

  • Question

  • We have gone through and developed a new Office 2016 Add-in for a company which plans on using this Add-in. The problem is that they do not wish to publish this Add-In on the Office App Store and instead wish to use it privately on their business domain using their intranet web server.

    In researching the options, it appears that the only way to accomplish this is to slideload the Add-in by Sharing the Manifest on a network location, having each office instance on each user's machine add this Shared Location to their Trust Center in the "Trusted Add-In Catalogs" section, navigate to "Insert > My Add-ins > Shared Folder", choosing the Add-in and clicking on the "Add" button to install the Add-In, then exit out of the Office Application and reload to start using it.

    The question is, is there a way to automate this whole process? If not, is there a different way to distribute this Add-In privately? Lastly, is there a way to create a Windows Installer for this new JavaScript format Add-In to distribute it privately?

    Any additional information on this would be much appreciated.

    Sunday, March 12, 2017 7:58 PM

All replies

  • Hello,

    >>is there a way to automate this whole process?

    Office object model doesn't provide API to automate this process.

    >>If not, is there a different way to distribute this Add-In privately?

    I think sideloading add-ins is for testing, you might publish the add-in into SharePoint catalog.

    Please visit Publish task pane and content add-ins to a SharePoint catalog

    For more information about deployment and publishment , please visit Deploy and publish your Office Add-in

    >>is there a way to create a Windows Installer for this new JavaScript format Add-In to distribute it privately?

    No. It is impossible.

    The basic components of an Office Add-in are an XML manifest file and your own web application. The manifest defines various settings, including how your add-in integrates with Office clients. Your web application needs to be hosted on a web server, or web hosting service. For more information, please visit Office Add-ins platform overview

    It is impossible to publish the manifest to Office Store or Add-in catalog using Windows Installer.

    Regards,

    Celeste


    MSDN Community Support
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    Monday, March 13, 2017 3:43 AM
    Moderator
  • Thank you Celeste. Some follow up questions:

    >> I think sideloading add-ins is for testing, you might publish the add-in into SharePoint catalog.

    But wouldn't you still need to have the user go to the SharePoint App Catalog to install the Add-In? You would just be shifting the problem to SharePoint. 

    >> It is impossible to publish the manifest to Office Store or Add-in catalog using Windows Installer.

    I wasn't thinking of distributing the Add-In to the Office Store. What I was thinking was to create an installer that adds the required registry entries to the user's machine for sideloading by adding a network share to the "Trusted Add-In Catalogs" automatically thereby installing the Add-In for them automatically. Obviously the Website portion of the Add-In will have to be deployed to a Web Server, but that's not hard to do. Since there doesn't seem to be any other way to distribute Add-Ins privately on an Active Directory Domain, this seems like a possible option. 

    I heard in a Channel 9 Video yesterday that it is also possible to distribute Add-ins to Domain Users using Group Policy. Do you or does anyone else have any information on this?



    • Edited by psoheil_ajg Tuesday, March 14, 2017 12:38 PM Added more details.
    Tuesday, March 14, 2017 12:31 PM
  • Hello,

    To use Group Policy settings to enforce Office Add-ins, please see the section "Using Group Policy to manage how users can install and use Office Add-ins" in Overview of Office Add-ins on TechNet.

    Regards,

    Celeste


    MSDN Community Support
    Please remember to click "Mark as Answer" the responses that resolved your issue, and to click "Unmark as Answer" if not. This can be beneficial to other community members reading this thread. If you have any compliments or complaints to MSDN Support, feel free to contact MSDNFSF@microsoft.com.

    Wednesday, March 15, 2017 9:53 AM
    Moderator