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Create excel templates from task pane RRS feed

  • Question

  • Hello,

    I'm new to add-ins for office development, although I have some experience with development of google apps script for google sheets, gmail, etc.

    My goal is to develop an excel template (a budget) from a task pane using an add-in. Since the template is rather complex, I'm unsure wether I should build it programatically using the user inputs on the task pane or if I should build the template in a separate spreadsheet and inject it (copy it) into the user's sheet.

    I'd like to know:

    1. What kind of server language I can use (in google's case I use google script),
    2. Where to host the app (in google, everything's in Drive),
    3. How to control user access to the add-in (using a Microsoft account?)
    4. If I can use https://www.napacloudapp.com for the development

    Thanks in advance for your support with these generic questions, but they're fundamental to get me started.

    Thursday, October 8, 2015 9:51 PM

Answers

  • Hi Nuno,

    >>So, I can develop the office add-ins as any other web app using standard languages, host it in my own server, call PHP scripts to run server-side functions and control user access with the same login credentials as per my website?<<

    Yes. However in supported Web clients, such as Excel Online and Outlook Web App, Office Add-ins are hosted in an iframe that runs using the HTML5 sandbox attribute. ActiveX components or navigating the main page of the web client are not allowed. More detail please refer to link below:

    Privacy and security for Office Add-ins

    >>"whether I should build it (the budget template) programatically using the user inputs on the task pane or if I should build the template in a separate spreadsheet and inject it (copy it) into the user's sheet"<<

    It is not able to create workbook/template using Office API. You may consider to copy the data into user's sheet or provide a template download by user.

    Regards & Fei


    We are trying to better understand customer views on social support experience, so your participation in this interview project would be greatly appreciated if you have time. Thanks for helping make community forums a great place.
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    • Marked as answer by NunoNogueiraNN Wednesday, October 14, 2015 1:31 PM
    Wednesday, October 14, 2015 7:10 AM
    Moderator

All replies

  • Hi,

    The Office Add-ins platform to create engaging new consumer and enterprise experiences for Office client applications. Using the power of the web and standard web technologies like HTML5, XML, CSS3, JavaScript, and REST APIs, create add-ins that interact with Office documents, email messages, meeting requests, and appointments.

    >>What kind of server language I can use (in google's case I use google script),<<

    You can develop with any server language you are familiar if the page is implemented using a server-side scripting language such as ASP or PHP.

    >>Where to host the app (in google, everything's in Drive),<<

    There are two parts of Office add-in. First is the manifest, we can publish it to share folder catalog, SharePoint add-in catalog or Office store. Second part is web application, it is just as a normal web application, we can publish it to any web server or web hosting service, such as Microsoft Azure.

    >>How to control user access to the add-in (using a Microsoft account?)<<

    It depends on whether you used the licensing framework. To help maximize the reach and adoption of your add-ins, as of Office 2013, Service Pack 1, Microsoft will no longer require that a user be signed into Office with their Microsoft account in order to activate Office Add-ins. As of Office 2013, Service Pack 1, the add-in license token will be passed as part of the initial HTTP request only if the user is signed in with their Microsoft Account.(more detail refer to License your Office and SharePoint Add-ins)

    >>If I can use https://www.napacloudapp.com for the development<<

    Yes. Here is an walkthrough for your reference:
    Create a task pane add-in with Napa Office 365 Development Tools

    You can learn more about Office add-in from link below:
    Office Add-ins platform overview

    Regards & Fei


    We are trying to better understand customer views on social support experience, so your participation in this interview project would be greatly appreciated if you have time. Thanks for helping make community forums a great place.
    Click HERE to participate the survey.

    Friday, October 9, 2015 6:03 AM
    Moderator
  • Hi,

    Thanks for your answers.

    So, I can develop the office add-ins as any other web app using standard languages, host it in my own server, call PHP scripts to run server-side functions and control user access with the same login credentials as per my website?

    If the above is true, the only open question for now is:

    "whether I should build it (the budget template) programatically using the user inputs on the task pane or if I should build the template in a separate spreadsheet and inject it (copy it) into the user's sheet"

    Thanks a lot for helping!

    Best regards,

    Nuno

    Sunday, October 11, 2015 7:30 PM
  • Hi Nuno,

    >>So, I can develop the office add-ins as any other web app using standard languages, host it in my own server, call PHP scripts to run server-side functions and control user access with the same login credentials as per my website?<<

    Yes. However in supported Web clients, such as Excel Online and Outlook Web App, Office Add-ins are hosted in an iframe that runs using the HTML5 sandbox attribute. ActiveX components or navigating the main page of the web client are not allowed. More detail please refer to link below:

    Privacy and security for Office Add-ins

    >>"whether I should build it (the budget template) programatically using the user inputs on the task pane or if I should build the template in a separate spreadsheet and inject it (copy it) into the user's sheet"<<

    It is not able to create workbook/template using Office API. You may consider to copy the data into user's sheet or provide a template download by user.

    Regards & Fei


    We are trying to better understand customer views on social support experience, so your participation in this interview project would be greatly appreciated if you have time. Thanks for helping make community forums a great place.
    Click HERE to participate the survey.

    • Marked as answer by NunoNogueiraNN Wednesday, October 14, 2015 1:31 PM
    Wednesday, October 14, 2015 7:10 AM
    Moderator