Mail app manifests

apps for Office

Learn what a manifest does for a mail app in Outlook.

Last modified: May 01, 2015

Applies to: apps for Office | Office Add-ins | Outlook

Learn more about supported hosts and other requirements.

Note Note

The name "apps for Office" is changing to "Office Add-ins". During the transition, the documentation and the UI of some Office host applications and Visual Studio tools might still use the term "apps for Office".

In this article
Anatomy of a mail app
Manifest contents
Startup workflow
In this section
Additional resources

Mail apps enhance the reading or composing of a message or appointment in Outlook. A basic mail app consists of 2 components: the XML app manifest and a web page, supported by the JavaScript library for apps for Office (office.js). The manifest defines various settings for the mail app and tells the location of the app web page. The app web page implements the UI and custom logic to enhance the user experience on Outlook.

Basic anatomy of a mail app

All app for Office manifests follow the schema for apps for Office manifests. A mail app manifest defines information such as the following:

  • Mail app support: The type of app is a mail app that requires mailbox support, by Exchange and Outlook

  • Identification: Mail app name, description, logo, and app version

  • Contextual activation: The context where this mail app is relevant for the user

  • Locale and device support: Support for additional locales, tablets, or smartphones

  • Permissions: Permissions as pertaining to user privacy

When you install a mail app, Exchange stores the app manifest in the user's mailbox. When you start Outlook, Outlook caches the manifests of all your installed mail apps, so that Outlook is ready to surface apps relevant to your context whenever you read or compose a message or appointment. Since mail apps can use different versions of the apps for Office platform and a user's Exchange server and Outlook may not support all available versions of the platform, Exchange and Outlook install and activate only mail apps that they can support.

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