Publishing your app for Office
Learn about the various methods that developers can use to publish their apps.
Last modified: January 28, 2015
Applies to: Access apps for SharePoint | apps for Office | Excel | Office Add-ins | Outlook | PowerPoint | Project | Word
Learn more about supported hosts and other requirements.
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
Publishing to the Office Store
Publishing task pane and content apps to an app catalog
Publishing task pane and content apps to a shared network folder
Publishing mail apps to Exchange Server
App experience for end-users
Developers can upload their apps to the public Office Store, to a private shared folder app catalog on SharePoint, to a shared network folder, or to an Exchange server. This article describes these options.
Office provides the ability for end-users to discover solutions directly from a public marketplace hosted on Office.com. The Office Store provides a convenient location for developers to upload new app solutions aimed both at consumers and businesses. As a developer, when you upload your app to the public marketplace, Microsoft runs some validation checks on it. For example, it checks whether the app manifest markup is valid and complete and verifies that any included SharePoint solution packages (.wsp files) do not include disallowed elements or features that have a scope broader than Web. If all tests are passed, the app package is wrapped into a file and signed by Microsoft.
For more information about how to publish an app to the Office Store, see Publish apps for Office and SharePoint.
For task pane and content apps, IT departments can deploy and configure private corporate app catalogs to provide the same Office-solution catalog experience that the Office Store provides. This new catalog and development platform lets IT use a streamlined method to provision apps for Office and SharePoint to managed users from a central location without the need to deploy solutions to each client. For information about setting up an app catalog, see Set up an app catalog on SharePoint.
A telemetry tool will provide developers and IT managers the ability to monitor app usage, verify compatibility, and troubleshoot end-user issues.
Alternatively, in a corporate setting, IT can deploy task pane and content apps created either by in-house or third-party developers to a shared network folder, where the manifest files will be stored and managed. In either case, when apps are subsequently updated by their developers, there is no need to push updates to end-users or of for IT to redeploy them to corporate users. For information about setting up a shared network folder app catalog, see Create a network share catalog for task pane and content apps.
Mail apps are installed to an Exchange catalog that is available to users of the Exchange server on which it resides. It enables publishing and management of mail apps, including internally created ones as well as solutions that are acquired from the Office Store and licensed for corporate use. Mail apps are installed into an Exchange catalog by using either the Exchange Admin Center (EAC) or by running remote Windows PowerShell commands (cmdlets). For information about publishing a mail app, see Deploy and install mail apps for testing in Outlook
End-users will find apps easy to acquire, insert, and run. For task pane and content apps, they will have the same experience whichever app source they use, the public Office Store, or an app catalog on SharePoint. To acquire a new task pane app in Excel, for example, end-users will log onto Office with their Windows Live ID, open an Excel workbook, select Apps for Office on the Insert tab of the ribbon, and the Insert App dialog box will appear, as shown in Figure 1:
In the Insert App dialog box, the user clicks Find more apps at the Office Store. Once users log onto Office.com, using the same Windows Live ID, they can download the app of their choice, paying for it with a credit card.
Returning to Excel, in the Insert App dialog box, a user clicks Refresh, selects the app they downloaded, and then clicks Insert.
End-users have the same experience no matter how they acquire an app: from the public Office Store, by using their Windows Live ID; from their company’s app catalog, by using their company ID; from a shared network folder; or from Exchange Server. Either way, by signing in to their account, they have access to those apps from any computer, anywhere, including those running Office 365.
For information about the end-user experience of installing mail apps, see "Installing the mail app" in Deploy and install mail apps for testing in Outlook.