Publish your Office Add-in

Office Add-ins

Make your apps available to users via an app catalog, a shared folder, or an Exchange server. Extend the reach of your apps to your end users.

Last modified: June 29, 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.

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". For details, see New name for apps for Office and SharePoint.

In this article
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 an Exchange server
App experience for end users
Broaden the reach for your app
Additional resources

You can publish your apps to the Office Store or upload them to a private shared folder app catalog on SharePoint, a shared network folder, or an Exchange server. The options that are available depend on the type of add-in you create.

Options for publishing apps for Office and SharePoint


Office Store

Corporate add-in catalog

Shared folder add-in catalog

Exchange server

Task pane app




Content app




Mail app



Note Note

For information about publishing to the Office Store, see Upload Office and SharePoint Add-ins and Office 365 web apps to the Office Store.

Before you publish your app, you'll need to package it by using Napa or Visual Studio. In addition to making your apps available to end users, you'll want to consider how you can broaden your app's reach.

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. You can then use the telemetry tool to monitor app usage, verify compatibility, and troubleshoot end user issues. To learn more, see:

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 developers update their apps, they don't have to push updates to end users or IT does not have to redeploy them to corporate users. For information about setting up a shared network folder app catalog, see Create a network shared folder catalog for task pane and content add-ins.

Mail apps are published 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 add-ins for testing in Outlook.

Apps are easy for end users to acquire, insert, and run. Users have the same experience regardless of whether they access apps from any of the following:

  • The public Office Store, by using their Windows Live ID.

  • A SharePoint app catalog, by using their company ID.

  • A shared network folder.

  • An Exchange server.

To acquire a new task pane app in Excel, for example, users log on to Office with their Windows Live ID, open an Excel workbook, and select Apps for Office on the Insert tab of the ribbon. The Insert App dialog box will appear, as shown in Figure 1.

Figure 1. Insert App dialog box

Insert app dialog box

In the Insert App dialog box, the user chooses Find more apps at the Office Store. After users log on to, using the same Windows Live ID, they can download the app of their choice and pay for it with a credit card.

In Excel, in the Insert App dialog box, the user chooses Refresh, selects the app they downloaded, and then chooses Insert.

When they sign in to their account, they have access to their apps from any computer, anywhere, including those running Office 365.

To ensure that your app reaches more end users, make sure that it works across platforms. The Office.js version 1.1 includes support for Office Online, and the Office Store validation process verifies app support for Office Online. Before you publish, test your app to make sure that it works in Office Online.

Apps for Office are also supported on Office for iPad. Make sure to test your app on the iPad before you submit it to the Seller Dashboard. When you have verified that your app works as expected, you can mark your submission as iOS-compatible in the Seller Dashboard. For validation, you will need to provide your Apple developer ID.

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