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Office Add-ins community call–October 9, 2019

The Office Add-ins community call is our monthly event for developers to connect in real-time with the folks who are building the Office Add-ins platform and JavaScript APIs. During this call, we share updates about new Office JavaScript APIs and provide tips about useful tools, samples, and resources for developing Office Add-ins.

October’s call, hosted by David Chesnut, featured the following presenters and topics:

  • Alex Jerabek, Dev Writer provided a general overview of Office Add-ins
  • Michael Aldridge, Senior Program Manager, provided an overview of the Office developer program and what’s new
  • Courtney Owen, Software Engineer, presented demos on Yo Office and VS code updates
  • David Chesnut, Dev Writer presented on PnP: Dynamic DPI sample

Watch the call here.

View the presentation here.

The next Office Add-ins community call is on Wednesday, November 13, 2019 at 8:00AM PST. You can download a recurring calendar invite at https://aka.ms/officeaddinscommunitycall.

Engage with us

Are you interested in delivering a presentation during an upcoming Office Add-ins community call? Or would you be willing to provide feedback aimed at helping to improve the Office Add-ins documentation? If you answered yes to either (or both!) of these questions, please connect with us by completing this short survey form.

We welcome you to submit questions and topic suggestions in advance of each call by using our short survey form.

Q&A

We welcome you to submit questions and topic suggestions in advance of each call by using our short survey form.

What is the targeted release date of the OnSend feature on Outlook desktop to the monthly release channel? I have verified my add-ins works on Insiders/preview, now I really need my customers to be able to use it.

The OnSend feature is currently in preview and still subject to change. We don’t have a specific date but are hoping it will be generally available sometime in the first quarter of 2020.

Last time you said that you were not sure whether support for shared mailboxes in the Outlook add-in will be included in your next release. Is there now more clarity on whether support for shared mailboxes will make it to the next release and when do you expect that to be?

Support for Shared mailboxes is included as part of the next release (Req set 1.8) and it should be released by Nov 1st week.

I had developed an Outlook 2010 add-in. We are moving to Office 365 and I need to port my code from 2010 to 365. Right now, we are still connecting to an Exchange 2010 server. Are there any resources out there for creating on Outlook 365 add-in that connects to Exchange 2010? Also, just in general, where are some good beginner’s guides towards creating Outlook 365 add-ins?

The Office web add-ins framework is not available for Exchange 2010. Also Microsoft will stop supporting Exchange 2010 from Oct 2020.

Add-ins are available on Exchange 2013 and Office 2013 and later.

The Outlook JavaScript API requirement sets article explain the platform host and availability. Also a good place to get started with Office Add-ins is the Office Add-ins documentation.

Do reach out to us for any further assistance using the feedback links later in this blog.

You mentioned that the debugging tools are available in the current yo office templates. Is there a way to get the debugging tools into an existing add-in project?

The best thing to do would be to just copy the .vscode folder from one of our project templates (e.g. https://github.com/OfficeDev/Office-Addin-TaskPane). To be able to use the “Office Online(Edge)” debug method that was I demoed you would just need to then install the publicly available Debugger for Edge extension for VS Code. If you want to debug desktop task pane code, you don’t need to install anything new in your project. You just need to install Edge DevTools to attach the process running on https://localhost:3000 (or whatever port you are running the dev-server on).

Will the debugging techniques you demonstrated work for custom functions and dialogs? Or just for task panes?

The techniques demoed will work for the task pane code for the custom functions project template. In order to actually debug the custom function code, select the “Excel Desktop” config from the launch.json debug option that’s provided in the custom functions project template. Once the dev-server starts and Excel opens you should be able to set breakpoints.

Does the live debugging work with the Angular template?

Yes, live reload works when debugging the Angular template. You can debug and use live reload either by selecting “Office Online(Edge)” debug option generated project’s launch.json or by selecting the “Excel Desktop: option and then using Edge DevTools to attach the process running on https://localhost:3000.

What is the best way to debug the add-in with side-load via shared folder for Windows?

The only way to currently debug the task pane code for Office on Windows is to use Edge DevTools to attach the process running on https://localhost:3000. We are currently working on integrating Edge DevTools into VS Code.

How do you debug a React add-in for Office with React DevTools? The React DevTools only see the “Office” app that is written also in React and they don’t see components inside the add-in pane?

If you’re having trouble using the React developer tools, can you post a question with more details to Stack Overflow and tag it with the “office-js” tag (http://stackoverflow.com/questions/tagged/office-js)?

You can debug the Yo Office React template in two ways: You can debug either by selecting “Office Online(Edge)” debug option in the generated project’s launch.json or by selecting the “Excel Desktop” option and then using Edge DevTools to attach the process running on https://localhost:3000

I was using React to develop add-ins for Excel but i recently started trying to use Angular where I encountered an issue with two-way binding. Is two-way binding supported on Office Add-ins? Even only within the task pane?

The architecture of your application can accommodate two-way binding depending on your specific scenario. Can you please post your question with more details to Stack Overflow and tag it with the “office-js” tag (http://stackoverflow.com/questions/tagged/office-js)?

Since .Net Core is cross-platform, are there any plans to support c# at all?

You can use .NET Core, but this is not built into the project templates today. You’d have to manually configure your project. We could look into this for future template updates. It would be great if you could share more feedback on this suggestion at the Office developer UserVoice site: https://officespdev.uservoice.com/forums/224641-feature-requests-and-feedback.

Add-ins built with Html+JS are not affected by dynamic DPI, right?

Office Add-ins built using the Office JavaScript API run inside a browser control. You can handle DPI scaling using the same techniques used in any web app design. Many online resources are available to help design a web page for high resolution screens.

For more DPI scaling information, refer to the article Handle high DPI and DPI scaling in your Office solution.

Is there a doc on adding or developing a source/API/service for the Researcher tool in Office? guidelines?

There aren’t any plans at this time for adding APIs related to the Researcher tool. If you want to request additional APIs, please submit a suggestion at the Office developer UserVoice site: https://officespdev.uservoice.com/forums/224641-feature-requests-and-feedback.

For the Q&A, please could you cover the following: 1) PowerPoint API, which has barely added anything new compared to Word, Excel. Any plans to work on it? Also, more specifically, any chance you could add the Office binding interface to PowerPoint?

Right now, the team is focusing on Excel and Outlook API depth. We plan to add more functionality to the PowerPoint JS APIs in the future.

On the Office developer program, it would be great to provide phone support. I’m having issues with my Developer account and Seller dashboard and I’m just sent from one support email to another.

Thank you for this request! We’ll track this as we have heard this from others as well.

Is there a timeline somewhere that would tell Office developers the development milestones planned for the different JavaScript APIs?

The APIs are published first in beta CDN and the reference documentation under Excel JavaScript API Preview provides a view into upcoming APIs. Each API area may have a slightly different release schedule, but typically APIs are released to GA stage twice a year.

API release announcements are made public via the Office 365 developer blogs, and also the docs are published under the latest released requirement set version, for example, Excel javaScript API 1.9.

Any chance you are going to add the API to control saving a document, closing Office apps, etc?

Could you mention which application you are interested in? Word and Excel offer the save API and Excel also allows the close action. PowerPoint doesn’t have these APIs yet. It would be great if you could provide suggestions and additional information on our UserVoice site: https://officespdev.uservoice.com/forums/224641-feature-requests-and-feedback

Resources

From October’s call

Office Add-ins community call

Office Add-ins feedback

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