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Office Add-ins community call-January 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.

January’s call featured the following presenters and topics:

  • Doug Mahugh, Senior Dev Writer, presented an overview of the Office Add-ins platform.
  • Kim Brandl, Senior Dev Writer, announced a call for feedback about Office Add-ins SSO.
  • Sohail Zafar, Principal Program Manager for Outlook,discussed some of the Outlook APIs that are currently available in Preview, and talked about future availability of OnSend.
  • Keyur Patel, Senior Program Manager, provided an update about recent changes to Excel custom functions and a look ahead at some of the new features coming soon.
  • Peter Tippet, Founder at NOW Functions, provided a demo of a powerful solution he’s built in Excel using the Excel JavaScript APIs, which integrates Excel with Xero (accounting software). His solution delivers a seamless user experience that combines use of ribbon buttons, task panes, and custom functions.
  • Juan Balmori Labra, Senior Program Manager, presented on the steady growth of the Excel JavaScript APIs and discussed what’s new in Excel API requirement sets 1.7, 1.8, and Beta. He also provided an overview of the Comments API, including information about API design and a demo.
  • Raymond Lu, Senior Program Manager,provided an overview of the Slicer API, including information about API design and a demo.

Watch the call here.

View the presentation here.

The next Office Add-ins community call is on Wednesday, February 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 “Engage with the Office Add-ins platform team” form.

Q&A

We welcome you to submit questions and topic suggestions in advance of each call by using our short “Office Add-ins community call” form.  Here’s the Q&A for questions that were submitted for January’s call:

Where can I find information about how to publish an Office Add-in to SharePoint or via other distribution mode?

Please see the Deploy and publish your Office Add-in article for information about the various ways you can publish your Office Add-in.

What is the plan on Windows to move away from IE11? Will the new announcement that Edge will be built on Chromium play into this plan? And of course, any timelines?

We work closely with the Edge team to bring their capabilities to Office for modern HTML experiences. Regarding timelines and any impacts to Office Add-ins, we have nothing to announce at this time. Stay tuned to future Office Add-ins community calls and to the Office Dev blog for more information about this subject, if/when there’s any information to share.

You have Context Menu in other products, but not in Outlook. Is that planned? We would love to provide contextual features beside the detected entities. E.g. select a text and use only the selection instead of the whole email body.

This feature request is high in priority on our roadmap, but we’re currently unable to share a timeline as to when it will be implemented.

How can I send email from O365 using .NET or Java? What configuration changes are needed within the user account or on the email server?

Assuming that you build an OAuth application in either of the two languages, you can send an email by using Microsoft Graph and no configuration changes should be necessary.

I’m building an Excel task pane add-in and need a listener for the “onChanged” event in several worksheets. How can I programmatically check whether the “onChanged” listener has already been added to a specific worksheet?

The event will not be triggered to the handler unless you subscribe to it. You can create a flag to indicate that the event is turned on for that specific worksheet.

I’m building an Excel task pane add-in that uses the Office.js library. When the user presses the “Save Data” button in the task pane, my add-in should save data (to a server) that the user entered into the worksheet. Everything works fine except for when a user enters data into cell and immediately (without pressing enter or clicking on another cell) clicks the “Save Data” button in the task pane. In this scenario, an “InvalidOperationInCellEditMode” is thrown with the description “Excel is on the cell edit mode…”. Is it possible to design my add-in to prevent this scenario from occurring? i.e., can I prevent the user from interacting with the task pane when the user is editing a cell, or is it possible to programmatically exit cell-edit mode?

In this scenario, you can specify the delayForCellEdit option of Excel.run: if set to true, the execution of the batch will be delayed until after the user finishes editing content.

await Excel.run({ delayForCellEdit: true }, async (context) => {

await context.sync();

}

Where can I check the current operational status for Insider builds of Office? Excel Add-ins seem not to be working properly on Windows desktop in recent Insider builds.

The Excel JavaScript API is running on the latest Insiders Fast build. When you experience issues like you’ve described, please report it by creating a new issue in the OfficeDev/office-js GitHub repository, providing as much detail as you can within the issue.

I’m interested in hearing about plans to achieve parity of Office.js APIs compared to VSTO functionality.

One point to consider here is that there might never be 100% parity between JavaScript APIs and VSTO, due to the multi-platform nature of web Add-ins, and the fact that certain functionalities in Windows are not achievable in other platforms (i.e., OLE objects, Application-level interactions). That being said, we’re making a lot of progress on the Excel JavaScript API front and the goal of the team is to enable most of solutions within Excel using the JavaScript APIs.

When will there be Office.js APIs for PowerPoint that will offer the core functionality of VSTO add-ins for PowerPoint?

We’re currently unable to provide any updates regarding roadmap for PowerPoint JavaScript APIs, but please indicate your interest in this by upvoting the related feature request on UserVoice. When information becomes available, we’ll be sure to announce it via the Office Add-ins community call, the Office Dev blog, and other Office communication channels.

Resources

From January’s call

Office Add-ins community call

Office Add-ins feedback

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