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Office Add-ins community call-October 10, 2018 

The Office Add-ins community call is our quarterly 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. Additionally, calls feature technical discussions on specific topics. Attendees are encouraged to ask questions and share feedback for upcoming designs.

October’s call featured these topics and presenters:

  • Doug Mahugh, Senior Dev Writer, presented an overview of the Office Add-ins platform.
  • Juan Balmori (@juaneloBalmori), Senior Program Manager, presented about the tremendous growth of the Excel JavaScript APIs in the past year (more than 1,000 new APIs!), shared that Excel JS API requirement set 1.8 is now GA, and discussed the new Excel JS APIs that are now available in beta.
  • Sohail Zafar, Principal Program Manager for Outlook, discussed the Extension Points available to Outlook add-ins, shared that Outlook add-in API requirement set 1.7 is now GA, discussed some new Outlook add-in scenarios that are now supported in Preview, and showed new ways that users can access Outlook add-ins in Microsoft Outlook (desktop) and Outlook on the Web.
  • Keyur Patel, Senior Program Manager, presented about Excel Custom Functions, showed how Script Lab can be used to try out and experiment with developing custom functions in Excel, and shared information about planned capabilities for custom functions in the months ahead.

Watch the call here.

View the presentation here.

The next Office Add-ins community call is on Wednesday, January 9, 2019. 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.

Q&A

We welcome you to submit questions and topic suggestions in advance of each call by using our short survey form.  Here’s the Q&A for questions that were submitted for October’s call:

 

What type of features and capabilities are possible with Office Add-ins?

For introductory information about Office Add-ins, check out the Office Add-ins platform overview article. This article describes various ways that Office Add-ins can extend and interact with Office clients like Word, Excel, etc. It also contains links to other resources for learning more about the Office Add-ins platform and APIs.

When will we get a simple “Forward mail” command for Outlook add-ins? Is this even on the roadmap?

Currently this feature is not on the roadmap. We track Outlook add-in feature requests on the UserVoice page — please add your request there. We consider the feature requests in UserVoice as part of our planning process.

Will we be able to retrieve custom properties across mailboxes in Outlook add-ins? For example, we save a custom property in appointment compose mode and then are available to retrieve it in all attendees mailboxes in read mode? Also, it would be nice to be able to create activation rules based on custom properties – i.e., when user presses a button in an add-in, a custom property is written, and add-in opens automatically.

Persisting custom properties across mailboxes and activation rules based on custom properties are part of the backlog and both requests are already present on the UserVoice page. We will address these feature requests according to how they’re prioritized in the backlog. On a related note, we are working on an extension header API and the headers will be persisted across mailboxes. This API might be useful in the scenario you’ve described, although we do not yet a timeline that can be shared regarding when it will be publicly available.

Is it possible to package two add-ins in one? We would like to split an add-in in multiple packages to avoid big manifest file, but we would like the user to be able to install the two add-ins in the same time from AppSource.

This scenario is not supported. If there are two manifest files, then there are two add-ins, and each add-in must be installed separately.

Is it still on the roadmap to allow paid-ins from AppSource to be centrally deployed from Office 365 Admin?

We are looking broadly at the ways we offer commerce services to Office developers – we’ll share that broader roadmap in the coming months and will show how Office ISVs can realize business success with organizations who buy and deploy their solutions. In the meantime, information about currently supported scenarios for centralized deployment of Office Add-ins can be found here: Publish Office Add-ins using Centralized Deployment via the Office 365 admin center.

Is it possible to retrieve the domain and user name in a traditional Office-on-the-Desktop environment as still found in most enterprises?

This is not currently possible via the Office JS APIs.

What is the status of undo/redo feature?

We are working on support for undo/redo in Excel, no set ETA at this point.

I would like use Office Add-ins on Top of SharePoint Online to generate dynamic Reports out of the multiple Lists data.

You can definitely do this! You can combine creating an add-in using the Microsoft Graph to get the items in the list and keep a table updated in Excel. And by doing so, you will provide an experience within Excel for your users and in Win32, Online, Mac and iOS.

How it could be different or efficient over the SharePoint Excel Services and Power Query/Power Pivot then?

It will be quite different. To create an add-in that uses Microsoft Graph, you will need to create a web app, rather than just using tools like Power Query and Power Pivot as an end-user.

 

If you submitted a question that has not been published here, please post it to one of the Office Add-ins feedback channels listed below.

 

Resources

From October’s call

Office Add-ins community call

Office Add-ins feedback

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