Posted by on Oct 15, 2015 in #Office365Dev | 0 comments

You have a couple of different ways to install Office add-ins into your Outlook experience. What’s great about the current state of Outlook is that you can actually store the manifest files – meaning that you’ll add them once, and have them appear every time you enter Outlook 2016 (only the Windows desktop version right now) or Outlook Online.

In this post we will look at the Office 365 distribution mechanism for Outlook add-ins.

Manage add-ins
Sign into your mailbox at Outlook Online (https://outlook.office365.com/owa/) with your Office 365 account. Click on the gear button in the top right corner and find the Manage add-ins button – this will take you to the options page for Outlook.

This is where you will manage installed add-ins for both Outlook 2016 and Outlook Online.

manageaddins

Adding add-ins
In this view you will be able to see all of the installed add-ins for Outlook. Some may have been added by you or administrators and some add-ins may come pre-installed with Outlook.

If you click on the plus sign, you will have a couple of options for adding an add-in. In the end it’s all about the same thing, locating a manifest file which in turn will be stored in your Outlook experience (Exchange).

If you want to add an add-in from the Office Store – you can simply head over to the web experience at https://store.office.com/ and filter by Outlook add-ins.

You can also browse for a local manifest file (*.xml) and upload it. Make sure that you trust the manifest file, when uploading one which is not from the Office Store – it has not been validated by Microsoft.

localaddin

If you install an Outlook add-in from the Office Store, it will be visible on the same page (as if you would have added it from a URL or local file).

Using add-ins
You should now be all set in terms of installing the add-ins into Outlook. If you’re using Outlook 2016 – make sure to add your Office 365 account (so that Outlook 2016 can pull down the manifest files from your account and display them for you).

outlookaddins

In addition to Office 2016 (for Windows desktop) your Outlook add-ins will now show up in Outlook Online (click on the add-ins button in the header).

outlookonlineaddins

That’s it. You have a single place to distribute your add-ins for Outlook 2016 and Outlook Online – pretty sweet I’d say!

-Simon Jäger