Office Add-ins community call -- April 14, 2021

Call summary

April’s call, hosted by David Chesnut, featured the following presenters and topics:
Richard Taylor discussed different support options available on Microsoft 365, and how to submit a new support ticket. • Sudhi Ramamurthy shared news about updates to APIs, Recorder, and Admin-control for Office Scripts. • Leslie Black (Analysis Cloud Limited) demonstrated a TICTACUFO application he created with Office Scripts. • David Chesnut demonstrated a new PnP sample that shows how to handle event-based activation and set the signature in Outlook. To watch the call, tap the following link. Office Add-ins community call – April 2021 - YouTube

Q&A (Question & Answers)

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

Support options

When we try to open tickets in the admin center regarding SharePoint Development they are getting immediately closed with the comment "we don’t provide support for developer issues". Is that different for Office Add-ins? The comment you see applies if you don’t have a Premier account, or Enterprise SKU. If you do have a Premier account and are seeing this comment, please reach out to us on the next community call web chat so we can follow up with you. What level of support can I get for my tenant from the Microsoft 365 Developer Program?
The Microsoft 365 Developer Program provides standard Office 365 support, and does not include developer support. You can get help with developer questions at Microsoft Q&A for Office Add-ins, or at Stack Overflow [office-js].

Office Scripts

ServiceHub is not enabled for my Enterprise ID. Is it possible for an admin to configure without admin access to rest of the Office 365 tenant?
If you have a Premier account, we can reach out to your ADC/TAM and ensure you have access. If you just have an Enterprise subscription, use the O365 admin instead. Either should work. Are Office Scripts for Excel on the web available to Microsoft 365 family accounts or just Enterprise?
Currently, Office Scripts are only available on Enterprise, though we’re exploring expanding availability to other licenses.

Miscellaneous questions

When will the current Outlook preview requirement set, including event-based activation, be available in production?
We don’t have a specific date yet, but we hope to make it available soon. The Outlook REST API is going to be decommissioned. Is it safe to continue using EWS (Exchange Web Services) with Outlook add-ins going forward or is it also at risk of being decommissioned?
At present, there is no plan to decommission EWS. Is it possible to port Office.addin.showAsTaskpane common API function to Outlook JS?
This is a great suggestion! Can you please provide more details on this idea, and scenario at Microsoft 365 Developer Platform - Microsoft Tech Community?
One of our custom functions must access data (a table) not specified in the arguments. We’ve noticed that calling to request that data through the Excel request context on every formula invocation leads to concurrency issues (RichApi.Error: Wait until the previous call completes.) Is there a flexible way to get this to work? There is a code approach used in GitHub issue 483 in office-js that may help you. If that doesn’t work for your scenario, please post a question with more information at Microsoft Q&A: Office JavaScript API. In Excel custom functions, is there a way to pause the calculations and resume later (other than setting calculation mode to manual)? End users want to pass an additional flag to the custom function that indicates if it should run or not run. We suggest switching to manual recalc mode, instead of using an argument to the function. Our goal is for Excel custom functions to run using the same paradigm as built-in functions. We don’t have a design pattern where we pause recalc based on an argument to a function. It’s clearer for users if you ask them to change to manual recalc, that you could implement in the task pane UI. Then when completed, you can switch back to automatic recalculation and the custom functions will run. In Excel custom functions, you can get the address of the calling cell from the invocation object. Is there a way to get the current value from the cell along with the address?
We suggest that you use the onCalculated event which is called when custom functions are calculated. Here’s an example:

async function onCalculated(event) {
 await (context) => {
        if (event.address == "A13") // “A13” here is an example of the cell that has the custom function. It can be replaced by a real cell address.
           context.load (event.address, values);
           await context.sync();
          console.log(`The range value was "${cellC1.values}".`);

Can the Microsoft Graph API be used by an add-in without a dedicated server to proxy requests to the Graph API? We’re trying to replace the usage of the Outlook REST API in an add-in that makes API calls from the client-side. We are struggling to find tutorials covering that case.
If you’re Outlook add-in is basically a single-page app (SPA) this tutorial will help you call the Microsoft Graph API from the add-in: Tutorial: Create a JavaScript single-page app that uses auth code flow - Microsoft identity platform.... There are also additional Microsoft Graph samples at
When will Outlook sideload and debug from VS Code (as demoed in November community call) be available?
This feature is available, but there is an issue that prevents it from working in all scenarios. We’re working to get a fix out soon.


Microsoft 365 support

Office Scripts demo by Leslie Black

PnP: Outlook set signature

Office Add-ins community call

Office Add-ins feedback

The next Office Add-ins community call is on Wednesday, May 12, 2021 at 8:00AM PDT. You can download the calendar invite at