Office Add-ins community call -- May 2021

Office Add-ins community call -- May 2021


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

  • Abid Rahman announced the GA of keyboard shortcuts and shared plans for the feature going forward. – 00:59
  • Sohail Zafar announced the GA of contextual tabs and updates about the feature and plans going forward. – 11:03
  • Special guest presenter Damien Bird (DamoBird365) demonstrated how to use Office Scripts with Power Automate to generate and fill in an invoice with data from SharePoint, and then save to a PDF.  – 19:57
  • Juan Balmori shared Outlook updates on event-based activation and announced new preview events. – 35:09

Q&A (Question & Answers)

Unfortunately, we had some issues with the chat during the call. We apologize to folks who were not able to ask a question. If you have a question, you can reach out to us by using our short survey form. We’ll address any questions in the form during the next call.

Is it possible to see a demonstration of debugging Outlook add-ins in the Outlook application on mobile devices? Ideally for a local developer instance of an add-in server rather than one publicly accessible (since a hurdle is getting the mobile device to communicate successfully with lab instance of add-in server). We’ve encountered issues on Android with certificates running lab instances of add-ins so would like to see a demonstration of recommended approach to testing on mobile devices.

Thanks for this request! We’re working to schedule this demo this on a future call. When the Outlook REST API is decommissioned in November 2022, what API should add-ins deployed to customer hosted Exchange Servers (2016/2019) use for mobile support? Will the Outlook REST API remain active for Exchange Server and just be decommissioned for O365 accounts?

We’re still working through details on this, and we plan to share more guidance in the future. Is there any movement on supporting reading values, such as AppDomains and custom properties, from the add-in manifest at runtime through Office.js? The request has come up over the years on forums and been raised on UserVoice. We would prefer to write a key and value to the manifest, instead of passing values to URL endpoints, as this opens the door to people injecting their own values outside of the manifest to those endpoints.

This feature is not on our backlog. We migrated UserVoice requests that had over 100 votes to our new Microsoft 365 Developer Platform Ideas Forum. We’d ask that you Submit an Idea on this page and recreate your request. If there’s enough interest from the community we’ll definitely consider it. Thanks! What is the roadmap for Office.js for PowerPoint? When will it achieve feature parity with VSTO APIs?

VSTO is a huge API surface, which is why we approach building out the Office JS API based on prioritized scenarios. It’s tremendously helpful to understand the scenarios you are trying to unlock and what API’s you need. That helps us prioritize. Please let us know which scenarios you need enabled on our Ideas page and use the “Office Add-ins development” label. We’re planning to deliver increased API surface area for PowerPoint going forward. In Excel on the web, when you close an Office Add-In, it creates a bar on the left side of Excel and puts an icon for the add-in on that bar, allowing the user to quickly show or hide add-ins from there. Will this be available in Excel on the desktop?

Thanks for this feature request! Can you let us know more about this on our ideas page and provide a screen shot to help us understand better? Will you support Excel.Range.Interior characters and the ability to apply formatting at the character level?

Thanks for this request! We’re looking into supporting this. Can you please create a request for this on our ideas page?


Keyboard shortcuts

Custom contextual tabs

Office Scripts demo by Damien Bird

Outlook event-based activation

Office Add-ins community call

Office Add-ins feedback