I have been updating my 5entences add-in install for use in the AppSource/App Center for Office, plus adding an auto-summarization capability via OpenAI. 😉 COMING SOON!!!!
Originally, this add-in was using the Dialog API inside the “original” OnSend event. This was a bit nifty as it presented the user with a blocking popup that would allow them to manage everything in one place. It told them, they had more than 5 sentences, and would suggest they go back and fix it, or go ahead and send it. But that type of event is NOT supported in the App Store.
I have an Office 365 account and installed Office 365 from my portal.office.com page, made sure I was updated, and everything was looking good, except that:
- When I have my personal Outlook.com email address attached to Outlook, I cannot debug add-ins in Outlook full client on Windows.
- Even when I did remove my Outlook.com email address, my events were still not firing.
- Everything worked great in Office on the Web.
So, I proceeded with updating the code using Office on the web to debug, giving up on Outlook full client in the interim. Once I got everything working well in Outlook on the Web, I went back to Outlook on Windows and began to lose my hair.
I quickly discovered that my ES6 code in the command.js, were not working. As you dig into the documentation you find that the WebViewURL and the override for JSRuntime, sharing the same file become an issue. It turns out that even with the WebView2 control installed on my box, and even though I have the latest version of Office 365 full client installed, my JSRuntime code reverts to Trident+ (IE11). I refactored my code to:
- stop using const, instead var everything.
- stop using => arrow operators, reverting to full function()
- stop using async/await, and built pyramids of doom
- stopped using Promises() even
But even with all that it did not work. So, line by line I went and found the first problem:
That code seemed to work, but the add-in would just hang telling me “…it is taking too long… Try Again.” I resolved it by doing this:
Essentially, I had to put the associate at the root of the file. Without the PC check, this would bomb on Office online and the Mac, so I gated that with the function you see: IsPC(). And Office online needs the Office.onReady() in the root to work effectively, so you see that there. But putting Office.ready() in the root broken Outlook on Windows, but also ignoring it/not using it, gave me the same problem. I discovered that if I put it in the event activation itself, as you see, I was finally able to get into my event handler and execute and Office.context (line of code). However, deeper in my code, it was STILL failing.
Debugging my code further, I had a LOT of Regex to determine what was going on in the body of the email. Introduce Trident+ and IE11 (es5), and you realize that “look heads” and a lot of really cool stuff I have grown accustomed to do not work. So, I struggled and struggled, until I just sent to my friend ChatGPT and asked it to produce me IE11 compatible Regex for each of my Regex statements. And then viola, my add-in was fully functional on Windows and Office online.
I am still a hacker by nature – what works, works. And I have converted from Office Add-ins written in C# with Visual Studio Tools to Office to this OfficeJS paradigm. I spend a lot of time reading the documentation and I SWEAR it tells me that with my version of Office 365 and having the WebView2 control installed, I should not be reverting to IE11 (Trident+) for Smart Events:
Microsoft® Outlook® for Microsoft 365 MSO (Version 2308 Build 16.0.16731.20052) 64-bit
But maybe it is buried in there somewhere that on Windows/PC, it always uses IE11 for Smart Events. Either way, to make sure you support 99% of the market out there, I guess you need to write you code like this or use polyfills and transpile. Bottom line is I got it to work. If anyone else is having similar issues, hopefully this helps. If anyone has an alternative or can point to something I am doing wrong (other than using polyfills and transpile my code), I am open to suggestions.