Debugging with Office Online


Recently I began working on an Office Add-in (formally known as Apps for Office) that interfaces with Excel, PowerPoint and Word online. By default, when you create a new Office Add-in in Visual Studio 2015, it will default to using the installed Office Desktop Client. I have done a lot of work with Mail Apps, but this was the first time I really delved deeply into Office Add-ins with the express need to design against the online versions. After pulling my hair out looking for the settings in the debug tab of the Manifest Project settings, I found this in the Properties page of the Manifest Project file:

When you select the project at the top, you see these properties in the Properties window (F4).

Simply change these as such:

You then specify the URL to your Office 365 subscription. To get this, I logged into my Office 365 developer account from http://office365.com selected my OneDrive folder from the menu and the copied the full path from the address bar and placed it in the field. I got a prompt to log in and then all was good.

The next problem I had was with side loading the application. When I tried to Debug, I got this error in Visual Studio:

Error occurred in deployment step ‘Install app for SharePoint’

According to the documentation and everything I can find, you should not get this error if you are using an Office 365 Developer account. I am, and I am still getting this error. So, I had to go into my account and enable Side loading. I searched and searcha nd then found this blog by Tobias Lekman: https://blog.lekman.com/2012/11/sharepoint-2013-sideloading-of-apps-is.html. He gives two simple enough sounding steps:

  1. Download and install the SharePoint Online Management Shell for PowerShell
  2. Download the script Sideload.ps1 and execute it within the SharePoint Online Management Shell.

Sounds easy. So, I downloaded and installed this: https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/details.aspx?id=30359.

Then, I downloaded script and placed it right in my PowerShell folder: http://lekman.codeplex.com/releases/view/98505.

Now, I am the first to admit, I am a developer and not a PowerShell scripter. So I have next to no experience with PowerShell. When I ran the script I got an error:

Essentially there is an execution policy preventing my PowerShell script from running. So, I went to the link provided: https://technet.microsoft.com/library/hh847748.aspx. From there I found I needed to run this command:

After, I did that I was able to run the Sideload.ps file, it asked for my url, username and password and then setup my side to allow the side load for testing.

When I returned to Visual Studio and clicked Run, it ran and installed my app.

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