Deploy and publish your Office Add-in

You can use one of several methods to deploy your Office Add-in for testing or distribution to users.

Method Use...
Sideloading As part of your development process, to test your add-in running on Windows, Office Online, iPad, or Mac.
Centralized deployment In a cloud or hybrid deployment, to distribute your add-in to users in your organization.
Office Store To distribute your add-in publicly to users.
SharePoint catalog In an on-premises environment, to distribute your add-in to users in your organization.
Exchange server In an on-premises or online environment, to distribute Outlook add-ins to users.

The options that are available depend on the Office host that you're targeting and the type of add-in you create.

Note: If you plan to your add-in to the Office Store, make sure that you conform to the Office Store validation policies. For example, to pass validation, your add-in must work across all platforms that support the methods that you define (for more information, see section 4.12 and the Office Add-in host and availability page).

For information about how end users acquire, insert, and run add-ins, see Start using your Office Add-in.

Deployment options for Word, Excel, and PowerPoint add-ins

Extension point Sideloading Office 365 admin center (preview) Office Store SharePoint catalog*
Content X X X X
Task pane X X X X
Command X X X

* SharePoint catalogs do not support Office 2016 for Mac.

Deployment options for Outlook add-ins

Extension point Sideloading Exchange server Office Store
Mail app X X X
Command X X X

Centralized deployment via the Office 365 admin center (preview)

The Office 365 admin center makes it easy for an administrator to deploy Word, Excel, and PowerPoint add-ins to users or groups within their organization. Add-ins deployed via the admin center are available to users in their Office applications right away, with no client configuration required. You can deploy internal add-ins as well as add-ins provided by ISVs via centralized deployment.

For more information, see Use centralized deployment to publish add-ins.

SharePoint catalog deployment

A SharePoint add-in catalog is a special site collection that you can create to host Word, Excel, and PowerPoint add-ins. Because SharePoint catalogs don't support new add-in features implemented in the VersionOverrides node of the manifest, including add-in commands, we recommend that you use centralized deployment via the admin center (preview) if possible. Add-in commands deployed via a SharePoint catalog open in a task pane by default.

If you are deploying add-ins in an on-premises environment, use a SharePoint catalog. For details, see Publish task pane and content add-ins to a SharePoint catalog.

Note: SharePoint catalogs do not support Office 2016 for Mac. To deploy Office Add-ins to Mac clients, you must submit them to the Office Store.

Outlook add-in deployment

For on-premises and online environments that do not use the Azure AD identity service, you can deploy Outlook add-ins via the Exchange server.

Outlook add-in deployment requires:

  • Office 365, Exchange Online, or Exchange Server 2013 or later
  • Outlook 2013 or later

To assign add-ins to tenants, you use the Exchange admin center to upload a manifest directly, either from a file or a URL, or add an add-in from the Office Store. To assign add-ins to individual users, you must use Exchange PowerShell. For details, see Install or remove Outlook add-ins for your organization on TechNet.

Additional resources