Task pane add-ins for Project
Project Standard 2013 and Project Professional 2013 (version 15.1 or higher) both include support for task pane add-ins. You can run general task pane add-ins that are developed for Word or Excel. You can also develop custom add-ins that handle selection events in Project and integrate task, resource, view, and other cell-level data in a project with SharePoint lists, SharePoint Add-ins, Web Parts, web services, and enterprise applications.
The Project 2013 SDK download includes sample add-ins that show how to use the add-in object model for Project, and how to use the OData service for reporting data in Project Server 2013. When you extract and install the SDK, see the
For an introduction to Office Add-ins, see Office Add-ins platform overview.
Add-in scenarios for Project
Project managers can use Project task pane add-ins to help with project management activities. Instead of leaving Project and opening another application to search for frequently used information, project managers can directly access the information within Project. The content in a task pane add-in can be context-sensitive, based on the selected task, resource, view, or other data in a cell in a Gantt chart, task usage view, or resource usage view.
With Project Professional 2013, you can develop task pane add-ins that access Project on the web, on-premises installations of Project Server 2013, and on-premises or online SharePoint 2013. Project Standard 2013 does not support direct integration with Project Server data or SharePoint task lists that are synchronized with Project Server.
Add-in scenarios for Project include the following:
Project scheduling View data from related projects that can affect scheduling. A task pane add-in can integrate relevant data from other projects in Project Server 2013. For example, you can view the departmental collection of projects and milestone dates, or view specified data from other projects that are based on a selected custom field.
Resource management View the complete resource pool in Project Server 2013 or a subset based on specified skills, including cost data and resource availability, to help select appropriate resources.
Statusing and approvals Use a web application in a task pane add-in to update or view data from an external enterprise resource planning (ERP) application, timesheet system, or accounting application. Or, create a custom status approval Web Part that can be used within both Project Web App and Project Professional 2013.
Team communication Communicate with team members and resources directly from a task pane add-in, within the context of a project. Or, easily maintain a set of context-sensitive notes for yourself as you work in a project.
Work packages Search for specified kinds of project templates within SharePoint libraries and online template collections. For example, find templates for construction projects and add them to your Project template collection.
Related items View metadata, documents, and messages that are related to specific tasks in a project plan. For example, you can use Project Professional 2013 to manage a project that was imported from a SharePoint task list, and still synchronize the task list with changes in the project. A task pane add-in can show additional fields or metadata that Project did not import for tasks in the SharePoint list.
Use the Project Server object models Use the GUID of a selected task with methods in the Project Server Interface (PSI) or the client-side object model (CSOM) of Project Server. For example, the web application for an add-in can read and update the statusing data of a selected task and resource, or integrate with an external timesheet application.
Developing Project add-ins
When you install the Project 2013 SDK download, the
\Samples\Apps\ subdirectory includes the following sample add-ins:
Bing Search: The BingSearch.xml manifest file points to the Bing search page for mobile devices. Because the Bing web app already exists on the Internet, the Bing Search add-in does not use other source code files or the add-in object model for Project.
HelloProject_OData: This is a Visual Studio solution for Project Professional 2013 that summarizes data from the active project, such as cost, work, and percent complete, and compares that with the average for all published projects in the Project Web App instance where the active project is stored. The development, installation, and testing of the sample, which uses the REST protocol with the ProjectData service in Project Web App, is described in Create a Project add-in that uses REST with an on-premises Project Server OData service.
Creating an add-in manifest file
The manifest file specifies the URL of the add-in webpage or web application, the kind of add-in (task pane for Project), optional URLs of content for other languages and locales, and other properties.
Procedure 1. To create the add-in manifest file for Bing Search
Create an XML file in a local directory. The XML file includes the OfficeApp element and child elements, which are described in the Office Add-ins XML manifest. For example, create a file named BingSearch.xml that contains the following XML.
<?xml version="1.0" encoding="utf-8"?> <OfficeApp xmlns="http://schemas.microsoft.com/office/appforoffice/1.0" xmlns:xsi="http://www.w3.org/2001/XMLSchema-instance" xsi:type="TaskPaneApp"> <!--IMPORTANT! Id must be unique for each add-in. If you copy this manifest ensure that you change this id to your own GUID. --> <Id>01234567-89ab-cedf-0123-456789abcdef</Id> <Version>15.0</Version> <ProviderName>Microsoft</ProviderName> <DefaultLocale>en-us</DefaultLocale> <DisplayName DefaultValue="Bing Search"> </DisplayName> <Description DefaultValue="Search selected data on Bing"> </Description> <IconUrl DefaultValue="http://officeimg.vo.msecnd.net/_layouts/images/general/office_logo.jpg"> </IconUrl> <SupportUrl DefaultValue="[Insert the URL of a page that provides support information for the app]" /> <Capabilities> <Capability Name="Project"/> </Capabilities> <DefaultSettings> <SourceLocation DefaultValue="http://m.bing.com"> </SourceLocation> </DefaultSettings> <Permissions>ReadWriteDocument</Permissions> </OfficeApp>
Following are the required elements in the add-in manifest:
- In the OfficeApp element, the
xsi:type="TaskPaneApp"attribute specifies that the add-in is a task pane type.
- The Id element is a UUID and must be unique.
- The Version element is the version of the add-in. The ProviderName element is the name of the company or developer who provides the add-in. The DefaultLocale element specifies the default locale for the strings in the manifest.
- The DisplayName element is the name that shows in the Task Pane Add-in drop-down list in the VIEW tab of the ribbon in Project 2013. The value can contain up to 32 characters.
- The Description element contains the add-in description for the default locale. The value can contain up to 2000 characters.
- The Capabilities element contains one or more Capability child elements that specify the Office application.
- The DefaultSettings element includes the SourceLocation element, which specifies the path of an HTML file on a file share or the URL of a webpage that the add-in uses. A task pane add-in ignores the RequestedHeight element and the RequestedWidth element.
- The IconUrl element is optional. It can be an icon on a file share or the URL of an icon in a web application.
- In the OfficeApp element, the
(Optional) Add Override elements that have values for other locales. For example, the following manifest provides Override elements for French values of DisplayName, Description, IconUrl, and SourceLocation.
<?xml version="1.0" encoding="utf-8"?> <OfficeApp xmlns="http://schemas.microsoft.com/office/appforoffice/1.0" xmlns:xsi="https://www.w3.org/2001/XMLSchema-instance" xsi:type="TaskPaneApp"> <!--IMPORTANT! Id must be unique for each add-in. If you copy this manifest ensure that you change this id to your own GUID. --> <Id>01234567-89ab-cedf-0123-456789abcdef</Id> <Version>15.0</Version> <ProviderName>Microsoft</ProviderName> <DefaultLocale>en-us</DefaultLocale> <DisplayName DefaultValue="Bing Search"> <Override Locale="fr-fr" Value="Bing Search"/> </DisplayName> <Description DefaultValue="Search selected data on Bing"> <Override Locale="fr-fr" Value="Search selected data on Bing"></Override> </Description> <IconUrl DefaultValue="http://officeimg.vo.msecnd.net/_layouts/images/general/office_logo.jpg"> <Override Locale="fr-fr" Value="http://officeimg.vo.msecnd.net/_layouts/images/general/office_logo.jpg"/> </IconUrl> <SupportUrl DefaultValue="[Insert the URL of a page that provides support information for the app]" /> <Capabilities> <Capability Name="Project"/> </Capabilities> <DefaultSettings> <SourceLocation DefaultValue="http://m.bing.com"> <Override Locale="fr-fr" Value="http://m.bing.com"/> </SourceLocation> </DefaultSettings> <Permissions>ReadWriteDocument</Permissions> </OfficeApp>
Installing Project add-ins
In Project 2013, you can install add-ins as stand-alone solutions on a file share, or in a private add-in catalog. You can also review and purchase add-ins in AppSource.
There can be multiple add-in manifest XML files and subdirectories in a file share. You can add or remove manifest directory locations and catalogs by using the Trusted Add-in Catalogs tab in the Trust Center dialog box in Project 2013. To show an add-in in Project, the SourceLocation element in a manifest must point to an existing website or HTML source file.
If you are developing on a Windows computer, either Internet Explorer or Microsoft Edge must be installed. For more information see Browsers used by Office Add-ins.
In Procedure 2, the Bing Search add-in is installed on the local computer where Project 2013 is installed. However, because the add-in infrastructure does not directly use local file paths such as
C:\Project\AppManifests, you can create a network share on the local computer. If you prefer, you can create a file share on a remote computer.
Procedure 2. To install the Bing Search add-in
Create a local directory for add-in manifests. For example, create the
C:\Project\AppManifestsdirectory asAppManifests, so the network path to the file share becomes
Copy the BingSearch.xml manifest file to the
In Project 2013, open the Project Options dialog box, choose Trust Center, and then choose Trust Center Settings.
In the Trust Center dialog box, in the left pane, choose Trusted Add-in Catalogs.
In the Trusted Add-in Catalogs pane (see Figure 1), add the
\\ServerName\AppManifestspath in the Catalog Url text box, choose Add Catalog, and then choose OK.
Figure 1 shows two file shares and one hypothetical URL for a private catalog in the Trusted Catalog Address list. Only one file share can be the default file share and only one catalog URL can be the default catalog. For example, if you set
\\Server2\AppManifestsas the default, Project clears the Default check box for
\\ServerName\AppManifests.If you change the default selection, you can choose Clear to remove installed add-ins, and then restart Project. If you add an add-in to the default file share or SharePoint catalog while Project is open, you should restart Project.
Figure 1. Using the Trust Center to add catalogs of add-in manifests
On the Project ribbon, choose the Office Add-ins drop-down menu, and then choose See All. In the Insert Add-in dialog box, choose SHARED FOLDER (see Figure 2).
Figure 2. Starting an add-in that is on a file share
Select the Bing Search add-in, and then choose Insert.
The Bing Search add-in shows in a task pane, as in Figure 3. You can manually resize the task pane, and use the Bing Search add-in.
Figure 3. Using the Bing Search add-in
Distributing Project add-ins
You can distribute add-ins through a file share, an app catalog in a SharePoint library, or AppSource. For more information, see Publish your Office Add-in.