Publish SharePoint Add-ins

You've finished developing your SharePoint Add-in—the final step is making that add-in available to your users. You can do this by publishing the add-in to one of two places:

  • The public Office Store. Publish your add-in to the Office Store to make the add-in publically available, so that it can be acquired by users of any SharePoint deployment.

  • An internal organization add-in catalog. Publish your add-ins to an internal organization add-in catalog, hosted on your SharePoint deployment, to make them available to users with access to that SharePoint deployment.

For information about how to package your add-in for publication by using Visual Studio 2012, see Publish SharePoint Add-ins by using Visual Studio.

Publishing to the Office Store

To publish an add-in to the Office Store, you must first register as a Microsoft developer.

When you upload an add-in to the Office Store for publication, Microsoft performs a series of verification checks to ensure your add-in adheres to the add-in content and behavior guidelines. For example, it checks whether the add-in manifest markup is valid and complete and verifies that any SharePoint solution packages (.wsp files) that are included in the add-in do not contain elements that aren't allowed, or SharePoint Features with a scope that is broader than Web. The package is also inspected for objectionable content. If the add-in package passes all tests, it's wrapped into a file and signed by Microsoft.

When you upload your add-in for publication on the Office Store, you can choose the terms of the license you want to offer users when they download it. Use this add-in license to decide:

  • Whether you are offering your add-in for free, trial, or for purchase.
  • Whether your add-in can be acquired on a per-user or site basis.

SharePoint does not enforce license terms for add-in usage—it provides a licensing framework that lets you include code logic in your add-in to enforce whatever licensing restrictions you choose. For example, you can include code logic in your add-in that enables users to access certain add-in features if they have a paid license, but not if they have a trial license. For more information, see License your Office and SharePoint Add-ins.

Publishing to an add-in catalog

If you're creating SharePoint Add-ins for your own company's use or a specific corporate client, instead of the general public, you'll likely want to publish your add-in to an internal add-in catalog hosted on SharePoint. A private add-in catalog is a dedicated site collection in a SharePoint web application (or a SharePoint Online tenancy) that hosts document libraries for SharePoint Add-ins and Office Add-ins. Putting the catalog into its own site collection makes it easier for the web application administrator or tenant administrator to limit permissions to the catalog.

Uploading a SharePoint Add-in to a corporate add-in catalog is as easy as uploading any file to a SharePoint document library. You fill out a pop-up form in which you supply the local URL of the add-in package and other information, such as the name of the add-in. When you upload the add-in to an add-in catalog, there are similar checks, and add-ins that do not pass are marked as invalid or disabled in the catalog.

Deciding where to publish your SharePoint Add-in

The following table offers a comparison of publishing to the Office Store or to an add-in catalog, and lists issues to consider when deciding where to publish your add-in. We recommend you decide where you plan to publish your add-in before you design and develop it; in some cases, such as licensing, where you publish your add-in will affect the design and development of your add-in.

Table 1. Considerations for where to publish your add-in

Office Store Add-in Catalog
Add-in is publically available. Add-in is available to users with access to this SharePoint deployment.
Licensing framework is available. Licensing framework is not available for use.
Add-in package is verified by Microsoft for technical and content adherence to policies. Add-in package verification is performed by SharePoint when add-in is uploaded.
You must be signed up with the Microsoft Seller Dashboard to upload add-ins. No registration with Microsoft is required.

Additional resources