End-to-End Walkthrough of Excel JavaScript Add-in Development

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Description

In this webcast, I walk through the end-to-end process of building an Office Add-in for Excel:  from launching Visual Studio, to writing a bit of JavaScript code that uses the new Excel 2016 APIs, to adding some basic UI tweaks, to talking through the publishing options, debugging, and more.

For those who wanted to see the solution that is built as part of the walkthrough, I've uploaded it to OneDrive. Download and unzip the file, open the Solution in Visual Studio 2015 or a VS 2013 with the latest updates, and you should be all set! I recommend watching the video before downloading the solution, so that you can follow along in "the building of" before seeing the full thing.

 

Some reference links:

 

Hope you find this useful!

~ Michael Zlatkovsky, developer on Office Extensibility team, MSFT

 

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The Discussion

  • User profile image
    GlynP

    Hi Michael,

    I'm making a start developing an Excel Office Add-in.

    I've got to the section in your video on publishing.

    I'm using VS2015 Community (fully patched) and it will not open the app manifest file in any view other than raw XML.

    This isn't a critical problem, but it would be nice to have the interface you demonstrated to work with finding and changing the various options.

    Is there a fix for this problem?

    Cheers,

    Glyn.

  • User profile image
    Michael Zlatkovsky

    @Glyn, have you installed the Office Developer Tools (https://www.visualstudio.com/en-us/features/office-tools-vs.aspx)?

  • User profile image
    GlynP

    @Michael Zlatkovsky:

    Hi Michael,

    Yes, the developer tools are installed. I wouldn't see the Office project templates in VS2015 if they weren't.

    I've tried refreshing their installation, as well as uninstalling and reinstalling them. It has made no difference. The manifest is still presented as raw XML.

    I've also tried this on my laptop with a clean install of Windows 10 Pro and VS2015 Community. The problem presents itself on that machine too.

    Any clues or pointers would be appreciated!

    Cheers,

    Glyn.

  • User profile image
    Zlatkovsky

    @Glyn, sorry for the delay -- I didn't see that you'd replied to the comment.  I think the reason is that in Visual Studio 2015, the default templates now make use of Add-in commands... and for those, there is not designer experience.  I would encourage you to file a suggestion on https://visualstudio.uservoice.com/ requesting the feature to be brought back (or have a web-based manifest designer, etc.)

  • User profile image
    GlynP

    Hi Michael,

    During the pause in this conversation I had to put my experimental Excel Add-In project down and also took a couple of weeks off on holiday. I'm ready to pick the project back up now. The old grey cells are struggling to remember where I was with things, so I think I'll start from scratch! (It's an age thing - you'll get there one day).

    Before I jump back into the tutorials and papers I found back in June, do you know of any more recent and/or comprehensive materials reflecting the latest versions of Visual Studio and Office for this work?

    I'm using Visual Studio Community 2015 v14.0.25425.01 Update 3 and Office 2016 (MSO 365) v16.0.7030.1021.

    Cheers,

    Glyn.

    P.S. I've made the suggestion concerning a visual designer for the app manifest file on user-voice as you suggested.

  • User profile image
    Ceelly

    Hi, Thanks for your tutorial it great to have more Excel addin examples. New to this way of writing excel functions I have an VBA back ground. After watching Bob Tabor introduction to Javascript series I am getting my head around the DOM described by XML and how Javascript interacts with the DOM. But very interested in the customizing the user forms. All the examples I have seen has one task plane that is in the Home.Html. Is it possible to start with one task pane, remove the original task pane and load another task pane depending on the user selection??

  • User profile image
    Guisselle

    Hello Michael,
    Thank you for an excellent post, I'm new to add-ins and your video was extremely helpful. I just have couple questions, when I try to get the historical data from Yahoo I get a "Bad Request", any idea why this is happening? Also, I tried downloading your sample from one drive but I can't, is it still available?
    Thank you!
    Guisselle

  • User profile image
    Zlatkovsky

    Hi folks, this is Michael Zlatkovsky, your host in the video above.

    For thsoe who asking questions in the comments (or otherwise want a reply from me):  I actually don't get notified when comments are added, so I only see them once in a blue moon.  If you have questions, could you please post them to STACKOVERFLOW instead, and tag them with [office-js]?  I'll be more than happy to answer there.

    Best!

    - Michael

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