This month's community call features an Outlook: Ignite recap from Juan Balmori (Microsoft) highlighting the release of Mailbox 1.11 GA and demos for Event-based add-ins and Smart Alerts for Outlook. Then appreciate an Outlook sample: Use event-based activation to encrypt attachments delivered by Eric Legault (Eric Legault Consulting), with 3 scenarios demonstrating automated task execution, messages displayed in information bar and related code step-through. This month’s Community spotlight recognizes Michał Królewicz, Maarten van Stam, and Eric Legault for their continued contributions to this community. Please complete the Office add-in developing experience survey and register for the PnP Recognition Program. Q&A both in chat throughout call and at end of call. The call was hosted by David Chesnut (Microsoft) Recorded December 8, 2021.
David Chesnut, Senior Dev Writer (Microsoft) | @davidchesnut
Juan Balmori Labra, Principal Program Manager (Microsoft) | @juaneloBalmori
Eric Legault, Principal (Eric Legault Consulting) | @elegault
D2: Outlook sample: Use event-based activation to encrypt attachments – event-based activations from an Outlook add-in when user initiates email, appointment, or meeting request. Run tasks and create notification messages in information bar each time an attachment, recipient, meeting attendee, or meeting times are updated. UI and code scenarios shown: Encryption based on attachment change events, Notifications based on recipient changes, and Notifications based on date/time changes. Good-to-knows, pre-demo jingle, and samples in repo.
When the Outlook REST API is decommissioned in October 2022, what API should add-ins deployed to customer-hosted Exchange Servers (2016/2019) use for mobile support? Will the Outlook REST API remain active for Exchange Server and just be decommissioned for O365 accounts?
The Outlook REST API is set to be decommissioned in October 2022, but mobile add-ins do not support the necessary requirement set to get access tokens for the suggested alternative of the MS Graph API. Does this mean the Outlook add-ins on mobile will have no way to make Graph API calls without forcing user interaction? Does this mean there is no migration path to keep the existing functionality we have with the REST API implementation on mobile add-ins?
Thanks for these questions. We understand there are many add-ins that rely on the Outlook REST APIs. The team is working on guidance that we hope to provide soon. The Outlook REST API is not supported in Exchange on-premise (2016/2019), with the exception of hybrid environments. A hybrid environment does support Microsoft Graph so we still encourage looking into the Microsoft Graph APIs for new solutions. For access tokens we recommend looking to the SSO documentation on how to access Microsoft Graph.
The Microsoft Graph SSO documentation focuses on calling Graph from server-side once an access token is obtained using a bootstrap token. For our add-in, we would prefer to pass that token back to the client and have the add-in initiate the MS Graph calls using the obtained token. Is this not recommended, and if so, why not?
Passing a token to the client increases the risk of it getting leaked through browser history, caching, or other mechanisms. Keeping tokens on the server is a more secure way of managing them. For more guidance we recommend reaching out to the Microsoft identity platform team at https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/azure/active-directory/develop/developer-support-help-options.
I have a question on unit testing. I created my office.js add-in for Word, that is working with existing documents, and it is blocking/unblocking sections inside the document. As I understand, unit tests that are written in examples are working on the blank document. Is it possible to run unit tests on a custom document, and how can we accomplish that?
Unit tests don't run against an actual document. This sounds more like an end-to-end test, or UI testing. Unfortunately, there isn't a good way to load a custom document and test against it. Many customers use manual testing for these types of scenarios. We're hoping to improve this story down the road.
Our Word add-in loads on Microsoft 365 Word on desktop and Microsoft 365 Word on the browser. But the add-in fails to load on the Office Online Server 2019 version of the Word Web App. We get an error message saying that it is unable to load the add-in, and that we should use Word on desktop instead.
Unfortunately, Word add-ins are not supported on Office Online Server. For these scenarios, we recommend that you check that Office is properly initialized as described in https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/office/dev/add-ins/develop/initialize-add-in.
Can the Outlook event-based add-in be triggered by a user typing a certain word (similar to spell-check)?
No, we don't have a specific event for this. It would be expensive to handle an event on every keypress. We recommend using another event such as OnMessageSend to trigger a check.
Is there an Outlook event planned for when the Sender (From) changes? In desktop, if you have multiple mailboxes, you can select the sender. It would be useful to know when signatures might be different from senders.
This is on our backlog, but we don't yet have an ETA for when this will be available.
Which email signature system did you use in the demo?
The demo used a simple signature built by the engineering team. But we have awesome partners like CodeTwo, LetSignIt, and Exclaimer who provide solutions in this market.
Can the email signature pull information from Active Directory attributes?
Do smart alerts work on Outlook on the web?
The preview is only on Outlook on Windows. We are planning to add support for Outlook on the web next, and eventually all platforms.
`onSend` add-ins can't be published to the store. Will it possible to publish add-ins with smart alerts to the store?
Yes, add-ins using smart alerts can be published to Microsoft AppSource.
If session data needs to be stored centrally (so individual sessions / all users in an org can pull current, dynamic data) I'd love to understand where to place the centralized data repository in order to integrate it successfully
If you need to store settings that apply to all users of the add-in within the organization, you need to provide a data repository for it. You should choose a repository of your choice in the cloud. Some customers use SharePoint, for example.
If it's web first, then I'm guessing somewhere in SharePoint users can fill out the form then sync that into AD (Azure AD Connect) then save that info into the on-premise AD?
It's really your decision on which data repository you want to store such settings.
Any progress on support for shared mailbox add-ins on OWA?
This is now in preview for Outlook on Windows. The Outlook team is looking to enable the same experience on Outlook on Windows, and we might have more updates to share early next year.
What about supported platforms for the smart alerts? Can we expect mobile clients (iOS and Android) getting this feature enabled?
Yes! We are multiplatform by nature and eventually smart alerts will be added to all platforms. We are starting the beta with Outlook on Windows and the next platform will be on the web.
So, next year we may expect Win32 and Web availability of smart alerts. Is there any estimation for the mobile?
Our goal is to GA no later than Q2 next year. Outlook on mobile will support event-based add-ins first, and then smart alerts. We don't have concrete dates for the smart alerts on mobile yet.
How is the demo obtaining the document attached? It was easy when the document had a URL. But this is from a work machine. Do we have a sample in script lab?
There is an API in Office.js to get the attachments. Check out the Office.AttachmentContent interface. In script lab for Outlook search for "Get attachments" in the samples and you will find a sample.
Any news when the current PowerPoint Preview API will go live?
We are looking at early next year.
D2: Documentation - Configure your Outlook add-in for event-based activation
D2: Documentation - Outlook add-in API requirement set 1.11
D2: Documentation - Authenticate a user with a single-sign-on token in an Outlook add-in
D2: Song – Office Add-ins Song
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