Hosting an Outlook Add-in through Azure for my Org Internally?

Noah Jaccard 0 Reputation points
2024-03-06T15:19:13.34+00:00

Hi, all,

I'm working on a very basic Outlook add-in for my firm that provides globally updated templates for the various work of different departments. There is the My Templates add-in from Microsoft, but that isn't quite what we wanted. We wanted a hard coded variation of that were internally we could decide what templates might be needed including ones for the help desk ticketing system, among others.

I was able to successfully build out the Outlook Add-in using the Yeoman Generator and coded the rest of what I needed. It all runs correctly locally, but the next thing was hosting it outside of my computer. We use Azure, so I felt like it would be easy enough to make a public storage blob that the add-in references from the uploaded manifest file and all of the other files uploaded. When I try to access the add-in after referencing the manifest file from the Microsoft Admin page, I do get the panes loaded, but they say to sideload the add-in, which is what I thought I was doing by moving all the information to Azure. None of the file links are incorrect and I updated the CORS information to access details from outlook.com (among the other two URLs as well) to no avail.

Whenever I look up a tutorial for this, it always says to share the manifest file from a folder in my computer's C: Drive. Obviously, if my computer isn't always on and actively sharing those files, that won't work for an organization. Some tutorials also mention uploading to SharePoint or creating a web app on Azure as well, but neither of those options have worked out great either. I think maybe the WebApp idea is possible, but as it doesn't need active server capabilities, I would rather not upload the code albeit privately to GitHub in case of public access issues.

I guess one of the most recent things I've noticed is that you do have to "run" and "host" the add-in locally to have anything work while testing. I realized that the blobs and static web apps that I've tested won't "run" anything and I don't think I can do any of that within the Azure CLI. Maybe I can... I just decided to look into hosting it round the cloud via a Virtual Machine, but it needs to be a rather small one and I'm not sure exactly how to go with that.

Has anyone been able to make a local add-in work through being hosted (and I guess "sideloaded") from Azure? Or can someone guide me to any videos or tutorials that could be supportive other than anything on Microsoft Learn, which has not been useful...

Thanks!

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