Tools and environments for developing SharePoint Add-ins


The SharePoint Add-In model in SharePoint Online has been retired as of November 27th 2023, checkout the full retirement announcement to learn more.

Retirement means that the feature will not get any new investments, but it's still supported. End-of-life means that the feature will be discontinued and is no longer available for use.

There are two basic patterns for development environments for SharePoint Add-ins. The test and debugging SharePoint website can be on:

  • A SharePoint Online website in an Office 365 subscription. Typically, Visual Studio is installed to a local computer, but a cloud-based Visual Studio is also an option.

  • An on-premises, one-server SharePoint farm. Visual Studio is installed on the same computer.

Consider the following:

  • Almost any add-in that you create can be deployed to either SharePoint Online or to on-premises SharePoint farms, regardless of which type of environment you use. As a general rule, add-ins that cannot be deployed to SharePoint Online also cannot be developed with it; for example: add-ins that require Full Control permissions and add-ins that use the high-trust authorization system.

  • You can develop both SharePoint-hosted and provider-hosted SharePoint Add-ins, regardless of which type of environment you use.

  • You can have both on-premises and SharePoint Online test sites.

  • All things considered, the two options are equally easy to set up.

To create the SharePoint Online environment by using a SharePoint Online subscription that you can use for development, see Create a developer site on an existing Office 365 subscription.

To create the on-premises environment, see Set up an on-premises development environment for SharePoint Add-ins.


This topic is only concerned with environments for developing SharePoint Add-ins. If you plan to develop farm solutions, see Set up a general development environment for SharePoint.

If you plan to do both kinds of development, start with the latter article, and then see Set up an on-premises development environment for SharePoint Add-ins for additional steps you need to develop SharePoint Add-ins.

See also