SP2013: App deployment within your organisation
In this previous post I talked a bit about the new SharePoint app model. I started playing around with the examples on MSDN and succeeeded in producing an actual working app. Great.
All of this is done within a special developer portal (which is well documented in the MSDN getting started articles). You open a project in Visual Studio, set the correct URL yo your site, press F5 and away you go.
But what happens when your app is finished? I starting looking around for a way to upload it. Logical place would be a an “app gallery” as there is a solution gallery for sandboxed solutions. Didn’t find one. But I noticed Visual Studio creates a WSP for these new solutions as well. So I tried uploading that to the normal solution gallery and activating. That succeeded, but changed little. I also found a feature for my app, so perhaps that needed to be activated? Still no listing in the “install an app” form.
So what do you DO need to do to get this working? Here we go:
– Open the admin part of your site. In the top navigation bar (the one with Office 365 Preview in it), click on “Admin” and choose “SharePoint”.
– Now in the admin section, choose “Apps”.
– It’ll ask you to connect to an existing gallery or create a new one; create a new one.
– Fill in the site details, this is just the same as creating a new SharePoint site.
– Wait a bit for the creation process to finish. You’ll now have a seperate site on which you can manage your apps. If you upload an app here; it’ll be available on all of your site collections within your subscription.
Of course, when you want to reach a broader audience; you can also upload your app into the global store, so it can be sold worldwide. Great opportunities there!
One thing I’m missing (perhaps it’s there but I didn’t find it), is the option to scope your apps to certain site collections. For instance, imagine you’ve got multiple departments, all with their own SharePoint site collection. Your HR appartment requests an app to be build and so you provide them with a custom made app. Now what you would like is to make that particular app available within the HR section only. As far as I can see, this is not a supported scenario. Once you upload your app, it’ll be available across all site collections. You can categorise the apps you upload, but that’s just for ease of use, not for scoping.