SharePoint Online - Install / Upgrade App From App Catalog Out Of The Box

As a SharePoint or global admin in Office 365, you can create an App Catalog site to make internally developed custom apps available for users to install when they browse apps under the From Your Organization filter on the Site Contents page. Site owners can then add these apps.

Scenario

I want a custom app to be installed by default whenever a site is created with a specific site collection/managed path/template and users from that site should not be able to remove that app from that site. The best way to implement this is to create a feature stabling with custom site definition. Unfortunately, SharePoint Online does not support feature stabling or site definition.

Solution

As a SharePoint or global admin in Office 365, you can create an App Catalog site to make internally developed custom apps available for users to install when they browse apps under the From Your Organization filter on the Site Contents page. Site owners can then add these apps.

  • The first step is to create the App Catalog site collection if it hasn’t already been created.
  • Once the App Catalog has been provisioned, upload the first version (my first version: 1.0.0.0) of your app in the app catalog site.
  • Install the first version of your app in the app catalog site.
  • Select the ellipses ( …) next to the app, select the ellipses ( …) again in the callout to view the menu, and then select Deployment.

    SharePoint Online - Install / Upgrade App From App Catalog Out Of The Box
  • Now you will be redirected to the “Manage App Deployments” page where you can configure where you wish to install the app. Apps can be installed with Site Collections, Managed Paths and Site Templates based scopes.

    SharePoint Online - Install / Upgrade App From App Catalog Out Of The Box

    SharePoint Online - Install / Upgrade App From App Catalog Out Of The Box
  • Configure the setting as per your requirement and click Ok (if required trust the app)
  • In this example, I wanted to install my app in https://sharepointrider.sharepoint.com/sites/dev site collection under sites managed path with Developer Site templates only.
  • Now the app should be installed in the above mentioned sites

Note
If you notice, the app information callout’s footer section is rendered only with an About callout action and users cannot remove the app from the site.

SharePoint Online - Install / Upgrade App From App Catalog Out Of The Box
  • Now upload the next version (1.0.0.1) of your app in the app catalog site
  • Upgrade the app in the app catalog site
SharePoint Online - Install / Upgrade App From App Catalog Out Of The Box
  • Now your app should get upgraded automatically in the sites you configured in step #4.
SharePoint Online - Install / Upgrade App From App Catalog Out Of The Box

This approach provides the flexibility and governance for SharePoint add-in deployments.

 I hope you will find this information useful. Please let me know if you have any questions.