Office 365 Centralized Deployment hits general availability

Last year, a preview of Centralized Deployment, a new capability geared towards administrators, was announced in preview for Office 365. The good news is that now, it has gone gold.

For those not familiar, the feature allows IT administrators to automatically deploy web add-ins to Office installations via PowerShell scripts, or simply by accessing the relevant option in the Office 365 Admin Center.

As an add-in developer, if you are using things such as Add-in Commands - elements of the UI which extend the Office interface and start actions in your add-in - you won't need to make any changes.

If you're an IT admin, with Centralized Development you can take advantage of the following benefits that it brings:

  • Windows, Mac and Office Online support for Word, Excel and PowerPoint
    • The Add-Ins are automatically deployed on client boot
  • Store Add-Ins or Line of Business Add-Ins
    • Add-Ins can either be acquired and assigned to users from the Office Store or a manifest can be uploaded for Line Of Business applications
  • Office Admin Center or PowerShell
    • Use either Office 365 Admin Center or Powershell to deploy, assign and modify Add-Ins
  • Eligibility documentation and Compatibility script
    • Documentation has been provided to help organizations determine if centralized deployment will work as expected
    • An Administrator can run a script to determine if their organization has the correct configuration to use Centralized Deployment
  • ISV analytics
    • Via Seller Dashboard we will soon display analytics of how many users have been assigned an Add-In per tenant ID. This can be tied into licensing recommendations for upsell, for more information see here

Microsoft was quick to point out that there are already firms taking advantage of this feature. However, it has not clarified whether Centralized Development is available for all Office 365 plans right now, or a staggered roll-out is the method of choice for delivery.

Source: Office Dev Center

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