Office Developer Tools for VS 2015 Adds New Project Type

Outlook Add-in with Commands project type is a preview, as is new SharePoint 2016 Beta 2 templates for farm and sandboxed solutions.

The Visual Studio team last month released an update to Microsoft Office Developer Tools for Visual Studio 2015 (ODTVS 2015) that, along with bug fixes comes with previews of new and improved tools. The team said that is also renamed a number of tools.

In ODTVS 2015, the team is highlighting a preview of a new project type called Outlook Add-in with Commands. In Outlook, the add-in is launched by adding it as a button on the Outlook ribbon, which can then be used display a menu or run a custom JavaScript function.

"You declare commands in the manifest with a node called VersionOverrides that is be ignored by older versions of Office, thus ensuring backwards compatibility with all your users," writes Nicole Bruck, Office and SharePoint Tools Program Manager, in a blog.

Outlook Add-in isn't a new tool, but a renaming of mail app for Outlook. That rename is one of the new features of ODTVS 2015 that the team is emphasizing as well. Apps for Office and SharePoint tools that had the "apps prefix" are, for the most part, renamed with the "Add-in" suffix, which was done to "to better distinguish the extension platform from Office Add-ins (applications)," according to this note in the online documentation. Apps for Office is now Office Add-ins, mail app for Outlook is Outlook Add-in, and so on. (See that link for the full matrix of renamed add-ins.)

ODTVS 2015 also contains a preview of some new templates for SharePoint 2016 Beta 2, used for creating new SharePoint farm and sandboxed solutions. Developers can get the preview templates by downloading the beta here.

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