Office Dev, Technical

File Upload to SharePoint Online

One of my peers, Doug Perkes, wrote an awesome sample project on GitHub called Office 365 SharePoint File Management which demonstrates a multi-tenant MVC application connecting to Office 365 to allow a user to upload a file to SharePoint Online. Very handy, indeed. This post gives you steps to follow to integrate the same functionality into an existing MVC application. In order to get to the point where your application can upload a file to SharePoint Online, you must first provide the ability for the user to authenticate into their Office 365 tenant and have your application configured as a multi-tenant app, which is handled by Azure Active Directory. Ignoring a bunch of plumbing code which you’ll see by following the steps below, you can then call into SharePoint Online using either the REST or CSOM API (Doug’s sample shows both.)

As you’re walking through these steps, have Doug’s repo open (or clone it locally) as you’ll be grabbing files from it. For every step where you bring a file over from the repo, update the namespace to match your project namespace.

  1. Add an Office 365 Connected Service, if not already done. To do this, you will need an Office 365 developer account which can be obtained either through your MSDN subscription or a free one-year subscription. Doug walks through how to do this in Step 3 on his GitHub repo so I won’t duplicate that here.
  2. Install EntityFramework, if not already done. Right-click -> Manage NuGet Packages, or using the Package Manager Console window.
  3. Install Microsoft.SharePointOnline.CSOM NuGet package.
  4. Add a Utils folder at the root of your project
  5. From the repo, bring in Utils/SettingsHelper.cs
  6. Add Models/ApplicationDbContext.cs
  7. Add Models/ADALTokenCache.cs
  8. Add Models/ADALTokenCacheInitializer.cs
  9. Update your Global.asax.cs
    1. Add using statement for System.Data.Entity
    2. Add the following line to the Application_Start method:
      Database.SetInitializer(new Models.ADALTokenCacheInitializer());
  10. Update your App_Start/Startup.Auth.cs file to incorporate the code from his Startup.Auth.cs
  11. Add Models/SearchResult.cs
  12. Add Models/SearchModel.cs
  13. Add Views/Home/Sites.cshtml
  14. Add ExecuteSearchQuery method from his HomeController.cs to your controller and resolve references
  15. Add Sites method from his HomeController.cs to your controller and resolve references
  16. Add ConsentApp and RefreshSession methods from his AccountController.cs to your AccountController and resolve references

Stopping here, when you run your app you will now be able to log into an Office 365 tenant and display the Sites view which will show all SharePoint sites the user has access to (you’ll need to add an entry point to the Sites view on your own, something like: @Html.ActionLink(“Start Here »”, “Sites”, “Home”, new { @class = “btn btn-primary btn-lg” }) .) This is done using the Search REST API. Doug continues in his sample to include additional views for Libraries, Upload and UploadFile which all show how to read from SPO and then upload a file to a library in SPO using CSOM. I won’t walk through the steps of how to incorporate that functionality into your project as it’s pretty repetitive for what was done above to get Sites working.

If you’d like a deeper understanding of what the code is doing, check out the two references below:

Multi-tenant MVC app using AAD to Call O365 API
Searching a SPO site using REST

Office Dev, Technical

Check Users Browser within Office 365 Add-In

When writing an Office 365 Add-In intended to be run in Office 365 (as opposed to just an Office thick client, such as Word), you may need to be concerned about which browser your user is in. I’ll cover a specific scenario and another more general scenario and how to perform the check.

Internet Explorer 9 Support

As of the writing of this post, any Add-In published to the Office Store will be validated against IE 9 and rejected if it doesn’t work. Other than random IE 9 JavaScript quirks, your Add-In may be using an Office API feature that isn’t supported in IE 9 such as the coercion type HTML when using setSelectedDataAsync. The validation team realizes there aren’t always work-arounds for these limitations and they allow us to state the Add-In doesn’t support IE 9 in the app description and “fail gracefully” with a kind error message. To check for IE 9 in your Add-In, add the following function to your app.js file within app.initialize:

// App doesn’t support IE 9
app.isBrowserSupported =
 function () {
   var ua = navigator.userAgent, tem,
   M = ua.match(/(opera|chrome|safari|firefox|msie|trident(?=\/))\/?\s*(\d+)/i) || [];
   M = M[2] ? [M[1], M[2]] : [navigator.appName, navigator.appVersion, ‘-?’];
   if ((tem = ua.match(/version\/(\d+)/i)) != null) M.splice(1, 1, tem[1]);
var browser = M.join(‘ ‘);
   return browser != ‘MSIE 9’;

Now wherever it makes sense in your Add-In to check the browser and display a kind message back to the user (perhaps in Home.js, after app.initialize() is called), add a check and behave accordingly:

if (app.isBrowserSupported()) {
   // All is good, proceed as normal
else {
   // Browser not supported, display kind error message and disable functionality

General Browser Check

For any other need to check the browser, here’s that same function but a bit more generic so you can modify to fit your needs. I “stole” this from a co-worker so I’m not sure who the original author is. If you do, please leave a comment so I can give them credit.

var ua = navigator.userAgent, tem,
M = ua.match(/(opera|chrome|safari|firefox|msie|trident(?=\/))\/?\s*(\d+)/i) || [];
if (/trident/i.test(M[1])) {
    tem =
 /\brv[ :]+(\d+)/g.exec(ua) || [];
 ‘IE ‘ + (tem[1] || ”));
if (M[1] === ‘Chrome’) {
    tem = ua.match(/\b(OPR|Edge)\/(\d+)/);
    if (tem !=
 null) return tem.slice(1).join(‘ ‘).replace(‘OPR’, ‘Opera’);
M = M[2] ? [M[1], M[2]] : [navigator.appName, navigator.appVersion, ‘-?’];
if ((tem = ua.match(/version\/(\d+)/i)) != null) M.splice(1, 1, tem[1]);
app.showNotification(M.join(‘ ‘));

As you can see, it uses the Office 365 Add-In built-in app.showNotification method to show the result.

.NET, Office Dev, Technical

Convert Office Add-In Web to MVC

Using Visual Studio to create a new Office Add-In results in two projects:  One for your Office Add-In (basically, the manifest) and another for the web project where you do the bulk of your work to implement functionality. The web project that is created is a basic HTML/JS/CSS application…nothing fancy like ASP.NET. For most situations, a lightweight client-side web application is ideal and it makes sense for that to be the default of the VS project template. How about those other situations where you need something to run on the server, like an ASP.NET MVC application? There are a couple choices:

  1. Add a new MVC project to your solution and pull in the Office “stuff” and trim it down so it can be used as the web project for your Add-In
  2. Convert the existing web project to MVC

I’ll show you how to do the second option in this post.

MVC Plumbing

  1. Using NuGet Package Manager, add Microsoft.AspNet.Mvc to your web project
  2. Add the following folders to your project:  App_Start, Controllers, Views
  3. Right-click the Views folder and add a new Web Configuration File and name it Web.config
  4. Add the following code to this new Web.config, replacing [[YourNamespace]] with the namespace of your project
       1: <?xml version="1.0"?>


       3: <configuration>

       4:   <configSections>

       5:     <sectionGroup name="system.web.webPages.razor" type="System.Web.WebPages.Razor.Configuration.RazorWebSectionGroup, System.Web.WebPages.Razor, Version=, Culture=neutral, PublicKeyToken=31BF3856AD364E35">

       6:       <section name="host" type="System.Web.WebPages.Razor.Configuration.HostSection, System.Web.WebPages.Razor, Version=, Culture=neutral, PublicKeyToken=31BF3856AD364E35" requirePermission="false" />

       7:       <section name="pages" type="System.Web.WebPages.Razor.Configuration.RazorPagesSection, System.Web.WebPages.Razor, Version=, Culture=neutral, PublicKeyToken=31BF3856AD364E35" requirePermission="false" />

       8:     </sectionGroup>

       9:   </configSections>


      11:   <system.web.webPages.razor>

      12:     <host factoryType="System.Web.Mvc.MvcWebRazorHostFactory, System.Web.Mvc, Version=, Culture=neutral, PublicKeyToken=31BF3856AD364E35" />

      13:     <pages pageBaseType="System.Web.Mvc.WebViewPage">

      14:       <namespaces>

      15:         <add namespace="System.Web.Mvc" />

      16:         <add namespace="System.Web.Mvc.Ajax" />

      17:         <add namespace="System.Web.Mvc.Html" />

      18:         <add namespace="System.Web.Routing" />

      19:         <add namespace="[[YourNamespace]]" />

      20:       </namespaces>

      21:     </pages>

      22:   </system.web.webPages.razor>


      24:   <appSettings>

      25:     <add key="webpages:Enabled" value="false" />

      26:   </appSettings>


      28:   <system.webServer>

      29:     <handlers>

      30:       <remove name="BlockViewHandler"/>

      31:       <add name="BlockViewHandler" path="*" verb="*" preCondition="integratedMode" type="System.Web.HttpNotFoundHandler" />

      32:     </handlers>

      33:   </system.webServer>


      35:   <system.web>

      36:     <compilation>

      37:       <assemblies>

      38:         <add assembly="System.Web.Mvc, Version=, Culture=neutral, PublicKeyToken=31BF3856AD364E35" />

      39:       </assemblies>

      40:     </compilation>

      41:   </system.web>

      42: </configuration>


I chose to use the Site.css stylesheet that the NuGet package created for me. To do that, I took all of the CSS from the app.css and the home.css file and put it in the Site.css file.


Copy the App.js and Home.js files to the Scripts directory.


I’ll assume your existing web project has the standard files from the VS template:  app.js, app.css, home.html, home.css and home.js. This section shows how to pull that content into a new view.

  1. Right-click the Controllers folder and add a new Controller named HomeController. This should add a file that looks like the following:
       1: using System;

       2: using System.Collections.Generic;

       3: using System.Linq;

       4: using System.Web;

       5: using System.Web.Mvc;


       7: namespace [[YourNamespace]].Controllers

       8: {

       9:     public class HomeController : Controller

      10:     {

      11:         // GET: Home

      12:         public ActionResult Index()

      13:         {

      14:             return View();

      15:         }

      16:     }

      17: }

  2. Add a Home and Shared folder to the Views folder
  3. Right-click the Shared folder and add a new View called _Layout using the “Empty (without model)” template and checking the box for “Create as a partial view”
  4. Replace the <head> content with the following (note the reference to the Office UI Fabric, that’s optional if you aren’t using it…but you should be):
       1: <meta charset="utf-8" />

       2: <meta name="viewport" content="width=device-width, initial-scale=1.0">

       3: <meta http-equiv="X-UA-Compatible" content="IE=Edge" />

       4: <title>@ViewBag.Title - My ASP.NET Application</title>

       5: <script src="~/Scripts/modernizr-2.6.2.js"></script>


       3: <link href="~/Content/Office.css" rel="stylesheet" />

       4: <script src="" type="text/javascript">

       1: </script>

       2: <script src="~/Scripts/jquery-1.10.2.min.js">

       1: </script>


       3: <!-- Office UI Fabric -->

       4: <link rel="stylesheet" href="//" />

       5: <link rel="stylesheet" href="//" />


       7: <link href="~/Content/Site.css" rel="stylesheet" type="text/css" />

       8: <script src="~/Scripts/App.js">

       1: </script>

       2: <script src="~/Scripts/Home.js">


  5. Replace the <body> content with the following:
       1: <div id="content-header">

       2:     <div class="padding">

       3:         <h1>[[Your application name]]</h1>

       4:     </div>

       5: </div>


       7: <div id="content-main">


       9:     @RenderBody()

      10:     <hr />

      11:     <footer>

      12:         <p>&copy; @DateTime.Now.Year - Content Mixr</p>

      13:     </footer>

      14: </div>

  6. If you have anything like a top nav or other content that is consistent across multiple pages in your app, paste it in there as appropriate
  7. Right-click the Home folder and add a new View called Index (or whatever you want it to be called, the rest of this post assumes Index) using the “Empty (without model)” template and checking the box for “Create as a partial view”
  8. Replace the contents of index.cshtml with the HTML from the <body> section of your home.html file (keep the ViewBag.Title at the top of the file if you’re going to use it)

Config and Cleanup

  1. Right-click the Views folder and add a new partial view called _ViewStart and add the following content:
       1: @{

       2:     Layout = "~/Views/Shared/_Layout.cshtml";

       3: }

  2. (This may already exist but create it if not) Right-click the App_Start folder and add a new class file called RouteConfig.cs and add the following content:
       1: using System;

       2: using System.Collections.Generic;

       3: using System.Linq;

       4: using System.Web;

       5: using System.Web.Mvc;

       6: using System.Web.Routing;


       8: namespace [[Your application namespace]]

       9: {

      10:     public class RouteConfig

      11:     {

      12:         public static void RegisterRoutes(RouteCollection routes)

      13:         {

      14:             routes.IgnoreRoute("{resource}.axd/{*pathInfo}");


      16:             routes.MapRoute(

      17:                 name: "Default",

      18:                 url: "{controller}/{action}/{id}",

      19:                 defaults: new { controller = "Home", action = "Index", id = UrlParameter.Optional }

      20:             );

      21:         }

      22:     }

      23: }

  3. Open the Global.asax.cs file and edit the Application_Start() method to the following:
       1: protected void Application_Start()

       2: {

       3:     AreaRegistration.RegisterAllAreas();

       4:     RouteConfig.RegisterRoutes(RouteTable.Routes);

       5: }

  4. If your app doesn’t use Bootstrap, delete the Bootstrap CSS and JS files (if you are, go back to your _Layout.cshtml file and add the Bootstrap references as the above code doesn’t have it)
  5. You may have noticed the MVC package brought in a reference to a newer version of jQuery (1.10.2 as of the writing of this post.) There are now probably two jQuery versions in the Scripts folder so delete the version you don’t want.
  6. Open the App Manifest XML file (from the Office Add-In project) and set the DefaultValue for SourceLocation to ~remoteAppUrl since the default page of the app is now the web app default page
       1: <DefaultSettings>

       2:   <SourceLocation DefaultValue="~remoteAppUrl/" />

       3: </DefaultSettings>

That should do it. Please post a comment here or contact me directly if you hit any snags.

Office Dev, Open XML, Technical

Open XML SDK Intro

Let me start by saying I AM NOT an expert with Open XML. I dabbled with it a few years ago for a small project I was doing and then merrily went on my way doing just fine without the need to touch it again. That changed this week as I had a challenge to do something the Office 365 API and Office JavaScript API don’t support (as of the writing of this post, anyway), a seemingly simple task of determine the page count of a document. The Primary Interop Assembly supports this but building a VSTO didn’t support the need…I needed something external that could inspect the document properties without actually opening the document in Word. The answer finally came to me from the other side of the world by way of a co-worker, Andrew Coates (thank you!) He pointed out that I could pull out the page count through Open XML and using the Open XML SDK, so I started diving in and learned it’s really simple to use, which is not at all how I remember it! I’ll use this post as an introduction to the SDK to show how simple it is to use.

First steps, go get the 2.5 SDK and the SDK Productivity Tool (check out this video to learn more about the tool.) If you’re more of a documentation person, here are the docs. I won’t go into the details of the Open XML spec or format, but it’s worth saying that there are multiple packages included in an Open XML document. So to interact with the document in any way we need to figure out which package we need to interact with. That’s where the Productivity Tool can help you (or the docs.) Firing that up and opening a document will allow you to inspect the Open XML of a document, find what you’re looking for, then you can program against it.

For finding the page count, I needed to look at the Pages property located in the /docProps/app.xml package under the Properties element. The screenshot here shows the Reflected Code tab opened which shows the value (1, in this case) along with the namespace of extended-properties.

Knowing it’s in extended-properties, I can now jump over to Visual Studio and use the SDK to pull out the value for the document using WordprocessingDocument.ExtendedFilePropertiesPart.Properties.Pages. Simple, I don’t even have to mess with an XML object, which is nice.

using DocumentFormat.OpenXml.Packaging;

namespace LoadOOXMLDocument
  class Program
    static void Main(string[] args)
      const string filename = “hi.docx”;
      using (WordprocessingDocument wordDoc = WordprocessingDocument.Open(filename, true))
        ExtendedFilePropertiesPart propPart = wordDoc.ExtendedFilePropertiesPart;
        Console.WriteLine(“The document has {0} pages.”, propPart.Properties.Pages.Text);

If you want to dive deeper, here are some other online resources:

The Wordmeister
Eric White Blog
GitHub Samples