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OneDrive Business for Outlook an Outlook App

As I have mentioned before I really like the app concept introduced with Office 2013. Today I’m going to show my latest creation which is a Mail App for Outlook that lets you access files in your OneDrive and upload new files, manage their permissions and insert links to them in your emails or appointments. This is usefull if you are on a computer where you can’t install the OneDrive deskop app, or if you simple don’t want to send the files as attachments, maybe because they are too big as Exchange online have a file size limitation on attachments of 25 MB.

The App can be found on https://onedriveforoutlook.azurewebsites.net and in the Office store once Microsoft approves it (I will post a link here).

I created a little demo of the app which you can watch here:

Technical Details

The technical savy persons have probably already guessed how this app works, but for completness let me just give a brief overview.

The app is a MVC5 application that uses the Office 365 API Tools (link to my article on the subject) to access the user’s files in their OneDrive for Business. For this to work, the user have to grant the app permissions to do so. This is handle by an Azure AD Multitenant Application, that the users grants access to read their files. Unfortunately the Azure consent framework, is not allowed to be iframe, hence the rather wonky popup window.

But once the users have given their consent that the app is allowed to access their files in OneDrive the rest is pretty straight forward. It’s a simple filebrowser that allows you to upload files via the Office 365 REST API to the folder you are currently in. Setting permissions to files in OneDrive to external users are currently not supported by the API, so instead we simply open the standard SharePoint dialog, and let the user handle it. Hopefully in the future I will be able to improve this experience and make it more integrated with the mail recipients from Outlook.

Finally I did a little cross browser and mobile testing, as that is required for the app to be published to the Office Store, so if I got all the Safari and mobile quirks ironed out hopefully the app will be published in the store sometimes next week.

Categories: Office SharePoint

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Simon J.K. Pedersen

3 replies

  1. Thanks Simon for this app. It sounds and looks very promising as much as helpful. I installed the app today to my OWA and everything seemed fine. But once you initiate the app (from a new message) I get the following error: “App Error Something went wrong and we couldn’t start this app. Please try again later or contact your system administrator”, and gives me a ‘Retry’ button.
    Of course the button begs to be pushed, which then gives the following message: “App Error This app may not load properly, but you can still try to start it”, and gives me a ‘Start’ button this time. Pushing this button takes me to a “This page can’t be displayed” page; and that’s it, I hit a dead end.
    Is there something I am missing?

  2. Hi Adham,
    I have been trying to resolve your issue, but it seems like something have broken in Microsofts Azure AD service that makes the app unable to function at the moment. I have contacted MS to hear if they changed anything, but in the meanwhile I will try to fix it with a workaround. I will keep you updated.

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