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Allow mail apps to be OWA only

The new Mail Apps make adding functionality to OWA very easy, however they lack some of the power of a full-on Outlook addin. I suspect that a common use case will be to create a full-powered addin, and a "lite" mail app that handles what it can for OWA. At present, this doesn't work because the mail app shows up in both. Furthermore, it is possible to create functionality that only applies to one client or the other. It should be possible to specify an app as belonging to OWA or to Outlook.

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Mark Kostecky shared this idea  ·   ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →


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  • Josh Rickard commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    I can explain, but basically if you have two different applications that are similar but one is a COM Add-In and another is a Office Add-In. If someone already has the COM Add-in deployed, but they would like the ability to enable for their users with only (or typically) use OWA or the Mobile app (OWA for Devices or the Outlook iOS/Android app). In this case you would want to apply it to only OWA.

    I have several customers that would like this ability, and as soon as possible! Another reason is that some, especially regarding the DesktopFormFactor, would only want to apply the add-in to OWA or Outlook 2013/2016 or Outlook for Mac 2016 individually instead of all at once.

  • Luke commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate


    is there any update on this issue?

    I completely agree, VSTO add-ins are much more powerful and therefore the use case to have a VSTO add-in in the desktop and an Mail App in the web/mobile is fairly common.

    Currently, it leads to UI doubling, since you cannot disable the Mail App in the desktop Outlook in any sensible way.

  • SvenC commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    Is there any update if this idea will be considered?

    A COM-Addin in Outlook can integrate in the context menu and ribbon much deeper than Mail-apps.

    COM-Addins can use OOM and can even get down to the MAPI level to e.g. read mailbox data when offline. Mail-Apps need EWS to retrieve any data.

    COM-Addins can access all stores in the currently used MAPI profile, not just the default mailbox of the

    There will be lots of other possibilities you get when running as a dll in Outlook which you will not have when running as Mail-App. So I fully agree with Mark: COM-Addins and Mail-Apps will coexist and it makes little sense to display both on one client.

    We currently have clients complaining exactly about this. They like the Mail-App in OWA and Outlook for Mac but hate the doubled commands on Outlook for Windows.

  • SvenC commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    I would like to have these additions:

    1) Custom commands on items which show up in the same command areas like reply, forward, mark unread and so on, e.g. toolbar above items and context menu. Would be nice if the visibility of commands could be based on property value rules like only show an item command if unread = true to avoid callbacks to the Office app just to decide if a command should be shown or not.

    2) Custom commands in folders context menu (again like Ribbon customizations in Add-Ins)

    3) Custom "navigation pages". Not sure how they are called, but in the top row of Outlook Web App you can switch between Mail, Calendar, People and Tasks. I would like to add a new item which allows me to show a custom app view. Would be nice if the standard folder hierarchie could be kept in a custom view or could be integrated as custom view control and just replace the content are where the items and the preview is shown.

    4) Add custom options pages, i.e. when you click on settings -> options in OWA you see the option topics account, organize email and so on. I would like to add a new topic or integrate into an existing one like settings where you could add a new sub setting next to mail, calendar, regional, password.

    5) An open function to open items or folders in a new window. In a browser that would open a new browser window and in Outlook that would open a new inspector or explorer window. Currently we are told to use in apps which just does nothing in Outlook.

    6) Please enhance the OWA URL syntax so that we can change the currently selected mailbox folder and/or open a new browser window with a given folder hierarchy.

    7) Please add an option to enable/disable an app based on the host not only based the mailbox, i.e. show the app in the browser but not Outlook. If an Office-Addin already adds all functions to Outlook it is just a waste of vertical display area to show the app bar which hosts an app that can do less than an already installed Addin which integrates into the Ribbon and context menus.

    Especially 1) and 2) would help a lot to keep the visual impact of apps small as you could avoid the app bar in the item view completely if you only use Office Apps which do not need to show content in an iframe. And the app host can take care to display the custom commands in the same style and theming as the standard commands.

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