Creating SharePoint Hosted Add-ins In SharePoint Server 2016

SharePoint hosted add-in (previously app) is one of the two ways to create SharePoint add-ins, the other one being Provider hosted Add-ins. SharePoint hosted add-ins can be used to deploy lists, custom pages, workflows, web parts, and other components. We can have only JavaScript code in the pages that are deployed along with SharePoint hosted add-in.

In order to ensure that we have the required templates spin up Visual Studio. From Office/SharePoint section, check if the ‘Web Add-ins’ and ‘SharePoint Solutions’ templates are available. If it is not present, we will have to install Office developer tools available here, so as to add the SharePoint 2016 templates along with Office Templates as part of Visual Studio.

Once the Visual Studio templates for SharePoint 2016 are made available, let’s get started with SharePoint hosted add-in creation.

Create SharePoint Hosted Add-in

In order to create the SharePoint hosted add-in, we have to select the ‘SharePoint Add-in’ from the available templates. Specify the project name and click on OK.

Specify the name of the site that will be used for debugging and deployment. Specify the type of SharePoint add-in that we are going to create. In this case: SharePoint hosted. Click on Next.

Specify the version of SharePoint that will be used for deployment which is SharePoint 2016 in our case.

Click on Finish. This will start the creation of project structure.

Once provisioned, the project structure looks like the below.

We can deploy custom project items which are listed below, using SharePoint Hosted App in to SharePoint 2016.

We will try to deploy a list as the SharePoint hosted add-in with some custom list items in it. Click on Add and select ‘New Item’.

Select ‘List’ and specify the name of the list.

Specify the template based on which the list should be created. In my case I am going with Custom List template.

Add the columns that you want to be part of the list by specifying the list column names.

Once the list is added it will come up in the project structure as shown below.

The ‘Employee’ list also has an instance object which contains the information that can be added to the list by default.

You can add the information that needs to be pre-populated as list items in the list, using CAML in the elements.xml file of the list instance.

  1. <Data>  
  2.       <Rows>  
  3.         <Row>  
  4.           <Field Name="Employee Name">Rajesh</Field>  
  5.           <Field Name="Employee Address">Kochi,India</Field>  
  6.           <Field Name="Previous Company">UB Group</Field>  
  7.           <Field Name="Experience">4</Field>  
  8.         </Row>  
  9.         <Row>  
  10.           <Field Name="Employee Name">Jinesh</Field>  
  11.           <Field Name="Employee Address">Bangalore,India</Field>  
  12.           <Field Name="Previous Company">IBM</Field>  
  13.           <Field Name="Experience">12</Field>  
  14.         </Row>  
  15.       </Rows>  
  16. </Data>  
Now, we have to update the app manifest file and set the start page to the list, that we are going to deploy. Unless ‘Start Page’ is set, on clicking the deployed app, it won’t navigate to the desired list. Specify the list object as ‘SolutionName/Lists/ListName’. Here, SolutionName and ListName are the respective names that can be found in the solution structure.

For continuous deployment, we can also increment the Version number in the app manifest file.

Now, let’s deploy the SharePoint Hosted Add-in.

It will start the addition of the add-ins to SharePoint which will take some time. Once completed, we will get ‘Successfully installed SharePoint Add-in’ message in the console.

Going to the Site contents we can see the newly deployed SharePoint Hosted Add-in.

Clicking on it will navigate to the list and we can see the default list contents.


Thus, we have seen how to deploy the components as a SharePoint Hosted Add-in in SharePoint Server 2016. In the upcoming article, we will cover about Provider Hosted add-ins. 

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