Now Available: Office Developer Tools for Visual Studio 2012

As I’ve written about previously, we’ve been developing tools for building the next-generation of apps for Office and SharePoint.  These tools manifest both as an online experience known as “Napa”, which we’ve been updating on a weekly basis, as well as a complete set of extensions to the rich Visual Studio client, extensions we’ve shared several times in preview form. Hot on the heels of last week’s announcement of commercial availability of the new Microsoft Office 365, I’m excited to announce that today we’re releasing those rich client tools, the Microsoft Office Developer Tools for Visual Studio 2012.  You can download them now from

The Office Developer Tools for Visual Studio 2012 provide broad and deep support, ranging from new templates to new designers to a whole host of integrated lifecycle tools.  They enable developers to create, edit, test, debug, package, and deploy apps for Office and SharePoint, across all current Office and SharePoint hosting models and app types.  In addition, beyond supporting a new application model based on web technologies, these tools also provide full support both for VSTO Add-ins and SharePoint Solutions.

For those of you who have downloaded our preview builds of these tools, you’ll find some very welcome enhancements in this release.  For example, the tools now include a validation experience that helps you to find and fix common errors prior to submitting your apps to the Office Store.  They enable a continuous integration workflow, with both the on-premises Team Foundation Server and the cloud-hosted Team Foundation Service supporting build workflows for apps for Office and SharePoint. Windows Azure cloud service projects can be used to easily create provider-hosted apps for SharePoint.  The workflow designers have been dramatically improved, with a lot of fit-and-finish applied since the last preview.  Remote debugging is now much more applicable and powerful, thanks to Service Bus.  And a whole lot more.

As an avid user of both Office and SharePoint, I’m frequently on the lookout for the next great app to make me and my team more productive.  To share your apps in the Office Store so that users like me can find them, you’ll need an Office 365 Developer Subscription, which includes a SharePoint Online Developer Site customized for creating and testing apps, and a Microsoft Seller Dashboard account to make your apps available to the hundreds of millions of Office and SharePoint users worldwide.  To assist you with this, we’ve added a new MSDN benefit for subscribers of Visual Studio Premium and Ultimate with MSDN: a one-time 12-month Office 365 Developer Subscription. Eligible MSDN subscribers can activate this benefit today from their My Account page at (the benefit excludes MPN, DreamSpark, BizSpark, and WebsiteSpark subscriptions).

Download the tools, and get started building your app today.  For more information on building apps for Office and Sharepoint, see the Apps for Office and SharePoint blog.


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Comments (31)

  1. Phil says:

    Will you have support for OneNote plugins?

  2. mike says:

    I love being on the "lokout" for things.

    the enhancements are much welcomed though! thank you for the update.


    Microsoft for your  quality software products,from africa uganda 3rd world ????wish me to get there

  4. Josh says:

    Is there an offline installer available (rather than Web Platform Installer)?

  5. Office 2010 tools seem to disappear after installing this.

  6. Ray Starkey, Coventry, UK says:

    Sounds great but where are the in-depth examples and detailed documentation that should accompany these tools?

    (Excel,Word and Access need this)

  7. Great !

    To be honest, this is an area where better tooling was needed.

    Looking forward to playing around with it! πŸ™‚

  8. @CPA:  The Office 2010 templates are still there.  You'll just need to choose ".NET Framework 4.0" from the very top of the New Project dialog, and then you should be able to see them.

    .NET 4.5 is only supported for the Office 2013 templates, hence you don't see the 2010 templates under the ".NET 4.5" choice in the dropdown (VS 2012 default)

    I hopes this solves the issue for you.  Let me know if there is anything else I can help with,

    – Michael Zlatkovsky | Program Manager, Visual Studio Tools for Office & Apps for Office

  9. Sean Laberee says:

    @Phil. Unfortunately, OneNote doesn't support plugins at this time.

    -Sean Laberee, Office Tools

  10. Sean Laberee says:

    @Ray Starkey,

    A great place to find content for developing for Office & SharePoint is  There are also samples available on the Code Gallery here:

    -Sean Laberee, Office Tools

  11. Kevin Davis says:

    Where can I find the offline installer?

  12. Great!, Looking forward to play with it

  13. Xiaoying Guo says:

    @Josh @Kevin Davis,

    May I know why you need offline installers? Installing through Web Platform Installer is strongly recommended, because it also installs a set of dependencies for you that the Office Developer Tools relies on. If you have to install the tools offline, the easiest way to get the installers is to:

    1) Go to the Web Platform Installer,

    2) Add the Office Developer Tools into the cart,

    3) In the cart which shows a list of items to be installed with the Office Developer Tools, click the "Direct Download Link" of each components to get the installers,

    4) Install the components following the sequence in the list of items one by one. The Office Developer Tools is the last one to install.

    If you only work on a specific type of projects, you may only need to install part of the dependent components. For example:

    If you only want to develop apps for SharePoint, the following ones are required:

    1) SharePoint Server 2013 Client Components SDK

    2) Windows Identity Foundation

    3) WIF Extensions 1.0

    4) Exchange Web Services Managed API 2.0

    5) If you also want to build Workflow in SharePoint apps, then you also need:

    5.1) Workflow Client 1.0

    5.2) Workflow Manager 1.0 Cumulative Update 1

    5.3) Workflow Manager Tools for 1.0 for Visual Studio 2012

    If it’s for Office app development, you will need:

    1) Exchange Web Services Managed API 2.0

    2) Open XML SDK 2.5 for Office apps

    Hope it helps,

    Xiaoying Guo

    Program Manager, Office Developer Tools for Visual Studio

  14. It seems to me that an offline installer would benefit those who may not have an available internet connection or an internet connection is blocked. I see development environments for clients all the time that are on isolated networks. With the web platform installer these machines need to be connected to receive the bits and then moved into their permanent home.

  15. Mobile says:

    The welcomed enhancement we are waiting for is an android and apple mobile developer tool set for Visual Studio since WIN Mobile is DOA? Any planned released date ?

  16. Neverending installation says:

    Why does the installation takes so long? It is now about one and a half hour installing, working on the last package 11, the Microsoft Office Developer Tools for VS 2012, for far more than half an hour! πŸ™

    I am really about to cancel the installation because I'm not sure if something's going wrong with it. It is almost impossible to work on the PC because of the quite heavy workload of the installation!

  17. Reiner - Neverending installation II says:

    As I recogniced that Kaspersky Antivir takes part on the workload I closed it and therefore the started compiler threads where canceled, too. So I clicked on the Cancel button of the Webinstaller and after a few minutes it told me a successfull installation.

    Now I'm not sure if I shall restart the installation without Kaspersky again or not. Furthermore I'm not sure if now my VS 2012 installation is partly damaged or not. πŸ™

  18. XiaoyingGuo says:

    @Neverending installation @Reiner,

    Could you please share your WebPI installation log for us to diagnose the issue? You can find the log at C:UsersxiaoyingAppDataLocalMicrosoftWeb Platform Installerlogsinstall.

    -Xiaoying Guo, Program Manager, Office Developer Tools

  19. @soma says:

    What an embarassment this bold innovation won't install and i recieved the following error when posting on your blog about it … "Sorry, there was a problem with your last request! Either the site is offline or an unhandled error occurred. We apologize and have logged the error. Please try your request again or if you know who your site administrator is let them know too." … So I am letting you know given all other sites work fine on our end LOL …  Yes this is another fine example of the power of VS .UGLY with it's swiss cheese unit testing that doesn't catch anything….  When the VS manager's blog errors that speaks volumes about the quality of software he is responsible for…..  Seriously someones needs to fire you!

  20. Breakeven says:

    Great…finally! For those who are interested in having an offline installer, you can click the link in the lower left corner of the web platform installer's welcome Screen. It will bring you to the list of components to be installed with their direct download links. You will also find direct download links to most of the dependencies. Make sure to install everything in the correct order.

  21. Offline install of this (package, installer, dependencies) can be obtained through WebPiCmd command line tool that is part of Microsoft Web Platform Installer. It's very simple and doesn't require manually download every components.

    Read full detail at…/Offline-install-of-Office-Developer-Tools-for-Visual-Studio-2012.aspx

    See if that help


  22. Great. Microsoft is doing the brilliant work making Office add-ins creation less painful (remember the times when we wrote for Office 2003 and earlier). Thanks!

  23. Kalyan says:

    Thanks soma for sharing the details. Using Developer Tools for Visual Studio you can develop new class Apps for Office and SharePoint 2013.Developing Apps is as easy as developing web applications, you can use HTML and Java Script and server side languages such as C# and VB for App development. More on this topic can be read…/office-developer-tools-for-visual-studio-2012

  24. @Stephen, thanks that was the missing piece ( I mistakenly thought it was part of update 2)

  25. whoops sorry above comment on wrong post!

  26. DT says:

    I am getting following error in my log


    DownloadManager Error: 0 : Signature verification failed on downloaded file. URL: File location: C:UsersAdministratorAppDataLocalMicrosoftWeb Platform InstallerinstallersOfficeToolsForVS2012RTWFBB42585710FDDAEBC81A69AF2E830182D3E3570officetools_bundle.exe. File size: 36027 kb



  27. I installed the developer tools tonight but afterwards found that part of the toolset (Office application development features) was in Italian. Uninstalled, downloaded it again then reinstalled to find it was again in Italian and that there was no opportunity to change the language. Puzzled.

  28. mohit shukla says:

    i love india

  29. Joe-MyVwsNet says:

    Why did this download affect what templates I see in Visual Studio 2012? All I see are Office 2013 Templates. What happened to my 2010 templates??

  30. LukeH says:

    @Joe-MyVwsNet: See the response from Michael Zlatkovsky earlier.  You can pick ".NET Framework 4.0" to see the Office 2010 templates.

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