Denis Pitcher

I'm trying to figure out how to deploy an Excel Shared Add-in, however I am having some difficulties with it.

In many of the MSDN reference documents such as this one regarding Deploying Application Level Add-ins there is mention of the "Publish" command via the build menu or the project properties, however, this command is nowhere to be found in my project.  If I load up a regular project, it is there, just not for a shared add-in.

Is this something specific to shared add-ins that doesn't allow you to run the Publish Wizard

I have tried taking the manual deployment route using MSBuild.exe as outlined by the article on Building ClickOnce applications from the command line, however, when I try something as simple as running the MSBuild.exe in the project directory, I get the following error.

"warning MSB4078: The project file "[project file]" is not supported by MSBuild and cannot be built.  It will build the project, but it won't deploy, suggesting that it skipped an unpublishable project.

Suggestions are appreciated

Re: Visual Studio Tools for Office Why can't I deploy an application addin?

Mohit Gupta - MSFT

Hi Denis.

The article you are referring to pertains to the VSTO product and projects, which support publishing of the application to a web server, file location etc. Shared add-in projects are not VSTO projects. They do not support publishing of the customization, hence the disabled menus.

Hope that explains it.


Re: Visual Studio Tools for Office Why can't I deploy an application addin?

Denis BDA


Thanks for the response, I actually just realized that myself and had written up the following explanation for others incase they encounter similar.

After too much digging and playing around with many different projects in Visual Studio, I was able to confirm that the ˇ°Publish Wizardˇ± does not show up for assemblies.

The issue I was having is that I followed the instructions on this technical article:

This had me developing a Shared Add-in based upon the extensibility option, which is found under:

Visual Studio 2005 > File > New Project > Other Project Types > Extensibility > Shared Add-in

After digging around, I realized that there was a different Excel Add-in option under:

Visual Studio 2005 > File > New Project > Visual Basic > Office > 2003 Add-ins > Excel Add-in

I had missed completely that this was different from a document level add-in, and as I am new to developing with Office, I had not realized that there are 3 types of add-ins you can develop:


Document Level

Application Level

Via Extensibility

Interop/Extensibility Level

So, when I loaded up a project based upon the VSTO 2003 Application Level Excel Add-in, there was the Publish option where it was supposed to be.