MS Office Asset Selector

Available since version 4.8.0

Powerpoint integration

The AEM Asset Selector Office Add-in allows a company to make available an add-in to the Task Pane in Microsoft Office applications to insert images from their AEM Assets instance into these applications directly. Use of this add-in will require an active and accessible AEM Assets and AEM Sites instance and Office 365.

Provided are two sample manifest files, one for Microsoft Word and one for Microsoft Powerpoint. These can be used as templates for adding the plugin for other Office 365 applications.

Setup Instructions

There is some setup necessary before the add-in can be used. This is because it must be configured to direct users to the correct AEM Assets instance and a method for distributing the add-in to users easily.

AEM Configuration

Cerate a new page that will act as the end-point for the MS Office Add-in interact with.

Use ACS Commons’ MS Office Asset Selector static template, which is configured to be available under the path /content/asset-selectors

AEM Page

For the mot part this is all that is neccessary to begin using this add-in. However, you may want to review the information about managing access for more information on how access to content can be controlled and managed.

To ensure the neccessary page is available and working simply navigate to `/content/asset-selectrors/ms-office.html’ in your web browser.

Office Add-in Configuration

The primary step necessary for the add-in to work is to update the manifest files to direct users to your AEM instance. Two manifest files are available as part of this package. Simply download these files and edit them to point to the correct URL. There are two lines which will need to be editted:

  • Line 19: SourceLocation
  • Line 71: Taskpane.Url

Update the URL in the DefaultValue on these two lines to the AEM Sites instance to be used.

Distributing the Add-in

There are 3 ways to add this add-in to Microsoft Office. The first method, Network Share Catalog, is intended only for testing purposes. The other methods are suitable for distributing the add-in internally within your company.

Network Share Catalog

For development and testing purposes a network share can be setup, usually on the computer you are testing on, to load the add-in. This is generally to confirm the add-in manifest file works and that it points to the correct server and path for the asset selector page.

Microsoft has provided detailed instructions for this:

Centralized Deployment

Centralized deployment allows distribution of the add-in within your company in a secure and managed way. Through this method the add-in manifest is made available through Microsoft’s servers by a Microsoft Office Admin within the company. The admin can control what users have access to this add-in as well. This method requires little technical experience from users as it will simply appear in their list of Admin Managed plugins in their Office Applications.

Microsoft has provided detailed instructions for this:

https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/office/dev/add-ins/publish/centralized-deployment

Sharepoint Catalog

Use of a Sharepoint Catalog is very similar to the use of Centralized Deployment. However, instead of storing the manifest files on Microsoft’s Servers they are stored on a company Sharepoint space. This allows you to keep these files within servers which are managed by your company.

Microsoft has provided detailed directions for this:

https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/office/dev/add-ins/publish/publish-task-pane-and-content-add-ins-to-an-add-in-catalog

Managing Access

There are a number of ways to manage which assets a users will be able to access when using the add-in. The first is through the use of permissions and is the recommended method. The second is through creation of additional asset selector pages configured to allow access to subtrees within the AEM Assets folders.

Using this method, only one asset selector page is needed. This page may still point to the root of the AEM Assets content. However by assigning users to specific groups within AEM and adjusting which folders within AEM Assets users in those groups may access this will determine which assets they can access when using the add-in as well. When the add-in loads it will require that the user log into AEM and apply the permissions for the logged in user.

Page Specific Permissions

By creating additional pages using the Asset Selector template or by copying the existing Asset Selector page the component on this page may be editted to point to an alternate path within AEM Assets. This will become the root path that the Asset Selector will use and only assets in this folder or any subfolders of it will be accessible.

This is not the generally recommended method but can allow creating different add-ins for different groups, each pointing to a different path and limiting their available assets if this is necessary. However, it would still be recommended to simply use one add-in and use group permissions within AEM to manage their access.

Please report any issues with the Feature or documentation on the ACS AEM Commons GitHub Issue tracker.