SharePoint Online App Catalog – Detailed tutorial

In this SharePoint Online tutorial, we will discuss the SharePoint Online App catalog. What is an app catalog site in SharePoint Online? Why we need a SharePoint Online app catalog site collection? Step by step how to create an app catalog site collection in SharePoint Online.

We will also discuss how to enable site collection app catalog in SharePoint Online. And how to enable app catalog in SharePoint online site collection using PowerShell.

So before discussing how to create an app catalog site in SharePoint Online steps by step, let us discuss what is an app catalog.

SharePoint Online App Catalog

What is an app catalog in SharePoint Online? An app catalog is special site collection that we can use to store custom apps (developed for the organization) for your internal organizational use. In Office 365 app catalog, we can store SharePoint Add-ins or apps, SPFx solution packages and also we can store Office apps.

Once the apps are available on the app catalog site, site owners can add the apps to the particular site collection that they want. When users will click on the Add an app, they can add the apps from the From Your Organizations filter condition.

Once you create an app catalog site collection in SharePoint Online or Office 365, it is super easy to upload the apps to the app catalog site. Simply, drag the file and drop it into the App for SharePoint document library in the app catalog site collection.

Into the SharePoint online app catalog, we can upload the SharePoint add-ins and the SharePoint Framework solutions (.sppkg) files.

Create app catalog site collection SharePoint online (Step by Step)

Now, let us see step by step how to create an app catalog site collection in SharePoint Online Office 365.

Note: You need to be a global admin or SharePoint admin in your Microsoft 365 to create an app catalog site collection.

If you are new to Office 365, sign up for an Office 365 trial for free.

Step-1: Open SharePoint admin center. You can directly open the SharePoint Online admin center from the browser it self.

https://YourTenantName-admin.sharepoint.com/

Example: https://tsinfotechnologies-admin.sharepoint.com/

From the Home page, click on More features like below:

create app catalog site collection sharepoint online
create app catalog site collection sharepoint online

Step-2: This will open the More features page, go to the Apps section and click on Open.

create sharepoint online app catalog
create sharepoint online app catalog

Step-3: This will open the Apps page where you can see various like App Catalog, Purchase Apps, Manage Licenses, Configure Store Settings, Monitor Apps, App Permissions, etc.

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Here click on App Catalog link like below

how to create app catalog site in sharepoint online
how to create app catalog site in sharepoint online

If you have already created the app catalog site, then when you click on the App Catalog link, it will directly open the App Catalog site collection.

Are you wondering? how many app catalog in SharePoint online? You can have only one app catalog site collection for your entire Office 365 tenant.

If you have not created any app catalog site collection before, then it will open the below screen. Here it will show a message like There is no app catalog site created for your tenant and you will see below two options:

  • Create a new app catalog site
  • Enter a URL for an existing app catalog site

Choose here Create a new app catalog site.

create app catalog sharepoint online
create app catalog sharepoint online

Step-4: Then it will open the Create App Catalog Site Collection page like below, here enter the below details and click on OK to create the app catalog site.

  • Title
  • Web Site Address
  • Language Selection
  • Time Zone
  • Administrator
  • Server Resource Quota
sharepoint online create tenant app catalog
sharepoint online create tenant app catalog

Once you click on OK, the SharePoint Online app catalog site will be get created.

Then it will display the message and a link to navigate to the Active sites page where you can see the App catalog site.

sharepoint online app catalog url
create app catalog in sharepoint online

Step-5: When you Open the Active sites page, you can see the App Catalog site got created.

sharepoint online app catalog administrator
SharePoint online app catalog

If you will open the SharePoint online app catalog site, you can see it will looks similar like a classic SharePoint team site.

Here you can two libraries:

  • Apps for SharePoint: You can upload the SharePoint Add-ins or Apps and SPFx packages here.
  • Apps for Office: You can upload here if you have any Office apps
create app catalog sharepoint online office 365
create app catalog sharepoint online office 365

This is how step by steep we can create an app catalog site collection in SharePoint Online Office 365.

Upload an app to SharePoint online app catalog

It is extremely easy to upload an app to a SharePoint Online app catalog.

Simply, drag and drop the app file or package file to the Apps for SharePoint list in the SharePoint Online app catalog site.

create app catalog sharepoint 2013
upload an app to app catalog

Then it will ask you to Deploy the App like below:

create app catalog sharepoint 2019
Deploy an app into app catalog site

Once you click on the Deploy button, you can see the App is deployed and will be available in the site collection to use.

enable app catalog sharepoint online
enable app catalog sharepoint online

Now if you will open any SharePoint site collection, and click on Add an app from the gear icon, you can see the app is available under the From you Organization category.

SharePoint online app catalog
Add an app from an app catalog

Remove an app from the SharePoint Online App Catalog

We can remove an app from the SharePoint App catalog site very easily. It is like deleting a document from a document library.

See also  SharePoint Document Management System

Open the App catalog site and then open Apps for SharePoint library and then select the app which you want to remove. Here click on the … then click on Delete. Then it will ask you a confirmation dialog box, click on OK and the app will be removed from the SharePoint app catalog site.

Remove an app from the SharePoint Online App Catalog
Remove an app from the SharePoint Online App Catalog

This is how we can remove an app from the app catalog.

SharePoint Online site collection app catalog

Now, let us discuss on SharePoint Online site collection app catalog.

The above app catalog is for the whole Office 365 tenant. When you install the app in the tenant app catalog, the apps will be available to all the sites in the Office 365 tenant.

In the same way, Microsoft allows us to create a site collection level app catalog. We can enable an app catalog for a particular SharePoint Online site collection and in this case, the app will be available to the particular site collection only. So you can use the app in that particular site collection only.

If you want your apps or spfx web parts to be available to a specific site collection, then it is an ideal situation to enable SharePoint online site collection app catalog.

I have also created a video tutorial on SharePoint Online site collection app catalog.

Enable app catalog SharePoint online site collection PowerShell

How to enable app catalog in SharePoint Online site collection using PowerShell? We can enable a site collection app catalog by using PowerShell (SharePoint Online management shell). We can use the Add-SPOSiteCollectionAppCatalog PowerShell cmdlets to add a site collection app catalog to a site.

Below is the PowerShell command:

Connect-SPOService -Url "https://tsinfotechnologies-admin.sharepoint.com" -Credential (Get-Credential)
$site = Get-SPOSite https://tsinfotechnologies.sharepoint.com/sites/SPGuides
Add-SPOSiteCollectionAppCatalog -Site $site

Once you run the above PowerShell cmdlets, you can see the App for SharePoint list in the particular site collection.

enable app catalog sharepoint online site collection powershell
enable app catalog sharepoint online site collection powershell

We can also enable site collection app catalog using PnP PowerShell in SharePoint Online. Run the below PnP PowerShell commands to enable SharePoint Online site collection app catalog.

$SiteURL = "https://tsinfotechnologies.sharepoint.com/sites/SPGuides"
Connect-PnPOnline -Url $SiteURL -Credentials (Get-Credential)

Add-PnPSiteCollectionAppCatalog -site https://tsinfotechnologies.sharepoint.com/sites/SPGuides

This is how we can use the PnP PowerShell to enable site collection app catalog in SharePoint.

Even we can use the Office 365 CLI to enable site collection app catalog in SharePoint Online. You can the below commands:

spo login https://tsinfotechnologies-admin.sharepoint.com
spo site appcatalog add --url https://tsinfotechnologies.sharepoint.com/sites/SPGuides

How to disable app catalog SharePoint Online site collection using PowerShell

If you want to disable the SharePoint Online site collection app catalog, then run the below PowerShell commands, here we can use the Remove-SPOSiteCollectionAppCatalog cmdlets to remove a site collection app catalog in Sharepoint Online.

Connect-SPOService -Url "https://tsinfotechnologies-admin.sharepoint.com" -Credential (Get-Credential)
$site = Get-SPOSite https://tsinfotechnologies.sharepoint.com/sites/SPGuides
Remove-SPOSiteCollectionAppCatalog -Site $site

We can also use PnP PowerShell to disable site collection app catalog in SharePoint Online. Run the below PnP PowerShell cmdlets.

$SiteURL = "https://tsinfotechnologies.sharepoint.com/sites/SPGuides"
Connect-PnPOnline -Url $SiteURL -Credentials (Get-Credential)

Remove-PnPSiteCollectionAppCatalog -site https://tsinfotechnologies.sharepoint.com/sites/SPGuides

This is how, we can disable SharePoint site collection app catalog using PnP PowerShell.

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SharePoint Tenant App Catalog vs Site Collection App Catalog

Let us check SharePoint Tenant App Catalog vs Site Collection App Catalog. What are the difference between a tenant app catalog and site collection app catalog.

Tenant App Catalog

  • There will be one tenant app catalog per tenant in Office 365.
  • Once you deploy an app or spfx package to a tenant app catalog, it will be available to all the site collections in the Office 365 tenant.
  • You need to be a global administrator or SharePoint administrator to create a tenant app catalog and to upload an app to the tenant app catalog.

SharePoint Site Collection App Catalog

  • There will be only one app catalog per site collection.
  • If you deploy the spfx solution packages to a SharePoint site collection, then it will be available to the particular site collection only.
  • You need to be the global admin permission to run the PowerShell command to enable the site collection app catalog.

You may like the following SharePoint tutorials:

In this SharePoint tutorial, we learned in detail SharePoint Online app catalog and the below things:

  • What is an app catalog in SharePoint Online
  • How to create an app catalog site collection in SharePoint Online Office 365
  • How to upload an apps to an app catalog?
  • What are site collection app catalog in SharePoint?
  • How to enable SharePoint Online site collection app catalog using PowerShell or PnP PowerShell?
  • SharePoint Tenant App Catalog vs Site Collection App Catalog
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