Sideloading SharePoint Add-Ins

If you are a SharePoint Add-in or App developer, you could have probably come through this issue at least once.
“Sideloading of apps is not enabled on this site.”
Sideloading is a technique that most of the app vendors allow in order to test or debug the apps. In other words, it means deploying an app with a development tool rather than going through the correct secure procedure. Sideloading is available with all the smartphone platforms including Android.
When you are developing a SharePoint Add-in, you need to test the Add-in prior to do a proper release. There is a default site collection template that is known as “Developer Site” which allows you to sideload add-ins from Visual Studio rather than putting it to an app catalog or online store.
But if you attempt to deploy an add-in to another site with a different template, then you may encounter the issue which is highlighted above. Now we have two options. The preferred option is to change the deployment target to a developer site.
If that option is not available, then you may want to consider enabling sideloading apps/ add-ins. Its always better to know a few facts before enabling sideloading on a particular site collection.
  • Sideloading apps is not secure. Anyone with an app install permission can install apps that comes from sources that are not trusted.
  • This is not intended for production use.
  • It is always recommended to disable sideloading sooner the required task is accomplished.

How to enable sideloading?

Sideloading is a hidden feature that can be activated at a site collection level. Given this is a hidden feature, you cannot activate it through the user interface as well as you cannot create dependencies for the hidden features.
Feature Id: e374875e-06b6-11e0-b0fa-57f5dfd72085
Feature Name: developer
Therefore any of the following PowerShell commands can get the job done for you.

Enable-SPFeature e374875e-06b6-11e0-b0fa-57f5dfd72085 –url http://siteurl
Enable-SPFeature “developer” –url http://siteurl

Once the necessary task is accomplished, immediately you can disable the feature through following command.

Disable-SPFeature e374875e-06b6-11e0-b0fa-57f5dfd72085 –url http://siteurl
Disable-SPFeature “developer” –url http://siteurl

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