Use Office Web Apps to Create New Documents

Hi all, long time no post. Crazy busy over here. I have a couple of new posts coming out this week, but I wanted to post a quick one on a cool feature I was testing out today.

Within Office 365, users have the ability to create Word, Excel and PowerPoint documents directly within the browser, without requiring the Microsoft Word client (this leverages OWA). Awesome right. But how about when we’ve got Office Web Apps (OWA) configured in our SharePoint farm? Can we force new documents to always be created in the browser and not the client? Not really no, there isn’t an out of the box setting for this. However, we know that generating new files is done via a url, with a few query string parameters that we supply to a specific page.

This is outlined really well over here: http://www.estruyf.be/blog/create-a-new-document-using-office-web-apps/.

I started working out how I could incorporate this into a feature that I could deploy and activate, but Igor has already beaten me to it. Awesome job on this feature Igor, I’ve tested and it works really well. You can check it out here: http://igor.sedukhin.net/Software/OfficeWebAppsDocumentTemplates/SitePages/Home.aspx

UPDATE
A quick update to this, I’ve modified Igor’s original solution to add a Feature Stapler that automatically activates the feature for any new sub site within the site collection that the solution is deployed to. You can either download an updated wsp file or grab the entire solution to play around with yourself.

The Feature Stapler is great for ensuring that new site automatically have the feature enabled, but it doesn’t tackle activation for existing sites. For that we’ll need to run a PowerShell script. I put one together real quick, you can download it here, make sure to change the site url to site collection you’re using.

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