Deploy SPFx web parts to a Site Collection only – Site Collection App catalog

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One of the few hidden gems of SharePoint Online hosting model is Site Collection App Catalog. Yes, you read it right, Site Collection App catalog !!!, not Tenant App catalog. Don’t confuse this with delegating app catalog rights to Site Collection Administrators. This is different and the requirement is to have the app deployed and scoped to a Site Collection only.  For more details about deployment options, please check here

So what does it mean by Site Collection App catalog ? Site Collection App catalog, as the name rightly implies, is an App catalog scoped for a site collection. In other words, it elevates a Site Collection to allow hosting Apps and create a App Catalog in the Site Collection.

Steps

The Site Collection App Catalog could be enabled using the following script.

Benefits

1. Deploy apps to the Site Collection scope only. Even if tenant app setting is On in web part, the Tenant Apps are deployed to site collection scope only

2. Apps can only be added in the installed site collection and thus decreasing risk of accidental installation at other locations

3. Allow Site Collection Administrators to manage deployments

4. There is support for SharePoint Add Ins

5. When included in the package, the assets are deployed and maintain in the site collection only

6. Distributed release cycle management could allow better functionality for upgrades

Limitations

1. Lack of tracking Site Collections where the Site Collection App catalog feature is On

2. Removal of Site Collection App catalog still leaves the App catalog library but apps cannot be installed

3. No technical restrictions to prevent the web parts from accessing other site collections

Conclusion

In the above blog we saw how to use Site Collection App Catalog for deploying web parts in the restricted scope of Site Collection.

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