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Thorvald Bøe
I just finished setting up an app catalog for a client on SharePoint 2013 on premise. It was a daunting task, and turned out to be much more difficult than when I tried in my own development environment in Azure. I will share some of my experiences so that you might escape some of the hurdles.

First of all, if this is your first time setting up app support, prepare well! It doesn't have to be too difficult, but it involves a few steps, and there are plenty of places to go wrong, which would lead to potentially hard to find errors.

I spent some time reading through some articles on the web in order to try to understand the various steps involved. I can recommend these links:

I can also strongly recommend the e-book "SharePoint 2013 Developer Machine" by Sahil Malik. The few bucks it cost has been returned many times in terms of time and frustration saved when doing this and other tasks. Buy it, you won't regret!

I won't go through all the steps in detail, the above articles will do that for you. But there are a few quirks not mentioned in the article that can make your head spin while trying to figure them out.

After I had finished the final steps of the recipe, and started testing, I could access the office store just fine. But when I clicked on one of them in order to install it, I get a message saying: "Sorry, this app is not supported on your server"

As it turns out, there is a feature on the top level web application that seems to be required for many of the office store apps. This is actually described at the bottom of the technet article. But it was an optional step, and lazy as I was I didnt bother to go through it.

To configure Internet-facing endpoints for apps
  1. In Central Administration, click Application Management.

  2. On the Application Management page, click Manage Web applications.

  3. On the Manage Web Applications page, select the web application that you want to change.

  4. On the ribbon, click Manage Features.

  5. In the feature list, next to Apps that require accessible internet facing endpoints, click Activate.

  6. Click OK.

Another thing that was really hard to figure out, was that when I had finally become able to download the app and thought everything was ok, I just needed to test that the app was working well. It wasnt. In fact, it looked something like this:

I stole this image from the web, so don't get tangled up in details, but the point is that the display of the app was very strange:
-It looks like the css of the page is missing somehow
-No pictures are showing
-No links are working

So what do you do when you get an error like this? It's actually quite hard to produce a good google search for this. I tried "Sharepoint app looks strange" and got no further. I tried various combinations with "css missing" and other clues I picked up along the way, but it pointed me to changing themes and checking the master page, which turned out to be a dead end.

The breakthrough came when I started the IE developer tools (F12) and got a script error "RegisterSOD is undefined". Finally a concrete error message! Before long, I found the problem. For some reason I still don't understand, SharePoint needs to have a root site configured in other to support apps properly. And my server did not have that for some reason. So the simple steps to resolve this issue were simply to:

1.Go to Central Admin
2.Go to create new site collection
3.Choose the root (just the "/") as location

And voila!

If somebody can explain to me why this is required, and even more, why it is not mentioned in any of the articles on setting up app support, I will take off my hat for you, because I sure don't understand it.

Posted on Friday, August 22, 2014 9:09 AM sharepoint , apps | Back to top

Comments on this post: Setting up the app catalog on SharePoint 2013

# re: Setting up the app catalog on SharePoint 2013
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thank you, after spending two days for the problem
-No pictures are showing
-No links are working

you made my day. It was really hard to find this solution.
Left by yam on Oct 06, 2015 3:18 PM

# re: Setting up the app catalog on SharePoint 2013
Requesting Gravatar...
"So the simple steps to resolve this issue were simply to:

1.Go to Central Admin
2.Go to create new site collection
3.Choose the root (just the "/") as location"

These steps saved my life. :) It worked like a charm. Thanks for sharing your experience.
Left by Tam Dao on Mar 31, 2016 8:52 AM

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