Update on the future of the Script Lab Office add-in

Alexander Jerabek

Script Lab is a popular add-in for Office developers that lets you create, run, and share JavaScript code snippets in Excel, Word, Outlook, and PowerPoint. It is a great tool for learning, prototyping, and experimenting with the Office JavaScript API. Script Lab was originally developed as an open-source project by Microsoft Garage, a program that encourages employees to pursue their passion projects.

However, as Script Lab grew in popularity and functionality, we realized that it needed a more sustainable and secure model of development and distribution. That’s why we are excited to announce that Script Lab is now officially owned and maintained by Microsoft. As a result, Script Lab will no longer be open source, and the GitHub repository will be archived.

One of the consequences of this change is that we are removing the GitHub gist sharing functionality from Script Lab. This feature allowed users to save and share their code snippets as GitHub gists. To better protect our users and their data, we decided to disable this feature in the latest version of Script Lab. Users can still copy their code snippets to the clipboard and share them with others, but they will need to manually import them into Script Lab.

The new version of Script Lab will begin rolling out on April 2nd 2024. Nothing apart from the GitHub integration about your experience should change. Your snippets may temporarily be missing from your My Snippets list as the backend storage switches locations. Reloading the add-in should fix this. If you are still experiencing issues several minutes after the update, please report them on the office-js GitHub repo or try the following workaround.

You can return to the previous version of Script Lab to export snippets as gists and recover any snippets that did not automatically transfer. Sideload the previous version’s manifest to return to that version and see your workspace as it was. We will continue to host this version until June 1st 2024. You can find the legacy Script Lab manifests here.

We understand that some of you may be disappointed by these changes, and we appreciate your feedback and support. We believe that these changes will ultimately benefit the Script Lab community and provide a better experience for everyone.

Thank you for using Script Lab!

9 comments

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  • Kirianne Nicolson 0

    I haven’t been able to use ScriptLab in excel since 3 April so today I uninstalled the addin in the hope that I could reinstall it and the problem would be solved but I keep getting the error:
    Deployment error
    We are unable to initiate the deployment. To deploy the app, go to the website where it is hosted.
    I have now just found this post and now I think my issue may be related to this change.
    What do you suggest?
    I urgently need this to be up and running for me.
    Hope you can help
    Thanks

    • Alexander JerabekMicrosoft employee 0

      Hi Kirianne,
      Thanks for reporting this. I’ve passed this along to the Script Lab crew. Are you able to use Script Lab with Excel on the web? That might be the easiest workaround for the moment.

      • Kirianne Nicolson 0

        Thanks, yes I have been able to get it loaded in Excel on the web but it is not working as it did for me on the desktop. Do you know when I can expect the add in to deploy correctly on the desktop version (Mac). I hope it is soon – today!
        Thanks

        • Joe WandyezMicrosoft employee 1

          Hello Kirianne,

          Would you be able to open a new issue on GitHub: https://github.com/OfficeDev/script-lab/issues

          In that issue could you please provide:

          – Screen shots of the issue.
          – An explanation of what is different between the web and desktop version.

          This will help us understand the issue and fix it as quickly as possible.

          • Kirianne Nicolson 0

            The main issue is I can’t install/deploy script lab on my desktop. Just get the error: Deployment error
            We are unable to initiate the deployment. To deploy the app, go to the website where it is hosted.
            I will just use office script now.
            Thanks for responding

  • Joe Blow 0

    Dear Microsoft Developer,

    I am facing severe problems with my developer subscription, I hope that you can reach out to me for further discussion. I have raised ticket with Microsoft numerous times, and I too have relayed the issue via email many times. Unfortunately, I was left hanging dry, sorry for the interruption to the ongoing discussion, please bear with me and once again, hear me out, thanks!

    Regards,
    Joe Blow

      • Paola Miller 0

        Hi Alexander,

        Are there any updates on the M365 Developer Program? Because the last update in that blog was posted about 2 months ago and the Developer Program is unavailable for registration for everyone since January 25, which hapenned about 3 months ago. And your colleague Kelly closed comments in that blog, so we can’t ask her there.

        • Alexander JerabekMicrosoft employee 0

          Hi Paola,
          Unfortunately, we don’t have any further updates in that space. We’ll post any news through this blog channel when we have it.

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