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Solving “Tenant app deployment is only supported in the app catalog site.” -error

This post was most recently updated on September 3rd, 2018.

Got an error “Tenant app deployment is only supported in the app catalog site. The current site is not the app catalog site.”, even if the current site very much IS an app catalog site? There might be an easy fix!

Problem

Imagine this: you browse into your fresh SharePoint tenant, open the app catalog, click on an app, try to deploy it, and out comes this error.

Tenant app deployment is only supported in the app catalog site. The current site is not the app catalog site.

Yes, while trying to deploy an app from app catalog, you get an error that the current site is not the app catalog site. Frustrating, and clearly untrue! 

To be more precise, the error seems to sometimes occur immediately after you click “Deployment”, sometimes when you’re adding a site collection url to deploy the app to, and sometimes only after clicking “Trust it” after accepting the deployment paths. According to my experiences so far, there’s one thing in common though – the app catalog has been freshly created, or at the very least not actually used earlier.

Solution

I’ve found 2 different solutions, first of which is easy, the second one horrendous.

Easy solution: Grab some coffee and wait

It seems to me like this error usually pops up when you’re dealing with a freshly created app catalog. Most people probably do not run into this so often, but with all the debugging I’m doing in my daily work, I see a lot of fresh tenants. Every now and then that leads to issues like this.

It still takes a while for the app catalog site collection to finish deployment, but Microsoft actually lets you access it quite fast. Chances are Microsoft is still provisioning different parts of the site even though you can access it, and it LOOKS LIKE it’s working.

So, the first solution is easy: wait. After an hour, it might start working. Chances are, that since it took you a while to google this page, it might work already!

Horrendous solution: do the redeployment dance

Okay, I hope you won’t even actually have to do this step, because it’s questionable at best.

If you keep getting the error after waiting for hours and hours, you might need to accept that the site has gone borked and you’ll need to recreate it. Before removing it, however, undeploy all of your apps, remove the manifest files, and delete the security principals for the apps – and only then remove the app catalog site. Removing the site is easy, but if you forget the cleanup steps, you might break some of your apps forever!

Then remove the app catalog site collection from the second-level Recycling Bin using PowerShell (sorry there’s no easier way to do this!)

After the cleanup, simply recreate the site, wait for a while, and try the deployment again. This time, you should be good (although you might have to wait a while this time, too)!

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Antti K. Koskela

Solutions Architect / Escalations Engineer at Koskila / Norppandalotti Software / Valo Solutions
Antti Koskela is a proud digital native nomadic millenial full stack developer (is that enough funny buzzwords? That's definitely enough funny buzzwords!), who works as a Solutions Architect for Valo Intranet, the product that will make you fall in love with your intranet. Working with the global partner network, he's responsible for the success of Valo deployments happening all around the world. He's been a developer from 2004 (starting with PHP and Java), and he's been bending and twisting SharePoint into different shapes since MOSS. Nowadays he's not only working on SharePoint, but also on .NET projects, Azure, Office 365 and a lot of other stuff. This is his personal professional (e.g. professional, but definitely personal) blog.

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