Overview of this series:
- Part 1: Write the Google Chrome Extension
- Part 2: Install the extension locally and configure system-wide keyboard shortcuts in Chrome
- Part 3: Deploy the extension to your domain <– You are here.
Upload to the Chrome Web Store
In order to deploy this extension to our domain, we first upload it to the Chrome Web Store. It is important to understand that by putting it into the store, we can still keep the extension private or unlisted. This is useful for company specific extensions that would not make sense to distribute to the marketplace.
Before we upload to the Web Store, take the half-dozen or so files that we created in Part 1 of this series, and zip them up. You can name the zip file anything you like. Later in this process, the Web Store will expect us to upload this zip file.
Head over to the Chrome Web Store Developer Dashboard (link). If you have accessed this page before, it may look a bit different. We want to Add a new extension to the Web Store.
Next, we will upload our zipped extension. During this upload, Google does a pretty good job of immediately warning you of any syntax issues with your manifest file or package structure.
If all goes well, and the Web Store accepts your package, you’ll be presented with a long form to fill out, explaining the details of your extension. Much of this is intended for extensions that are to be published publicly, however we have to fill it out for our Unlisted app anyway. If you want to further lock down access to it, you can select Private.
Deploying to your domain
Within your G Suite Admin console, you have the ability to force deploy Chrome extensions to the users within your domain, or a subset thereof. This is done from Device Management > Chrome management > User Settings. Note there is a section for Managing force-installed apps. Here, we are turning this on only for users within the Testing OU.
From the resulting dialog, you will want to search the Chrome Web Store for your extension. It is easiest to search by Extension ID. This can be found on the Web Store’s Developer Dashboard, by clicking More Info next to your extension.
Don’t forget to Save your settings! Within a few minutes, your users who are logged into Chrome with their G Suite account will automatically receive the extension, unprompted. Cool, huh?