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Page history last edited by PBworks 15 years, 6 months ago

Office development? Who would want to do that?

Mathias Brandewinder


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Update, Nov 13, 2008: I put the code I discussed in the session up for download at the following address; please let me know if you have questions!



Update, Nov 10, 2008:

Guys, thank you so much for coming to this session. This was a small and dynamic group - in spite of the late hour, you guys were sharp! I will post the Tic-tac-toe code soon, I want to do some clean-up first (by the end of the week latest). In the meanwhile, here are some links to resources which should help you get started on VSTO. Please don't hesitate to email me with questions, and/or feedback.


Visual Studio Tools for Office developer page:



How to deploy an add-in and a customized document: probably the one page you really want to know about. It's tedious to read, but if you follow the steps you should get your installer to work. The second page has a walkthrough for an Outlook add-in, but it works seamlessly with Excel.




Here is an older version of the code I used to create a menu and menu items:



Excel 2003 VBA core concepts:



Add-in spy



Excel user group: it's not super-active, but there are some VERY competent people posting there. There is a VSTO sub-forum, and I got responses when I had problems.



Useful blogs

Great Excel/VSTO blog: http://xldennis.wordpress.com/

Andrew Whitechapel's blog on msdn - very technical: http://blogs.msdn.com/andreww/default.aspx

Microsoft VSTO blog: http://blogs.msdn.com/vsto/default.aspx

Gabhan Berry's blog on msdn: doesn't post super-regularly, but pretty useful. http://blogs.msdn.com/gabhan_berry/default.aspx


This needs to be verified, but I think the .NET Fundamentals part of this east Bay.net session will be around creating an Outlook 2007 add-in with VSTO:





Most developers aren't too excited about developing for Office applications, with good reason: until recently, it involved writing VBA code using an IDE which was top-notch in the early 90's but hasn't evolved since. Not any more: since Microsoft introduced VSTO, you can add custom features to Office 2003 and 2007 applications and documents, using .NET languages and Visual Studio 2008.

This is a fantastic marketing opportunity for developers. Companies large and small all use Office, and typically have numerous documents automated with VBA, which are crucial to their business. These tend to be large, and hard to maintain and scale. Yet users are often reluctant to move away from the familiar Office environment, and embark into a development process they don't know well.

VSTO is a great way to bridge the gap, and get the best of both worlds. You can start with a working prototype (their document), and refactor it to use .NET technology, while leveraging the familiarity of the Office user experience, and lowering the cost of adoption.

In this session, I will share with you my experience developing with VSTO. I intend to focus specifically on Excel, because it is widely used by finance departments to develop highly automated workbooks, but I welcome suggestions and requests!


Please add questions, links, comments, notes, downloads ... below.

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