Office as A Development platform

In an upcoming article in MSDN Magazine (August 2006) Andrew Whitechapel and Jon Peltonen discuss Office as a development platform from a broad perspective.

What You Need To Know About Using Office As A Development Platform

From my point of view it’s welcoming to take part of a ‘roadmap’ for Office as a development platform although we may not necessarily agree with all the content of it.

However, it’s regretful to take part of articles, books etc from MSFT where VBA, since the introduction of .NET/VSTO, is considered to be a non-professional tool…

Anyway, I hope that You find the article useful.

Kind regards,

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6 thoughts on “Office as A Development platform

  1. Nice heads up Dannis, I’ll read it in full later, but just scanning for the VBA bit I think I tend to see their point, it kinda reminds me of this articals POV:

    I look forward to see what other hae to say…

    also thought this did catch my eye:
    “This situation is less than ideal, though. A better solution would be a single project type with all the capabilities of both shared add-ins and Visual Studio Tools for Office add-ins. This is clearly difficult to achieve, given that shared add-ins are fundamentally loosely typed while Visual Studio Tools for Office add-ins are fundamentally strongly typed. This difference gives the shared add-ins the ability to work across multiple versions of Office, and the Visual Studio Tools for Office add-ins, in contrast, a better design-time experience and significantly increased runtime robustness.”

    humm but you cant buy somthing you already have! lol!

  2. Dennis
    There has always been an element of anti VB snobbery at MS and it crops up now and again in this article – talk about damning with faint praise.

    I estimate my first Excel 2007 customer will arrive in 2010, based on my 2003 experience so I see no rush to learn this. I think I jumped the gun learning VSTO 2003 a few years ago, as there is so little commercial demand for it. Unfortunately I dont see where that demand is going to come from either.
    As far as I can tell VBA demand is getting stronger all the time, rates are improving, the number of jobs advertised and the diversity is increasing. The .net Excel job scene is much less attractive.


  3. Simon,

    Sounds like You in UK have an excellent situation where You can put most efforts on the present de facto standard.

    In my part of the world the small and medium sized companies are fast to adapt new versions, the number of .NET-developers is increasing and there is a stronger focus on server based solutions. The office suite is less important for more and more companies. All in all, it put a higher demand on Excel-based consultants to follow the technology driven general development whether we like it or not.

    The only exception is that it does still not exist any demands for VSTO based solutions. I find it to be good although I spent considerable time to learn it when version 1.0 hit the market.

    Kind regards,

  4. In my mind, VSTO is a solution in search of a problem. I’ve only been asked once by a potential client about VSTO/.Net, and I think it was someone whose boss had read some MSDN Magazine article (a pure Excel/VBA solution would have done what they wanted).

  5. “In my mind, VSTO is a solution in search of a problem.”

    100% agree, with the add on of reveue stream! … just like “info path” and share point server! ohhhh get me!

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