MSI – Generate SHA2 certificate with OpenSSL and sign a MSI installer project, use ‘Application Control Policies’-‘AppLocker’ to block unsigned code

Some time ago I had to troubleshoot an issue with signed native C++ XLL add-ins for Excel, which didn’t get loaded with certain combinations of Excel and Windows. Symptom – A client has developed an unmanaged XLL add-in for Excel, which has been signed with a code signing certificate that uses SHA2 as hashing algorithm.- Everything…

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VBA – Access 2013 – Programmatically assigning a Form’s (DAO RecordSet) Record Source to the result of Stored Procedure (ADO RecordSet) executed on a remote SQL Server triggers “Run time error 31 – Data provider could not be initialized” error message.

Suppose we have this scenario where a local Access database uses Forms bound to SQL serverdata sources: –  a company has developed a front-end application based on MS Access 2007 and VBA, which has been   distributed to end-users as an ADP file; –  its back-end data source runs on SQL Server; –  on the client side,…

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How COM works & How to build a COM visible DLL in C#.Net, call it from VBA and select the proper ClassInterface (AutoDispatch, AutoDual) [part1/2]

  This article is split across two blog posts and this is part #1.. use this link (please be patient :), I am still working on part 2) to go to part #2. When a beginner programmer needs to create a COM visible DLL which will be called from VBA, PowerShell, VBScript or .NET applications, he can find lots of tutorials on how to…

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OpenXML & VSTO & VBA – Finding a reliable mechanism for reading the correct value of CharactersWithSpaces ‘extended-properties’ in Word documents [part 2/2].

  This article is split across two blog posts and this is part #2 .. use this link to go to part #1. In part #1 of this article, I demonstrated how words are counted using OpenXML and I warned about the dangers of not getting it done correctly. Here is a short summary of the alternatives we have:    Can we obtain 100% reliable statistics? Method #1:       When Word…


OpenXML & VSTO & VBA – Finding a reliable mechanism for reading the correct value of CharactersWithSpaces ‘extended-properties’ in Word documents [part 1/2].

  This article is split across two blog posts and this is part #1 .. use this link to go to part #2. There are many scenarios when we have to know exactly how many words, pages, paragraphs or characters are found in a certain document:    > we might be developing a tool which searches through files; If we want to add OpenXML files to       its list of…


VSTO & VBA – Improving Excel’s performance when writing data into Sheets by using memory arrays instead of inefficient code loops

In my previous article (VSTO & VBA – How to troubleshoot Excel memory and performance problems caused by inefficient code loops) I wrote about a few common issues which may be encountered when trying to read data from an Excel workbook using COM automation. But after you finished reading it, maybe you asked yourself: What…