Comparing Excel Automation to Excel Services

In a previous post, I compared and contrasted Word Automation to Word Automation Services.  There is a similar contrast between Excel Automation and Excel Services, although there is less overlap in functionality when compared to the two approaches for Word. This blog is inactive.New blog: Blog TOCThis post is one in a series on…


Microsoft Word 2010 Developer Building Blocks

Extending Microsoft Word 2010 is one of the most effective ways to augment content and enable richer collaboration around documents.  There are many ways to extend Microsoft Word 2010 and integrate user-friendly and powerful document editing into your application.  Extending Word is the most common way to develop for Microsoft Office. This blog is inactive.New…


Understanding the Difference between Custom Task Panes and Action Panes

To the user, custom task panes and action panes have an identical appearance.  Custom task panes and action panes consist of some screen real-estate that co-exists with the open document or spreadsheet within the Office client.  This real-estate can be docked to the right, bottom, left, or right of the document or spreadsheet.  It can…


Understanding the Architecture of Office 2010 Managed Add-Ins and Customizations

The most important technology for building Office applications is that of managed customizations (including application-level managed add-ins, and document-level customizations).  Understanding the architecture and capabilities of managed customizations enables you to place the various developer technologies in context.  It is important to know which building blocks are integral to managed customizations, which building blocks provide…


What is the Difference between ‘Word Automation’ and ‘Word Automation Services’?

‘Word Automation’ and ‘Word Automation Services’ are two developer building blocks that have similar names, and have overlapping functionality, but are very different pieces of technology.  I received some email about the post Understanding the Three Approaches to Office Development using VSTO where readers were confused about this, so here is the scoop. This blog…


Office/SharePoint Building Blocks and Developer Stories

For the last few months, it has been my assigned job to think and write about Office and SharePoint development from a very high level.  I haven’t written any code (sadly).  Instead, I’ve been simply involved in a survey, first, of SharePoint 2010, followed by the Office 2010 client applications.  The first result of my…


Exploring the BCS Metadata Schema

When developers are first getting started using BCS, they typically use SharePoint Designer (or perhaps Visual Studio 2010) to put together their BCS model.  Using either of those tools, it is pretty easy to discover an external data source, and follow the appropriate steps to connect BCS to the data source and create an external…


Open XML Package Editor Power Tool for Visual Studio 2010

The VSTO team today announced the release of the new Open XML Package Editor for Visual Studio 2010!  This is an indispensible tool in every Open XML developer’s toolbox. This Power Tool is a Visual Studio add-in that provides an easy way to manually edit Open XML documents.  Once you install the add-in, you can…


Office 2010 Reaches RTM

Today we reached RTM for Office 2010, SharePoint 2010, Visio 2010, and Project 2010!  The Office Engineering team’s blog has all the details. This blog is inactive.New blog: TOC


Using the Open XML SDK from within a Managed Add-In

When you are writing code for an Office managed add-in, you can use the Open XML SDK to manipulate the current document in a whole variety of ways.  This is a very powerful technique, which in some circumstances can give your application much better performance.  This is the key point behind the paper that Anil…