MSDN Office Developer Center Live on MSDN2!

We are in the process of migrating the Office Developer Center and all the MSDN Library Office developer content to MSDN2! I love to blog about anything related to Office development, but this time I will share with you some information related with MSDN that you might find interesting.

What is MTPS and MSDN2?

Tim Ewald, Kim Wolk and Craig Andera are the principal architects behind a new online delivery and rendering infrastructure better known as MSDN/TechNet Publishing System (MTPS). This new platform supports MSDN2 and the alpha version was released to customers on September 2004. The MSDN Library was the first to use the new system.

MSDN provides two major venues for developer content. The MSDN Library allows users to browse developer content for all Microsoft products and technologies that have a developer story. It contains technical articles, reference documentation, and sample code, and organizes nodes in a new treeview navigation that avoids the use of frames and reflects the current page URLS's. On the other hand, MSDN Developer Centers pull together content and resources around specific products and technologies. They connect developers with code samples, community sites, technical articles and documentation, upcoming events, and much more. The MSDN Office Developer Center (ODC) provides a road map to help developers understand and work with Office System programs, servers, services, tools, and technologies. The MSDN Library and some MSDN Developer Centers have been migrated to MSDN2.

Some of the key benefits offered by MSDN2 are:

  • Product to Web integration: Developers will have access from the IDE to the most up-to-date content living on MSDN Online, without having to wait for new MSDN Library or product releases. This is a critical component in providing real continuous publishing support directly to developers.

  • Globalization: MSDN2 enables our goal of providing a unified global MSDN Web site that responds to a customer's language and locale preference. MSDN URLS provide a locale node: that allows us to globalize our content.

  • New URL scheme providing stable URLs: This is probably one of the most interesting benefits offered by MSDN2. In MTPS, content is primarily identified by a unique identifier, meaning that content can be moved around without changing the URL. This will vastly improve the problem of broken links to MSDN content.

  • Content aliases: Some topics that provide information of key namespaces, types, member names or error codes can be accessed using an alias. For instance, if you want to read the reference documentation for the Microsoft.Office.Excel.Server.WebServices namespace, type and you will be redirected to the corresponding topic.

  • Site responsiveness: MTPS and ASP.NET 2.0/SQL Server 2005 reduce the page load times for much of MSDN Online content. I have seen that MSDN articles and MSDN Developer Center pages have faster rendering times when they run on MSDN2.

  • Improved time-to-live for new articles and portal updates: For us, publishing and authoring content to MSDN2 is also a great experience. MTPS improves our internal processes for content publishing and portal programming. I am sure there will be a lot of people who will be quite pleased about this.

And there are more benefits such as alternates, revisions, and versions. I strongly recommend you to read Tim Ewald's article Designing URLs for MSDN2 if you want to learn more about MSDN2 URL improvements. Read also Craig Andera's MSDN article: Consuming MSDN Web Services.

We are migrating!

The MSDN Office Developer Center team has been working for the past few months on migrating all Office MSDN Library content and the MSDN Office Developer Center to MSDN2. The volume of technical content assets and ODC pages for Office were a great challenge for us, and I am pleased to say that we are almost done. The new MSDN2 Office Developer Center went live a few minutes ago! I have to warn you though; we are still migrating, so in the next couple of weeks you may find some broken links on some ODC pages. We published all Office 2007 articles and content on MSDN2, but had to migrate all the Office 2003, Office XP, and Office 2000 developer content to the MSDN2 servers. We are still working on updating ODC links for these versions and things may be a little flaky for a couple of weeks but hopefully will be fixed soon. Just as I write this blog entry, MSDN is loading redirects from our old pages to the new site. While we conclude our migration process, you can find all Office Solutions Development technical content on the MSDN Library and I encourage you to see how cool our new MSDN Office Developer Center looks like.

MSDN Office Developer Top Pages

The following table shows new URLs for some of our most viewed pages in case you are wondering what happened to them.

Office Developer Center Home Page
Community : Home Page
Downloads : Home Page
Future Versions: What's New for Developers in the 2007 Microsoft Office System
Access: Access Developer Portal - Home Page
Excel: Excel Developer Portal - Home Page
SharePoint Server: SharePoint Server 2007 Developer Portal - Home Page
VSTO: Visual Studio Tools for Office Developer Portal

I am also attaching a spreadsheet with all our new URLs in case you get lost. Please feel free to send me comments if you can't find content; I will be glad to help you find your way.




Comments (7)

  1. Hao Zhai says:

    Where can I find the Object Model reference for Word 2007, Excel 2007 and PowerPoint 2007? Thank you.

  2. Craig says:

    While it’s certainly fair to describe Tim as a principal architect of MTPS, and while I like to think I played a major role in the development of parts of MTPS, people should know that Kim Wolk deserves a huge amount of credit – she and Tim were really the drivers behind the initial system, and it’s Kim that’s continuing to drive the system towards realizing the vision.

    Kim doesn’t like to self-promote, so I’m not surprised that you got the impression that it was Tim and I. 🙂 But she was and continues to be absolutely key to the health and development of the system. And that says nothing, of course, about the many other members of the MSDN team who have made major contributions.

    Again, not trying to be pedantic – just want to make sure Kim gets part of the credit she’s due. 🙂

  3. Michael Homer says:

    What do I need to do to upgrade my developer kit.  

  4. Hao Zhai

    Word 2007, Excel 2007, and PowerPoint 2007 object model reference documentation is scheduled for publishing to the MSDN Library sometime between January and February next year.

  5. Craig,

    Thanks for letting me know. She deserves all honor, so I’ll update my blog entry.

  6. seslisesli says:


    Thanks for letting me know. She deserves all honor, so I’ll update my blog entry

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