VSTO 2005 and Data Sources in Microsoft Office

Alright, I had typed up a nice blog entry when my Toshiba laptop (I have had tons of hardware issues) decided to go black not allowing me to see anything on my screen. I had to cold boot and lost everything. Very annoying.

Here's the basic idea of what I has previously typed. In VS 2005, you can configure data sources and drag/drop fields from the data source onto a form or document. The data plumbing is all ready to go.

But, these things make me nervous. Back in the VB5 era and in the late 90's Access, we had DAO with cool data controls that let you do this type of thing. But, the problem was that they were really best suited for prototyping and demo-ing. Real world solutions required customization and adaptation that the widgets did not allow.

I don't like alleged development aids that look good in a demo but fall down when I have to do real work.

In VS 2005, you get the best of both worlds. At the end of the day, everything is code. The data source features in VS 2005 simply save the trouble of typing. They don't do anything you cannot do on your own without them (this is key). If you want to adapt or modify what they provide, just look at the code they generate and change it. If you want the default behavior, just don't peek under the covers. This the key difference between these controls and features and what we were given previously in DAO hay-day (Remember the RDO, RDS, DAO etc.? What a time.)

Here's a screen shot of using the data source in my Office project:

Next, I'll show more about how data binding works in 2005.

 Rock Thought for the day: One of my friends at Microsoft recommend I listen to the tracks of a local Seattle band, Sylvan Smith Solution. I was pleased (I can't say this for all of the bands people recommend to me). The band is in love with riffing, and this is rarely a bad thing. Also, the lead vocalist hints of Jethro Tull just enough for me to conclude: he probably listened to JT about as much as the rest of us. It's a nice touch. The band is clearly indebted to Led Zep, and there is no harm in this at all. I think the band would have benefitted greatly from more adventurious production work. The tracks are too much alike, not in the song writing or musicianship but in the way there were produced. There's no need for every band to get caustically fuzzed out, but let's try "some" effects anyway! I liked the track "Innner city dreaming" but I think with some agressive use of the board and effects, it could have been much more thunderous.

Rock on

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