Office and .NET- interesting search results


I have been doing a number of searches this morning on MSN Search, Google, and other engines just to get an anecdotal read on search results for Office programmability topics. I looked for things like certain types of add-ins and other subjects. What struck me (again, nothing empirical here…yet) is that search results often had links to content about managed code for Office as a goodly share of the highest ranked returns.


The fact is that writing managed code for Office is not just a fad. But, let’s be clear: most Office solutions out there are still in VBA or written with VB 5/6. The fact that search results for managed code issues are hot is because people are reaching, trying to figure out how to get it done. Ten years from now, what will be the new direction, the new search results? This is the question I really don’t get paid to think about (this is the province of much more powerful people), but I think about it nonetheless. I have ideas.


BTW: I stumbled on this site: http://www.officeletter.com


I like the site because its aims are simple: let people share solutions to simple problems or issues, without polemic. BTW: this is how Woody started out until he torched nearly every bridge he has in Redmond. I’m not a fan of Woody, as my regular readers know. But, as far as I know, he’s chillin’ on some continent and laughing all the way to the bank. Nonetheless, his objectivity has been profoundly compromised. He and his work have become unconsciously ironic.


 Rock Thought for the Day: I was at Safeway and heard a song from the band for which I was the soundman playing over the speaker system. Brought back a lot of memories. It was R&B-style music (unlike the heavy rock/metal that I prefer), but it was a great learning time. Lots and lots of one-night shows at many smoky clubs. Set up in the morning, practice all day, sound-check at 8pm, start playing at 9pm. End at 1am, tear down and pack up. Back on the road to arrive at the next town by the morning. We did this for countless consecutive days. Very exhausting. The rock and roll lifestyle (minus the drugs, drinking, and lasciviousness).


Rock On

Comments (1)

  1. Dear John,

    How are things out West? I thought that I would drop you a line because your topic speaks to me. You are right about managed code being the future for Office. Right now I am working on something called the SAP Mobile Application Studio. It’s basically a shell around a series old-style DHTML applications (MS shelved these with .Net). It mostly spits out applications that are written in VBA and VB 6. Also, being owned by SAP they have their own stamp on it. In other words, good luck customizing the code. They make it very hard for anyone to do.

    The reason that I am chiming in is because this application studio is part of SAP CRM 4.0. An enormous, bloated and resource heavy system that helps people manage their sales force and all the things that come with CRM.

    It seems to me that Office (using true object-oriented architecture like with .Net) can leverage the burgeoning CRM market through salesforce.com’s new committment to Office developers.

    The fact is that big players like SAP like to push people around saying "we have everything you will ever need". The problem is that you are paying for everything they will ever need if you invest with them.

    Office can take advantage of people’s better, more cost-conscious nature if a set of tools is developed where users can pick and choose to fit their needs. The best way through this is making Office more of a managed code environment.

    One idea? A C# or VB.Net Variant Configurator for industries that sell custom machinery – things where one size does not fit all. SAP has a very good one called SAP SCE. The problem is that you can’t really get a hold of it without an army of SAP consultants to help you ‘implement’ it.

    Using the opposite approach, like using the salesforce.com model, customers would get more of what they want without the extra baggage and costs could be contained.

    I know that Mr. Benioff just dissed Microsoft on the 12th with his "no software" approach, but to really fight SAP he is going to need their help.

    That’s all for now. Take care and say ‘hello’ to the family for me.

    Nelson