Application Compatibility and Microsoft Office Solutions (+ another installment of “Rock Thought”)

When I was a consultant my customers ranged from small companies to big Fortune 100 enterprises. No matter where a business fit in the spectrum I encountered a lot of Office solution code. But, it was sometimes difficult to figure out how many solutions were in play within an organization. And, as new Office versions rolled out, we needed to determine what, if anything, in the existing solutions would be impacted by changes and innovations in the new Office releases. My experience is not unique by any means. Developers and IT departments need to be able to evaluate a variety of productivity customizations in Office. These include:

  • Macros and VBA Code

  • Add-ins and Extensions

  • Custom templates

What has been needed is a set of tools and guidance to help developers determine:

  1. What solutions are “live” in their environment

  2. What code might need to be reviewed for compatibility vis-a-vis a new Office release

  3. Detailed guidance and a clear method for how to plan and execute a version upgrade that minimizes the impact on users and the solutions they depend on to be productive

We’ve produced these very tools and guidance. Gray Knowlton has provided a very useful blog post about them and included links to their locations.

You can also go to the new Office 2010 Application Compatibility resource page to find pointers to the tools and the documentation as well as related Office 2010 feature and application compatibility articles. These tools and documentation are made available as per our announcement of the Office 2010 Application Compatibility program at SPC09 in October.

Please send your feedback, comments and suggestions about tools and documents by either using Office 2010 Application Compatibility Forum on TechNet or by just sending a direct mail to

Rock Thought of the Day:

Alright—I have a several songs that are now in continuous rotation on my Zune. They are:

Artist Song
Teddybears (feat. Iggy Pop) Punkrocker
Editors Papillion
Yeah Yeah Yeahs Maps

Check out the video for Papillon on Youtube.

And, while I’m at it—I need to rant. David Bowie, Iggy Pop, Kate Bush, Lou Reed, Neil Young, Bonnie Raitt, Adam Lambert (insert record scratch sound here). You are correct—one of these folks is not like the other (roll Sesame Street audio). Look—it’s one thing to be outrageous because you are hugely talented. It is quite another to shock people just to get a headline so you can move some CD units. This has nothing to do with homophobia or “double-standards”. It’s about actually delivering something meaningful and lasting because you have the goods artistically.

Jim Morrison and the Doors were scheduled to appear on the Ed Sullivan show in 1967. Ed asked them to change the lyrics in “Light My Fire” particularly the line “girl, we couldn’t get much higher”. It was a sexual reference that Ed felt was too strong for his audience. Jim went out there and delivered the lyrics as he wrote them. Afterward, Ed refused to shake their hands. When it was all over backstage, a producer from the show said, “You’ll never do the Ed Sullivan show again!” Jim responded, “We just did the Sullivan show.”

Jim was certainly not one to shy away from controversy and some shocking behavior. But, he and the band were delivering music, lyrics, and performances that are still mesmerizing over 40 years later.

NOTHING about Lambert’s song, performance, or presence will be worth a single synapse 4 months from now let alone 40 years.

Rock On

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