I don’t have a over arching theme for this post. This last week has been a little strange in pace which has left me with no clear ideas as to what I want to cover (and what is most appropriate).
With that said: I’ve seen several questions in the last couple of days directly about if it is possible to deploy a VSTO 3.0 application without ClickOnce. The only answer I’m willing to give here right now is that “Yes” it is possible, but there are some caveats and details to it. We are currently working on providing the best answer with everything being tested, i’s dotted and the t’s crossed. As such I don’t want to say too much so I don’t muddy the waters for anyone until everything is finalized. The full answer is coming and when it does I’ll be sure to link to it.
With that, I’d also like to talk a little about what else has been baking in my oven of development.
I attended a lecture on debugging early this week (it was 2 days long). John Robbins the lecturer from http://www.wintellect.com/ is quite knowledgeable in what he does and it was quite the lecture. If you ever have the chance to attend one of his dissertations on debugging you should attend and plan to take notes. He has some very good insights in how things work and how to take them apart so-as to figure what is really happening under the hood.
Which leads me to talk a little more about VSTO. If you are wondering how you might debug a VSTO solution, one thing to remember is that your add-in runs within the context of whatever Office application it is customizing. To debug your add-in you start whichever customized application (WORD.exe or EXCEL.exe for example). If you can’t or don’t have Visual Studio on your debuggee, using remote debugging is probably going to be the best way to get results. Of course before you go the full debugging route, one thing to know about is “suppress display alerts”. Basically by Default VSTO suppresses most error messages to prevent too much cluttering of the Office UI. You can turn off this behavior by setting the Environment Variable VSTO_SUPPRESSDISPLAYALERTS to 0. Setting this variable should produce full error dialogs with Stack Traces.
And that is pretty much it. I’ll be seeking out some topics or specific questions to provide fodder for more interesting topics to come.
Thank you for reading.