Office DevCon Day 3: VSTO 2005 is the star of the BillG Keynote

So it’s the last day of the Office Developers conference and the best was definitely saved for last: a full day of VSTO 2005. The day started with an excellent demo of Visual Studio code snippets by Matt Hessinger. (See his MSDN Article : Overview of Code Snippets Using Visual Studio Tools for Office, Version 2005)His company needed to write 200 VSTO 2005 code snippets. Since there is no GUI for creating the code snippets (which are just XML files) they created their own using InfoPath and VSTO 2005 using Excel. Matt did a great job presenting and showing a real world demo of using Office to complete their work faster.

Next up was the BillG keynote. The room was packed. I was sitting about 50 feet from the stage, so I had a good view. Bill talked about the smart client strategy and how Office is a key part of that strategy. Then my boss, KD Hallman, did a cool demo of VSTO 2005 using Excel. She built a excel application using Visual Studio to drag and drop data-bound Excel list objects, used web services to pull images into a custom WinForm control placed in an actions pane data bound to the Excel list object. So the end result was that when you opened the spreadsheet data from the database was bound to the list object and as you scrolled through the list object all of the other cells updated their calculations based on the current row and the images in the action pane pulled new images from the web service also based on the current row. She completed this in less than 10 minutes! The demo is very cool and KD did a fantastic job presenting under the pressures of a BillG keynote.

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