Announcing Visual Studio 2005 Tools for Applications

Today at PDC05 they announced a new product that I have been working on for the last 2 years. So it is exciting for me to be able to finally share with you all what I have been working on.

Visual Studio Tools for Applications (VSTA) is a .NET-based application customization technology designed to be embedded into applications to enable developers to create custom experiences on top of those applications.  It offers a full-featured interactive development environment (IDE), design-time, runtime and supports both VB.Net and C#.  This means that partners, typically ISVs, can license the VSTA engine and integrate it into their applications so that their customers can customize their applications using .NET programming techniques.  VSTA notably offers a significantly advanced environment for application customization and extensibility and is the result of over five years of effort and broad industry feedback.  Office 12 is using VSTA for application customization in InfoPath.  Also, we announced our first four external partners for VSTA at PDC.

Check out the new VSTA team blog for more information. Also I will be posting more detailed information about the inner workings of VSTA here on my blog.

This posting is provided "AS IS" with no warranties, and confers no rights.

Comments (5)

  1. Congrats! So D.MB must be just around the corner then? 🙂

  2. netsrac says:


    when will be more informations available about VSTA ? We are currently redesigning our application in .NET 2.0. One key feature of our application ist customization. What are the architectual requirements for an application to work with VSTA ?

    I don’t hope that VSTA goes the way of VSA.

  3. jbtatro says:

    Hi, My company does a lot of automation programming for office and it has a mixed level of programmer, from macro cut and pasters to highly skilled programmers that can write code to interact with office without using macros.  We are currently trying to convert our software from one that is based in VB 6.0 to .NET using C#, and although I and a select few others understand how to write code to interact with office in C#, it would be nice to have a tool that records macros written in C#. Will VSTA offer this? And is there an existing macro recording tool that exists that writes the code in .NET compatible code?

  4. us_pieeater says:

    I know the thread/blog is old, but I’m having problems finding good info on VSTA.  I too like jbtatro am curious about using VSTA with macro.  I’m wondering if anyone has info to push me in the right direction. I like PIE A LOT.

  5. It is not clear from your comment but VSTA supports macro recording but this is a feature that is implemented by the host application. For example VSTA in InfoPath does not have macro recording because InfoPath does not have a macro recording feature. You can look at the ShapeApp sample application in the VSTA SDK to see an example of how you could implemnet macro recording in your host application.

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