Top 20 cool new features of VSTA


Now that VSTA has RTM’d (See KD Hallman’s announcement at http://blogs.msdn.com/vsta ) I would like to call out all of the great features of VSTA. You can see some of these features in action today as part of InfoPath 2007. Just install InfoPath 2007, open a form and press Alt-Shift-F12. The VSTA IDE will open and you can easily add your VB or C# macro code behind the form. I can also follow the walkthrough in my MSDN article to learn more about VSTA.

Leverages the innovative Visual Studio (VS) toolset

1. Multi-language support – VB and C#
2. Macro Recoding
3. Windows Forms designer
4. IntelliSense & Code Tasks
5. End-user debugging features: breakpoints, watch/auto/locals windows


Supports connected systems development

6. Web services-based development
7. Fully leverages the .NET Framework
8. Running and debugging 32-bit and 64-bit add-ins
9. Running partial trusted add-ins
10. Client and Server programming
11. Common VSTA/VSTO runtime architecture for seamless up-leveling of solutions


Graduated host integration capabilities – “use what you need when you need it”

12. Low barrier to entry – get started in about two days
13. Add more functionality as desired/needed over time
14. Runs side x side with VBA


Add-in Management

15. Simplifies loading and unloading of add-ins
16. Ability to manage application domain creation
17. Host defined discovery and qualification supporting repository based scenarios


VSTA SDK includes

18. Redistributable VS based IDE and Runtime
19. Integration tools
20. Help documentation, Samples and walk throughs

Comments (3)

  1. Dave's Blog says:

    Paul Stubbs, a Program Manager with the VSTA team, blogs about the top 20 cool new features of VSTA

  2. em19at says:

    Tried hard to get information on the internet about how to use VSTA in Excel 2007. It seems to be a secret. Can anyone from Microsoft give a clear statement:

    a) YES it works for EXCEL 2007 (and how).

    b) NO it does not work for EXCEL 2007 at this time.

    Thank you!

  3. pstubbs says:

    The short answer is that VSTA is not integrated into Excel, only InfoPath 2007. VSTA like VBA can be integrated into a host application. In Office 2007 only InfoPath has VSTA integration. Excel does have integration with VSTO which allows you to do programming using Visual Studio. One main difference between VSTA and VSTO is that VSTA is part of and installed by the host application. VSTO is part of and installed by Visual Studio to program against Office applications.