Over the last decade or even longer, Microsoft Office has provided the types of rich, robust software applications that information workers needed to do their jobs. Microsoft Office began by providing tools that enabled users to create and manage their documents, spreadsheets and databases, and has since continued to evolve to meet the increasing needs of information workers. Where it grew to empower users with the ability to use VBA to customize their user experience and build custom applications, it has grown yet again into a true development platform upon which professional developers can build scalable, line-of-business, people-ready business applications.
We continue that journey with the release of the 2007 Microsoft Office system. The 2007 Office system will be particularly interesting to professional developers because they can build vertical business applications that bridge the gap between their company’s variety of disparate back end data sources and the business needs of their information workers. Microsoft Duet is a prime example of an Office business application, as it demonstrates how the 2007 Office system can be used to surface and work with SAP data.
The demands placed upon developers have grown and they are now tasked, more than ever before, with developing highly intuitive, business focused solutions all in a short amount of time. We delivered Visual Studio Tools for Office (VSTO) to enable developers build Microsoft Office-based solutions. VSTO 2003 introduced the notion of managed code solutions based on Microsoft Office, and VSTO 2005 provided developers with a host of features they needed to build the types of solutions their users required.
Microsoft Visual Studio 2005 Tools for the 2007 Microsoft Office System (VSTO 2005 SE) expands the developer’s palette by providing the means to build scalable 2007 Office system-based add-in solutions within the professional development environment of Visual Studio 2005. Developers can use VSTO 2005 SE to build solutions that take advantage of key 2007 Office system features, such as the ribbon, custom task panes and Outlook form regions. They can also use VSTO 2005 SE to build Microsoft Office business applications. In fact, the Office team used VSTO to build parts of Microsoft Duet.