Announcing Visual Studio Tools for Office, Version 2005 Beta


Welcome!


Welcome to the start of the Microsoft Visual Studio Tools for the Microsoft Office System, Version 2005 Beta program. This technology enables Visual Studio .NET developers to write managed Visual Basic .NET and Visual C# .NET code that runs in Microsoft Word 2003 and Microsoft Excel 2003 documents. Visual Studio Tools for Office, Version 2005 adds great new functionality, such as hosting Word and Excel as full-fledged designers within the Visual Studio development environment, the ability to program directly against data and view objects, and the ability to create and use custom controls within the task pane. 


As beta participants, we will provide you with a beta version of Microsoft Visual Studio 2005, which contains the Visual Studio Tools for Office, Version 2005 beta. Our goal throughout the beta is to obtain the best possible feedback from our customers. It is critical to our success that we listen to you and incorporate your feedback into this exciting new version of Visual Studio Tools for Office, Version 2005. During this time, we will be conducting web chats and periodically posting labs for participants to try out.


Availability of bits for Visual Studio Tools for Office, Version 2005


The Microsoft Visual Studio team announced Beta 1 on June 29, 2004. You can now acquire a beta kit from Microsoft, paying only for shipping and handling. Access this site (http://lab.msdn.microsoft.com/vs2005/get/default.aspx#vs2005) and click on the Visual Studio 2005 Beta link. You can then read instructions on how to order the beta. (If the link is not yet live, check back in a couple of days.) Once you have installed the beta, please read the readme for late breaking changes. Please note that you must have Microsoft Office Professional Edition 2003 in order to use the Visual Studio Tools for Office, Version 2005 Beta. MSDN Subscribers can download both Microsoft Office Professional Edition 2003 and Visual Studio 2005 Beta 1 from http://www.msdn.microsoft.com/subscriptions/downloads/. You must download the Visual Studio 2005 Beta full version in order to obtain the Visual Studio Tools for Office, Version 2005 beta.


Note that Visual Studio Tools for Office, Version 2005 Beta is not included any of the Visual Studio Express versions.


Before you continue, it is important to understand that the beta release of any product will not display the stability of a shipped Microsoft product. You may encounter problems with Visual Studio Tools for Office, Version 2005, which could possibly result in a loss or destruction of data. This release is not appropriate for production use, and we suggest that you back up your existing data before you install and run this software.


Contact Us


Please post any questions you may have on our public newsgroup, microsoft.public.vsnet.vstools.office, and submit bugs and suggestions on the MSDN Product Feedback Center – http://lab.msdn.microsoft.com/productfeedback/. You can also read Visual Studio Tools for Office–related blogs at these two locations: Visual Studio Tools for Office User Education Team’s Blog: http://blogs.msdn.com/vsto2 (that’s us!) and OfficeZealot.com’s blog site: http://blogs.officezealot.com/chris/.


— Paul Cornell


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


Comments (22)

  1. Sean says:

    The name just begs the question "Where can I get a copy of Office 2005??"

    "Oh, you mean it works with Office 2003? *scritch*scritch* but it -says-…"

    😉

    Yikes.. anyway you sling it, it’s still a mouthful…. maybe some names that would be less ambiguous would be …

    "Visual Studio 2005 Beta Tools for Office"?

    "Visual Studio Tools for Office Release 2005 Beta"?

    "Visual Studio Tools for Office – The Search For Spock Edition"?

  2. Cyriel says:

    Aren’t the OfficeZealot blogz located over @ http://www.officezealot.com/BlogHome.aspx or did they take over gotdotnet? 😉

  3. Cyriel says:

    correction: blogs.officezealot.com … what can i say it’s early in the morning 😉

  4. Cyriel says:

    @ Sean: What about "Visual Studio 2005 Tools for Office 2003" ? 😉

  5. Paul Cornell says:

    Thanks, Cyriel, for catching the incorrect URL. It has been changed to http://blogs.officezealot.com/chris/.

  6. Paul Cornell says:

    Thanks, Sean, for pointing out the issue with "Office 2005." The official name of the product is Microsoft Visual Studio Tools for the Microsoft Office System, Version 2005. We sometimes shorten it to Visual Studio Tools for Office, Version 2005. Some folks even shorten it to Visual Studio Tools for Office 2005, which is incorrect, because it gives folks the impression there is an Office 2005, which is also incorrect. Sorry for any confusion.

  7. Es tiempo de betas: Visual Studio 2005, Visual Studio Express Products, SQL Server 2005.

  8. Joseph peleg says:

    I need beta version of visual studio net

  9. Paul Cornell says:

    Head over to http://lab.msdn.microsoft.com/vs2005/ for instructions on how to get the beta.

  10. John Smith says:

    I have 2 concerns

    1. When I deploy my VSTO 2.0 applications to my customers’ machines, do they need to have Office 2003 installed? I know VSTO 1.0 needs that.

    2. How about VSTO pricing? VSTO 1.0 is priced $499. Will VSTO 2.0 be much more expensive than that?

    Thanks.

  11. Paul Cornell says:

    Yes, customers need Office 2003 installed.

    It’s too early at this time to discuss VSTO 2.0 pricing.

  12. John Smith says:

    Thanks for your quick reply, Paul. But I have a doubt in your first answer.

    At page http://msdn.microsoft.com/vstudio/productinfo/roadmap.aspx#2005, you can see:

    ———————–

    Making data in Office documents a transparent, directly accessible component enables new server-side opportunities. First, the data island embedded in the document can be manipulated without starting the Office application. This is a dramatic shift from the current model, by which, in order for code to manipulate the contents of the document, Excel or Word must be running. This limitation blocks many customers from implementing a common solution requirement—creating Office documents from within an ASP.NET application.

    By contrast, the VSTO 2005 runtime will support instantiation on a server without the need to run Excel or Word. The data island in a document could then be manipulated from the server-side code. When the user opens the associated Office document the view would be re-synchronized with the data island and the user would be automatically presented with the updated data. In this model, Excel and Word are not needed to write to the data on the server, but rather only to view it on the client. This updated model will provide the scalability customers desire and the ability to perform high performance batch processing of documents containing data islands on the server.

    ————————————–

    "the VSTO 2005 runtime will support instantiation on a server without the need to run Excel or Word" indicates Office 2003 is not a must to run VSTO solutions at customers’ machines. Am I wrong?

  13. Paul Cornell says:

    Good point, John. I should clarify further.

    End-user customers will need Office 2003, the .NET Framework 2.0, and the VSTO 2005 runtime installed.

    For server scenarios, the server will need at least the .NET Framework 2.0 and the VSTO 2005 runtime installed. Office 2003 is not required to support VSTO 2005 server scenarios.

    Hope this helps.

  14. John Smith says:

    Sorry Paul if I keep bothering you as I’m still not quick clear about when I should have Office 2003 installed.

    Let me give you a typical example. As I’m concerned with Office 2003 intallation only so I ignore other sutff such as .NET Framework 2.0 and the VSTO 2005 runtime.

    You can say I’m the VSTO solution developer. I develop 2 VSTO based applications.

    The first one is a Windows form application, used in a deskstop environment. Say, its name is MyDesktop. I need to deploy MyDesktop to 2 customers: Alice and Bob. For Alice and Bob, to enable them to run MyDesktop, do their desktops need to have Office 2003 installed?

    The second one is a Web form application, used in a web server environment. Say, its name is MyWebServer. I need to deploy MyWebServer to 2 customers: Cindy and Danny. For Cindy and Danny, to enable them to run MyWebServer, do their web servers need to have Office 2003 installed?

  15. Paul Cornell says:

    I’m confused about your scenario. It appears from the way that you’ve worded how you’re developing your applications, that you’re not calling Office-based solutions. How do you want your Windows Form and Web Form applications to interact with a VSTO solution specifically?

    To recap my earlier statements:

    Naturally, VSTO-based solutions need Office 2003 installed if an end user is interacting with a VSTO-based Office solution on their computer.

    If you are in a VSTO server scenario, Office 2003 does not need to be installed.

    In either of these two previous cases, whether you have an end-users computer or a server computer, at a minimum the VSTO 2005 runtime and .NET Framework 2.0 must be installed to interact with a VSTO-based solution.

    Hope this helps.