VSTO 2005 Second Edition Beta (VSTO 2005 SE Beta) is now available for download

This is the product that was previously code-named "Cypress". There is a new web page dedicated to this product in the VSTO Developer Portal, and you can access it here: http://msdn.microsoft.com/office/tool/vsto/2005SE/default.aspx

This web page has all the download links and pointers to documentation that you need to get started using the product.


Please make sure to follow the installation instructions on the download page carefully to ensure you have a smooth experience with this beta release.


There is also a separate runtime installer accompanying VSTO 2005 SE Beta. Note the runtime is a beta, too, so please do not distribute it to your customers. Feel free, however, to use it for testing purposes. Once the final version of the runtime becomes available later this year, we will recommend that you deploy it to all VSTO machines, including ones that run only solutions created in VSTO 2005. Just not yet.


Now, it may be helpful to understand where VSTO 2005 SE fits in the grand scheme of things, so here's a hopefully brief enough explanation:


In November 2005, Microsoft released the Visual Studio 2005 family of development products, including VSTO 2005. (You often see us informally refer to that release of VSTO as "v2" because it's the second release of VSTO.) The 2005 release of VSTO targeted Microsoft Office 2003 Professional.  Solutions created using VSTO 2005 should work fine - at least for the most part – in the 2007 Microsoft Office system. Of course, given the big changes in Microsoft Office around the file formats and the UI, you may run into some challenges with your existing VSTO 2005 solutions and will eventually want to start updating them for the 2007 Microsoft Office system, not just to make them work better there, but also to take advantage of the new functionality.


In March and then again in June earlier this year, we released a couple of VSTO "v3" CTPs (Community Technology Previews) to accompany the 2007 Microsoft Office system Beta 1 Technical Refresh and Beta 2 respectively. These CTPs were essentially prototype "demoware" software that were intended to give you a glimpse at what's coming for 2007, and the confidence that something is actually coming, so that you could start planning your solutions accordingly. The CTPs also helped us validate many of the architectural ideas for "v3". The CTPs were, however, still only early, incomplete and untested releases of a product that would not be available until the next release of Visual Studio.


Here is where VSTO 2005 SE comes into play. The idea behind it is to deliver a whole new product - not VSTO "v3" but a new add-on to Visual Studio 2005, still largely based on the VSTO 2005 technology, that would enable you to create new add-in projects targeting the 2007 Microsoft Office system specifically. Additionally, because most VSTO developers would still be on Office 2003 for a while, we wanted to provide something new and useful for Office 2003 as well. Hence, we also included add-in support for several Office 2003 applications in VSTO 2005 SE.


The important thing to note here is that "Cypress", now officially known as Visual Studio 2005 Tools for Office Second Edition Beta, is NOT the "v3" of VSTO. It's a new product in its own right that will be available long before "v3". Now, the most confusing part perhaps is that despite its naming, VSTO 2005 Second Edition Beta is actually largely orthogonal to and independent of VSTO 2005. You can install VSTO 2005 SE Beta on top of VSTO 2005, but you can also install it on top of Visual Studio 2005 Professional, which doesn't contain any VSTO 2005 functionality. The "Second Edition" has its own unique feature set that does not overlap with VSTO 2005, as far as the design-time functionality goes. (It does, however, borrow a number of ideas from the "v3" CTPs, especially related to ribbon, task pane, and add-in support.)


This may be more than you wanted to know, but armed with some of this background knowledge, we all hope you will find testing VSTO 2005 SE Beta a smoother and more enjoyable experience. And please let us know if you run into issues - or want to share feedback - on the VSTO forum: http://forums.microsoft.com/MSDN/ShowForum.aspx?ForumID=16&SiteID=1


Martin Sawicki

Release Program Manager for VSTO 2005 SE

Comments (6)

  1. PatriotB says:

    How about naming it VSTO 2005 R2?  It would be great to see naming consistency with other Microsoft products (Server 2003 R2, Virtual Server 2005 R2).

  2. cwoodruff says:

    I am trying to install the new bits for VSTO 2005 Second Edition Beta and the installer is telling me that I have to uninstall Team foundation Server and VS2005 Team Explorer from my machine.  Seeing as I use these products for my job, I guess I will not be installing these beta.  My question is will the final release work with VSTS and what conflicts with this beta release and VSTS?  Thanks

  3. Jim Rech says:

    Hey, thanks for letting me install the SE beta without having to install ALL of Office 2007.

  4. Learn Videos and Presentations The LINQ Framework: What’s New in the May CTP Anders: Chatting about LINQ

  5. VSTO für Office 2007 und Visual Studio 2005 ist fertig! Visual Studio 2005 Tools for the 2007 Office

  6. Dan Ciruli says:

    Martin –

    Your last 2 paragraphs are exactly what I’ve been looking for to confirm what I’ve found through experience:  VSTO 2005SE is *really*different* than VSTO 2005.

    I’ve got a new laptop, and I’ve got VS 2005 Team Suite with Microsoft Visual Studio Tools for Office and Visual Studio Tools for Office Second Edition on it, along with Office 2007.

    I’d like to take some old applications that were running in Office 2003 (specifically, some spreadsheets with .NET add-ins) and build them to run in Office 2007.  But when I try to open those in VS 2005, I get the old "A compatible version of Microsoft Office Excel 2003 is not installed on this computer…" message.

    Does this mean I really can’t take these old projects and easily port them to run in 2007?

    Note — if I build these on my old laptop (VS 2005, VSTO 2005, Office 2003), they run fine in Office 2007 on my new laptop (in "compatibility mode").  Do I really have to install Office 2003 in order to build these?

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