Andrew Whitechapel

Shiny things that caught my eye

  • Andrew Whitechapel

    COMAddIns Race Condition

    • 2 Comments
    You can expose an arbitrary object from your add-in as a kind of extension to the Office host application’s object model. To do this, you set your object as the value of the Object property on the COMAddIn object that represents your add-in in the host...
  • Andrew Whitechapel

    Why your COMAddIn.Object should derive from StandardOleMarshalObject

    • 14 Comments
    In general, it is important that any code in a managed Office add-in should execute on the main UI thread. The reason for this is that there are several components that simply will not work when executed from any other but the main UI thread – examples...
  • Andrew Whitechapel

    Creating a PivotTable Programmatically

    • 59 Comments
    I received an email from a customer the other day asking how to set up an Excel pivot table programmatically. The Excel OM exposes a number of objects and methods that you can use to create pivot tables, some more sophisticated than others. I wanted the...
  • Andrew Whitechapel

    Demand-Loading VSTO Add-ins

    • 8 Comments
    In an earlier post , I talked about how you could delay (or prevent) the loading of managed code using a native add-in. In that post I also listed the standard LoadBehavior settings, and I was assuming that everyone knows how these apply, but I got a...
  • Andrew Whitechapel

    Add-ins for Multiple Office Versions without PIAs (Pt2), or _VtblGap

    • 5 Comments
    In my last post , I discussed how you could avoid any dependency on the Office PIAs by using ComImport to redefine the host application’s OM interfaces. Someone (A Developer) pointed out that I had actually omitted the trailing 2 members of the IRibbonControl...
  • Andrew Whitechapel

    Add-ins for Multiple Office Versions without PIAs

    • 10 Comments
    In a previous post , I discussed how you could build an add-in for multiple versions of Office, and explained the problems in this approach (and why it is not officially supported). One of the reasons this is not supported is because you end up building...
  • Andrew Whitechapel

    PDC 2008 Open for Registration

    • 0 Comments
    It’s been 3 years since the last Professional Developers Conference, so I’m pleased that we’re doing one this year – it’s about time. This year’s PDC is on Mon-Fri Oct 27-30, with a one-day pre-con on Sun Oct-26, at the Los Angeles Convention Center ...
  • Andrew Whitechapel

    Ribbon and Task Pane in Access Add-ins

    • 0 Comments
    In an earlier post , I looked at how you could morph a VSTO project for one application into a project for another application – specifically, how you could build a VSTO add-in for Access. Note that this is explicitly not supported. However, although...
  • Andrew Whitechapel

    The Case For Shared Add-ins

    • 5 Comments
    People have been building native shared add-ins for Office (and related apps) since their introduction in Office 2000. People have been building managed shared add-ins since the introduction of .NET in 2002. VSTO support for managed add-ins was introduced...
  • Andrew Whitechapel

    Delay-loading the CLR in Office Add-ins

    • 11 Comments
    Suppose you control your enterprise desktops to the extent that you control which add-ins are installed. Suppose, further, that you want to avoid the hit of loading the CLR at application startup. One way is to delay-load your managed add-ins. The registered...
  • Andrew Whitechapel

    VSTO Loader and Runtime Components

    • 42 Comments
    Perusing the forums over the last few months, it’s clear that there’s some confusion about the various VSTO loader and runtime components. At the time of writing, there are 4 versions of VSTO in existence, including 4 sets of design-time tooling and 3...
  • Andrew Whitechapel

    Integrating Doc-level and Add-in Solutions

    • 1 Comments
    Everyone knows you can build document-level Office solutions and you can build application-level Office add-ins. Suppose your requirements dictate that you build a solution that uses both techniques – can this be done? First, let’s pause and consider...
  • Andrew Whitechapel

    ActiveX Controls in VSTO Solutions

    • 4 Comments
    In the past, before it became strategically acceptable to build Office-based solutions in managed code, it was common for people to build such solutions using pure COM technologies. They built native COM add-ins, using C/C++, or they built document-level...
  • Andrew Whitechapel

    VSTO Power Tools

    • 3 Comments
    I announced the release of v1 of the VSTO/VSTA Power Tools last time , and they've been getting quite a bit of use so far. The downloads are here - these include an overview document. Note that the documentation for the individual tools is installed in...
  • Andrew Whitechapel

    VSTO/VSTA Power Tools v1.0

    • 33 Comments
    As I announced at the Office Developers Conference in San Jose this week, we’re releasing a set of power tools that complement the developer’s experience when building Office-based or VSTA-based solutions. These tools are freely downloadable here . We...
  • Andrew Whitechapel

    VSTO Add-ins for Access?

    • 34 Comments
    In my previous post , I looked at how the VSTO add-in model is flexible enough to be used in prototyping scenarios for versions of Office not yet released. In principle, the same applies to Office host applications that are not currently supported. ...
  • Andrew Whitechapel

    Add-ins for Office 14

    • 5 Comments
    Following on from my previous post , it should be clear that we've designed the VSTO Office add-in support to be optimally useful across multiple different Office host applications and spanning multiple Office versions. To be very clear, let me reiterate...
  • Andrew Whitechapel

    Jobs in Visual Studio Biz Apps

    • 1 Comments
    The Visual Studio team is growing and we have several exciting developer positions open! If you’re looking for big challenges, if you’re driven to innovate, if you are looking for big impact and responsibilities, then you can join us. We are...
  • Andrew Whitechapel

    Back To The Future

    • 6 Comments
    Or, Prototyping VSTO Add-ins for Unsupported Office Versions/Applications It is in the nature of the VSTO 2005 SE and VSTO 2008 add-ins that they will run in multiple versions of Office. One of the main reasons for designing them this way is to mitigate...
  • Andrew Whitechapel

    Managed Automation Add-ins

    • 4 Comments
    I've been thinking more about calling unmanaged XLL UDFs from managed code than about managed automation add-ins lately, but an automation add-in issue came up the other day, and I thought I'd throw it out there. If you want to build managed UDFs without...
  • Andrew Whitechapel

    Feed your geek

    • 1 Comments
    We're 26 days away from the 2008 Office Developer Conference . I've been roped in to talk about the VSTO/VSTA Power Tools – all of which are useful, and some of which are actually very interesting. Remember, the ODC is open to the public for the first...
  • Andrew Whitechapel

    Invoking Native Excel UDFs From Managed Code (Pt2)

    • 2 Comments
    In my previous post , I looked at how to build a VSTO add-in that invokes native XLL UDFs via the Excel COM OM (specifically, Application.Run). In this second part, I'll look at the same managed client calling the same XLL UDFs via the Windows API instead...
  • Andrew Whitechapel

    Invoking Native Excel UDFs From Managed Code (Pt1)

    • 3 Comments
    As part of a little ongoing investigation, I wanted to communicate between a managed add-in and a native XLL UDF. As I was writing this up, it turned out to be a much longer post that I planned, so I've split it into two parts (I'll post the second part...
  • Andrew Whitechapel

    Building an Excel XLL in C/C++ with VS 2008

    • 49 Comments
    As part of a little investigation I'm doing at present, I needed to build some simple native XLLs for testing purposes. This was the first time I had a need to build XLLs since the Excel XLL SDK was updated back in September. The updated Excel 2007 XLL...
  • Andrew Whitechapel

    PDC 2008

    • 1 Comments
    Hard on the heels of the Office DevCon, we've just announced the dates for the Microsoft Professional Developers Conference 2008 . Heads-up below. When : October 27–30, 2008, Pre-conference October 26, 2008 Where : Los Angeles Convention Center , Los...
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