Erika Ehrli - Adventures with Office Products & Technologies
MSDN & TechNet: Releasing Office, SharePoint, Exchange & Lync Centers and content for developers and IT professionals.

January, 2006

  • Erika Ehrli - Adventures with Office Products & Technologies

    How to subcribe to Office "12" Beta 2 Program


    I have been receiving some emails from developers who can't wait to start playing around with Office "12" and that want to know how to enroll to the Beta 2 program. I don't manage the program, but I just talked with someone from the Office "12" Partner Readiness Team and here's what you have to do:

    For Beta 1:

    Office 12 Beta 1 is a limited, non-public beta for partners who have achieved the Information Worker Solutions Competency status. You can learn more about the Information Worker Solutions Competency by visiting

    For Beta 2:

    To register for Office “12” Beta 2, available later this spring, please go to and click the “register now” link at the top of the page.

    I encourage you to register and start experimenting with Office "12". I have been playing around with Office "12" for some time and every day I get surprised while I discover new features.

    Today I was working with Excel "12" and I made some demo graphics that present some MSDN traffic results.  I really like the professional and cool look that you can get when you are building charts and they are quite easy to customize.

    So if you want to start playing around with Office "12" too, follow the previous instructions and I am sure you will have a blast!

  • Erika Ehrli - Adventures with Office Products & Technologies

    Looking for C# and VB code samples?


    Look what I just found: 101 Visual Basic and C# Code Samples. The www has lots of great things out there and sometimes we can't know about all of them. I have ended finding many good code samples by accident and I am always happy to find them; it's almost as good as when you find money in the pocket of a jacket you haven't used in a while.

    An interesting thing of developing Office applications using managed code is that you always need knowledge of how to work with multiple .NET assemblies to accomplish different tasks. Even if you are a great developer and already know a bunch of classes, it always comes handy to learn best practices. Here is a list of some code samples you can find in there:

    1. Advanced .NET Framework (Localization) - Work with Resource Files
    2. File - How-To File System
    3. Framework - Creating an Enterprise Services Component
    4. Framework - How-To Configuration Settings
    5. Framework - How-To Work with XML
    6. Framework - Understanding the Garbage Collector
    7. NET Framework - How-To Send Mail
    8. Web Services - Consume a Web Service
    9. Windows Forms - How-To Automate Office
    10. Windows Forms - Use Regular Expressions

    ...and more, in fact 101 great code samples that are good to keep in your jacket's pocket.

  • Erika Ehrli - Adventures with Office Products & Technologies

    Office "12" bloggers list


    To view the list of Office "12" bloggers from my previous blog entry you must have Microsoft® Internet Explorer 5.01 Service Pack 2 (SP2) or later and the Microsoft Office 2003 Web Components.

    For those of you that have a different browser here's the list:

    Topic Owner Name URL RSS feed
    Access 12 Erik Rucker A discussion of what's new in Access 12
    Document Services (ECM) Rob Lefferts Office SharePoint Document Services (ECM)
    Excel 12 Dave Gainer Microsoft Excel 12
    FrontPage 12 Rob Mauceri Rob Mauceri's FrontPage Blog
    Groove Mark Olson Marc's blog about the integration of Groove into Office 12.
    InfoPath 12 Tudor Toma InfoPath 12 - Tudor Toma
    Office 12 (General) Erika Ehrli Adventures in Office Development and .NET
    Office 12 (General) John Durant Office and a short, bald man
    Office 12 (General) Steven Sinofsky Steven Sinofsky's Microsoft TechTalk
    Office 12 Help Mike Kelly From my Office to Yours
    Office 12 New User Interface Jensen Harris Jensen Harris  An Office User Interface Blog
    Office 12 New XML File Format Brian Jones Brian Jones  Office XML Formats
    OneNote 12 Chris Pratley Chris Pratley's OneNote Blog
    OneNote 12 Owen Braun Owen Braun  OneNote 12
    Outlook 12 Melissa MacBeth Tasks and Time Management in Outlook
    Outlook 12 Michael Affronti michael affronti | microsoft outlook program manager
    Outlook 12 Will Kennedy Outlook 12
    Outlook 12 Extensibility Ryan Gregg Ryan's Look at Outlook Programmability
    PDF Support in Office 12 Cyndy Wessling Save as PDF in Office "12"
    Presentation and Graphics Brendan Busch Brendan Busch's blog on PowerPoint 12
    Project 12 Dieter Zirkler Dieter's ProjBlog
    Publisher 12 Jeff Bell On Microsoft Publisher and more
    SharePoint Products and Technologies Mike Fitz SharePoint Products and Technologies
    SharePoint Products and Technologies SharePoint Team A blog from the SharePoint Development Team
    SharePoint Products and Technologies WCM Team Web Content Management in Office "12"
    Visio 12 Eric Rockey What's new in Visio 12
    VSTO VSTO Team Microsoft Visual Studio 2005 Tools for the Microsoft Office System
    Windows Sharepoint Services PJ Hough Windows Sharepoint Services etc
    Word 12 Joe Friend Joe Friend  Microsoft Office Word
    XPS and Windows Digital Documents Andy Simonds My blog (Andy, GPM in Windows) about XPS and the Windows Digital Documents Team.

  • Erika Ehrli - Adventures with Office Products & Technologies

    Excel Services and Office "12" bloggers list

    I have been playing around with Office "12" and SharePoint "v3" and I am quite surprised of how easy it is to view and interact with Excel Spreadsheets in a browser thanks to Excel Services. I needed to build a site and share with my team our content plans for Office "12." I had an Excel file that I wanted to share so I added an Excel Web Access web part that allows my peers to interact with an Excel 12 Workbook as a Web page. This is way much better than sending around my file by email!

    If you have the time, you can build a Web site to display an Excel Spreadsheet. The following are six different approaches you could use to display an Excel Spreadsheet (or at least its contents) on a Web page:
    1. Web page 1: Save your Excel Spreadsheet as an html file and add an html IFrame to a Web page to embed your Spreadsheet. This option requires Office Web Components.
    2. Web page 2: Use ADO and the Microsoft Excel Driver.
    3. Web page 3: You could also databind your Excel Spreadsheet to an ASP.NET datagrid to display the content of your Spreadsheet as a table.
    4. Web page 4: Copy and paste your Excel Spreadsheet to Visual Studio and it will be rendered as an HTML table. To simple and you will lose functionality such as sorting and filtering).
    5. Web page 5: Buy a third-party component that will build web pages for you, such as SpreadsheetGear.
    6. Web page 6: Use an ActiveX control such as DSO Framer Control Object to host Excel inside your Web page.

    If you were using a SharePoint site, you would also need to build a web part that displays any Web page 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 or 6 and this would take you longer. Using Excel Services, it took me less than a minute to add and configure a web part that displays an Excel Spreadsheet.

    If you want to learn more about Excel Services, don't miss the opportunity to read David Gainer's blog. By the way, one of the Excel Spreadsheets that I wanted to share with my team is a growing list of Office "12" bloggers. I wish I could show you all a running Excel Services web part. I can't run Excel Services in my blog so I went for the Web page 1 approach to share with you my Office "12" bloggers list.



  • Erika Ehrli - Adventures with Office Products & Technologies

    Office "12" supports "Save As PDF" programmatically


    As a developer, I was quite excited to learn that Office "12" will allow you to save documents as PDF/XPS. Since that moment, I have been quite surprised to see excitement around that feature. I am now happy to learn more about XPS. You should read Jeff Bell's blog and Andy Simonds's blog to learn more about this.

    For those of you who have been asking through my blog and email if this functionality (Save As PDF) is going to be exposed in the API the answer is YES! Office PIAs will have methods that expose this functionality. The details and sample code will be available after we ship Beta 2.

  • Erika Ehrli - Adventures with Office Products & Technologies

    Get a sneak peek at Windows Vista and Microsoft Office "12"


    If you want to learn more about Windows Vista and Microsoft Office "12", you can enroll to the ISV Touchdown Briefings for Windows Vista and Microsoft Office "12."

    ISV TouchdownBriefings Microsoft Visual Studio 2005

    The Office "12" preview includes the following:

    • The new UI extensibility model which includes: Application-centric task panes, add-in development, and Ribbon UI extensibility features.
    • The Microsoft Office System open XML File Format, which allows for manipulation of files, creating files without using the individual programs, repurposing content, and merging files with business data.
    • New Investments in Server-Side Components with Office "12": Excel Services, InfoPath Forms Server, and the enhanced capabilities of Share Point Portal Server v3 Office "12" will provide applications with server-based infrastructure for data calculation, common workspaces, and document lifecycle management.


  • Erika Ehrli - Adventures with Office Products & Technologies

    Happy new Office "12" year!


    I have given my blog a long winter vacation and here I am back and quite excited to start writing more news related with Office "12." This is going to be a great year for Microsoft with Windows Vista and Office "12" being shipped; everybody here at Microsoft is starting this year full on energy, enthusiasm, and hard work for all of you.

    I am currently working on the content plan for MSDN and Office "12" and the current wish list that I am building contains a proposed set of technical articles, columns, quickstarts, recommended books, white papers, code samples, screen casts, and product team video interviews (we are working close to Channel 9 to produce great videos that are valuable for Office developers). We are defining specific content items for each of the following products and features:

    • Access "12"
    • Excel "12"
    • InfoPath "12"
    • OneNote "12"
    • Outlook "12"
    • PowerPoint "12"
    • Project "12"
    • Visio "12"
    • Project Server "12"
    • SharePoint and Windows SharePoint Services "v3"
    • Ribbon UI Extensibility
    • Custom Task Panes
    • Managed COM add-ins
    • Office "12" Open XML Formats
    • XML in Office

    and more...

    If you have been reading Office "12" blogs (Brian Jones, Jensen HarrisDavid Gainer, Jeff Bell, and Brendan Busch have extraordinary Office "12"  blogs), you are enrolled to Office "12" Beta program (if you want to register go here), or you are just interested in what's new for developers in Office "12" and SharePoint, and if you have recommendations of articles, code samples, interviews or anything that you think is a must have for Office developers, please let me know. Write your own wish list and feel free to let us know what you and/or your customer would love to see and keep visiting this site to learn more about what's coming for Office "12."

    I wish you all a great 2006 year full of happiness, health, work, and good things.

    Have fun!

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