Patrick Tisseghem beat me to it (you are so fast man), but I thought posting three blog entries in the same day was crazy.
Today I will blog about a project that has kept us busy for a while: "The Office Visual How Tos."
We know that the internet has changed the way in which developers learn about new products, features, tools and technologies. People are learning more about Office development thanks to blogs and videos. Office development blogs are quite active and inviting for developers trying to reduce their learning curve for new enhancements added to the 2007 Microsoft Office system. Readers love short articles (1 – 3 pages) with code samples that show how to do discrete tasks such as Using Parameters In Dashboards, What About Workflow and ASPX Forms?, How To Load Win32 dlls Dynamically In VBA and the list keeps going.
On the other hand, we know videos are an excellent resource for evangelizing new technologies. Developers love to see things in action. We published some developer screencasts and the Office Developer Conference videos after Beta 2 and we got an amazing response. People enjoy this kind of content, and I don't know if you are, but I am a very visual person. Sometimes a demo says more than 10,000 words, specially if you are fast learner and have few time to explore new technologies.
So we built a v-team and created a new type of MSDN article and we named it "Visual How To."
A "Visual How To" is a new content type that combines some of the best elements of blogs, video, and technical articles by providing a brief (1-3 page) page of content. The idea is that developers have 2 minutes, 5 minutes, or 15 minutes to spend on a task. Developers can look at the code sample on the page (2 minutes), view the video (5 minutes), and explore the additional resources and other added benefits. We think this will help developers learn how to work with specific new features of different 2007 Microsoft Office system programs, servers, services, tools and technologies by providing different flavors of content to fit your learning style.
A Visual How To article includes four basic components:
Finally, Visual How Tos provide MSDN Wiki support, so you can add links to related resources or comments to these articles.
We built the first two based on most common How Do I…in Word 2007 questions and you can find them here:
I know two articles is not enough but this is only the beginning. The good news is that we have a list of dozens and dozens of this articles that we plan to build in the next couple of months. Our list includes How Do I articles about Office Open XML Formats, Word, PowerPOint, Excel, Excel Services, BDC, Search, Workflow, Project Server, Outlook, InfoPath, Access and more. Of course, I'll let you know when we start publishing the next set of Visual How Tos.
You will be able to find them at the Office Developer How To Center or at the MSDN Library listed as Visual How Tos. Also, the Office Developer How To Center is the new section of the site where we will start listing all Office 2007 How tos, even when they are not Visual How Tos.
Let us know if you like the concept and if you have suggestions for must-have Office Visual How Tos. We are really excited about this, but you have the last word!
It all started with a few bloggers a little before Beta 2. People started blogging about the Ribbon, the cool ASP.NET 2.0 platform and WSS 3.0, Excel Services, the Office Open XML File Formats and InfoPath Forms Services. Lots of great features to build solutions using Office as a platform!
Office development blogs are quite active and inviting for developers trying to learn what's new with the Microsoft Office system and diving more into specific products and technologies. When all this started, I added RSS feeds every week to Outlook until it became just a joke to have so many bloggers added to my RSS feed. There's hundreds if not thousands of people blogging about Office development and every day new blogs are born. I built a new list of Office development bloggers and a few days before launch, my list adds up to 70!
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A discussion of what's new in Access 2007
Andrew May's WebLog
Andy Simonds Blog
Arpan Shah's Blog
Bill Morein's Weblog
Brian Jones: Open XML Formats
Building Office Business Applications
Chris Castillo's WebLog
Chris Pratley's OneNote Blog
Chris's unofficial Office Live developer blog
Clint's Access blog
Coding for Office Small Business Accounting
Cum Grano Salis
Evil Doctor PorkChop
Fabulous Adventures In Coding
InfoPath Team Blog
Jan Tielens' Bloggings
Jensen Harris: An Office User Interface Blog
Joe Friend: Microsoft Office Word
John R. Durant's WebLog
Kevin Boske - Office Development
Larry's Project Dev Blog
Microsoft Excel 2007 (nee Excel 12)
Microsoft Office PowerPoint
Microsoft Office Project 2007
Microsoft SharePoint Products and Technologies Team Blog
Microsoft Small Business Applications
Microsoft Visual Studio Tools for the Microsoft Office System
Microsoft Visual Studio Tools for the Microsoft Office System, Version 2003
Murray Sargent: Math in Office
Office SharePoint Document Services (ECM)
On Microsoft Publisher and more
Owen Braun: OneNote 12
Pashman's InfoPath Goldmine
Patrick Smith: Office Programmability
Patrick Tisseghem's Blog [MVP SharePoint]
Project Server 201
Rob Mauceri's FrontPage Blog
Ryan's Look at Outlook Programmability
search.subscribe.share in outlook 2007
SGriffin's [MSFT] WebLog
SharePoint Content and Resources
SharePoint Products and Technologies - Pointing to Share the Knowledge
Tasks and Time Management in Outlook
The Microsoft Office Word Team's Blog
The wonder that is the Microsoft Office system
Third Of Five - just another voice in the Collective
Visio 12 - Eric Rockey
Westin's Technical Log
Windows Sharepoint Services etc.
Wouter van Vugt
When I started posting lists of bloggers someone suggested that I should build an OPML list of Office Development Bloggers, so I did. You can download the OPML file here:
You can use Outlook, Windows Live or other OPML readers to open this file and add your favorite RSS feeds.
MSDN blogs: pending to add!
How could I leave them out: Kathleen McGrath, Paul Stubbs, and the new Microsoft SharePoint Designer Team Blog
Pranav's blog: You should check this one out, I hate me for not finding Pranav's blog before: This blog is all about Office Automation, VSTO, InfoPath and other programming stuff and the thing i believe on is "Real Stuff is Out Of The Box."
Make sure you check out Rob Barker's: Where in the "OBA" am I? and his first post.
I am sure there's more blogs out there that I didn't list here. If you have an Office development blog or know of great bloggers that talk about VSTO, SharePoint, WSS or anything else related with Office, please let me know so we add them to the list. You don't need to have an MSDN or TechNet blog, you only need to be passionate about development with Office products and technologies. The list keeps growing every day.
Community blogs: pending to add!
Ricardo MagalhÃ£es - http://techtalkpt.wordpress.com
Portuguese Community of MOSS and WSS - http://mosspt.officeisp.net
Portal Integration: http://blogs.infosupport.com/porint
Adding Visio Guy: http://visguy.com/
It's our lucky day! This was supposed to happen later this week, but some of the launch surprises arrived ahead of time.
I am glad to announce that the following developer references are now live on MSDN:
By the end of this week we will publish the following ones:
We will publish the last two in the subsequent weeks:
I will be updating this blog entry as soon as we take them live.
Hey! This is a happy day for Microsoft J. Today we start celebrating the consumer release of Windows Vista and the 2007 Microsoft Office system. Bill Gates and Steve Ballmer will kickoff a celebration in New York. Details for the WebCast here:
Bill Gates Celebrates Worldwide General Availability of Windows Vista and the 2007 Microsoft Office System
January 29, 2007 - 1:45 p.m. PST / 4:45 p.m. EST
From Times Square in New York City, join Microsoft Chairman Bill Gates for a live webcast celebrating the worldwide launch of Windows Vista and the 2007 Microsoft Office System. The celebration pays tribute to the millions of Microsoft customers, partners and product testers around the world who provided input and feedback on these products -- helping Microsoft transform the way people communicate, create and share content, and access information and entertainment in the new digital age.
Last November we announced the business launch of Windows Vista, the 2007 Office system, and Exchange Server 2007 and this the happy week when we announce the consumer launch. Starting tomorrow you will be able to buy your copy of Windows Vista and the 2007 Microsoft Office system in stores. You can find pricing details for Windows Vista editions here and for Office editions here.
You can find great pointers to developer resources for Windows Vista and Office at the MSDN Developer Resources Center.
Starting today we will start publishing more developer documentation for Office 2007, so stay close to the MSDN Office Developer Center.
Just a little follow-up blog entry to let you know that the following developer references are now live on MSDN!
This is so exciting!
Happy New Year 2007!
I am little late to the party (again) and in fact this is my first blog entry of the year. Things are quite busy here in Office-land. We are getting ready for launch and finalizing details on new content that we will continue to publish this year. As always, we have more surprises for you.
Some I can't tell now, but here's two I can disclose now.
We will publish finally the Developer Reference documentation and object model diagrams for the following programs:
You will be able to find them inside the Office Solutions Development node of the MSDN2 library. I will let you know when they go live.
Starting this month, Frank Rice and I will start a new Office Talk column series where we will be discussing lots of tips and tricks to develop applications with different Office products and technologies. Frank is an Office expert and an excellent programmer writer, so I am very happy to work with him on a new column series. We hope we can help answer some of the most frequently asked questions we have seen in the newsgroups.
In some more weeks I will be able to talk about the other surprises.
I also want to list some cool things posted recently in blogs and MSDN you should not miss:
The book VSTO for Mere Mortals from Kathleen McGrath and Paul Stubbs is available for customers now. If your company has tons of VBA applications, this book is the best guide ever. In my own words, "Kathleen and Paul are great technical evangelists who enjoy sharing their knowledge and passion for VSTO. With this book, VBA developers have access to a great guide that will help them understand essential concepts of managed code and best practices to migrate VBA solutions to Visual Basic 2005 and Visual Studio 2005 Tools for Office. This book goes beyond an introduction to VSTO and helps you evolve your current Office development knowledge and dive into the new world of VSTO 2005 SE and the 2007 Microsoft Office system."
Kathleen is creating a new video screencasts series that demonstrates Office development concepts as described in the book. You should visit Kathleen's blog.
Check out this great post by Frank Rice where he discusses how to work with AutoFilters and sorting from the UI and programmatically.
Have you seen the new Office Live screencast series posted by Don Campbell? He did an awesome job putting these together. View these screencasts to get ideas for exciting solutions you can develop for Office Live customers. You can find more about Office Live here.
If you have a sense of humor (I do) and want to have some fun, please watch this little comedy about Clippy. I think it's hilarious and yes, those were the days… so glad Office help has evolved J.