You never know what surprises each day will bring to you. Two days ago I didn't know today was the day when we were finally sharing with the world our new learning tool for Office developers: The Microsoft Office Interactive Developer Map.
It all started with a nice drawing in a blackboard. Next it became a poster. Then we thought it was a great idea to build an online version of the poster and find the best available online resource for every single namespace, object, Web service, and feature related to a Office product or technology. Today, after lots of months of work we have a cool Windows Presentation Foundation (WPF) application built using Microsoft Expression. We host the map in MSDN Labs and it is available as a free download.
The Microsoft Office Interactive Developer Map helps developers visualize the different programs, servers, services, and tools that will help you build solutions. It allows you to drill down to each product and technology and learn about new features, objects, Web services, namespaces, and schemas required to extend Microsoft Office and build custom Office Business Applications (OBAs). This map provides links to MSDN portal pages, technical articles, and key pointers to SDK and reference documentation topics.
When you download the map you can see an overview of the Office developer roadmap. You can click a product or technology to drill down and find resources related to the product you selected:
Each time you drill down to a product or technology you will find links to:
Some regions of the map don't have a resource page. For example, all the platform boxes at the bottom and some technologies under the Tools region. However, if you click a platform box, the maps opens a new browser window that displays the best available MS site. For example, if you click IIS, we take you to http://www.iis.net.
The map is a living document that provides links to MSDN Library reference documentation, MSDN portal pages, and RSS feeds that describe how developers can use the 2007 Microsoft Office system and associated tools and technologies to develop solutions that meet their needs.
It stores all links in an XML file that we will update when we publish new content or find better online resources. Once you install it, the map pulls the latest version of the resource file. You can find the map at Start Menu > 2007 Office System Developer Resources > Microsoft Office Interactive Developer Map. Then, each time you launch the application, it looks for updates pulls them from the server when available. No need to reinstall because you are using ClickOnce technology. This application is like a news reader that you can open every now and then to find out what's happening out there.
We think this is a great way to help developers understand the Office development roadmap and learn how Office products and technologies relate to each other. This is a new type of learning tool that can help you find the best available content and save you time doing research.
The goals of the Microsoft Office Interactive Developer Map are to help developers to:
So many people that if I start listing them I would never finish and will probably forget to name someone. Rob Barker and I helped drive this for months, but truth is it was real teamwork done by the Office Developer Documentation Group, the Office Business Application team, the MSDN Labs team, the Office + SharePoint + VSTO product teams, the Office Developer Platform Evangelism team, and Lux Worldwide. This baby has lots of moms and dads.
You can find download links, instructions, contact information, and everything there is to know about the map here: http://msdn2.microsoft.com/en-us/office/bb497969.aspx
We all hope you have fun playing with the map, that you learn a lot more about Office development, and that soon it becomes a new item in your list of favorite online toys.
We'd love to hear what you think.
We have published 54/101 Office Visual How-tos!
We started with some topics related to client development and now we are starting to publish the WSS and MOSS topics. If you are getting started with MOSS and WSS 3.0, I strongly recommend that you take a look at the following series of VHTs:
VHTs include code sample in VB.NET and C# + a video + an overview of the topic + links to related resources and blogs.
I compiled a list of all our published VHTs (including client development and VSTO) and I bolded the ones related to MOSS and WSS 3.0.
Visual How to: Creating Calculated Columns in Excel 2007
Tuesday, May 15, 2007
Visual How to: Enabling Users to Act on LOB Data with Business Data Catalog Actions in SharePoint Server 2007
Visual How To: Changing the Type of a Word 2007 Content Control
Visual How to: Hiding Tabs on the Office Fluent Ribbon Using a Toggle Button
Tuesday, May 08, 2007
Visual How to: Opening a Browser from a Button on the 2007 Office Fluent Ribbon
Visual How To: Reading Entries from the Audit Log in Windows SharePoint Services 3.0
Visual How To: Creating a Solution Package in Windows SharePoint Services 3.0
Visual How To: Running Commands with Elevated Privileges in Windows SharePoint Services 3.0
Visual How To: Displaying Data by Using the SPGridView Control in Windows SharePoint Services 3.0
Visual How To: Creating a Visual Studio Project for in Windows SharePoint Services 3.0
Visual How to: Pulling CRM Data into InfoPath 2007 Browser Forms
Tuesday, May 01, 2007
Visual How To: Creating a Feature for an Entry Control Block Item in Windows SharePoint Services 3.0
Visual How To: Creating a Feature for the Site Actions Menu in Windows SharePoint Services 3.0
Visual How To: Activating Auditing Programmatically for a Site Collection in Windows SharePoint Services 3.0
Visual How To: Activating Auditing Programmatically for a Single Document Library in Windows SharePoint Services 3.0
Visual How To: Creating an Application Page in Windows SharePoint Services 3.0
Visual How To: Reading ListID and ItemID from an Application Page in Windows SharePoint Services 3.0
Visual How To: Locking a Word 2007 Content Control
Visual How To: Automating PowerPoint 2007 Using a Custom Task Pane
Harry Miller, Kathleen McGrath, McLean Schofield
Visual How to: Synchronizing Two Combo Boxes on Forms Using Access 2007
Tuesday, April 24, 2007
Visual How to: Displaying Custom Dialog Boxes for Custom Delete Actions in Access 2007
Visual How to: Adding Chart Elements to Excel 2007 Charts
Visual How to: Setting Conditional Formatting in Excel 2007
Visual How to: Saving Word 2007 Documents to PDF and XPS Formats
Visual How To: Creating Content Sources to Crawl Business Data in SharePoint Server 2007 Enterprise Search
Visual How-to: Creating a Custom Search Page and Tabs in the Search Center of SharePoint Server 2007 Enterprise Search
Visual How to: Using Business Data Catalog Actions to Pass Parameters to InfoPath 2007 Browser Forms
Visual How To: Filtering the Building Block List in a Word 2007 Content Control
Visual How To: Inserting a Word 2007 Content Control into a Building Block
Visual How to: Saving Excel 2007 Workbooks Programmatically in PDF File Format and XPS File Format
Tuesday, April 17, 2007
Visual How to: Creating Managed-Code UDFs for Excel Services
Visual How To: Creating and Exposing Search Scopes in SharePoint Server 2007 Enterprise Search
Visual How to: Creating and Exposing Managed Properties in the Advanced Search Page of SharePoint Server Enterprise Search
Visual How to: Refining Business Data Catalog Search With Scopes
Visual How to: Retrieving Excel 2007 Workbooks or Snapshots Using Office SharePoint Server 2007 Excel Services
Siew Moi Khor, Danny Khen, Joel Krist (Akona Systems)
Tuesday, April 10, 2007
Visual How to: Adding Custom Buttons to the 2007 Office Fluent Ribbon
Visual How to: Adding Custom Check Boxes to the 2007 Office Fluent Ribbon
Visual How to: Creating Business Data Catalog Entities in SharePoint Server 2007
Visual How to: Filtering one Business Data Catalog List from Another by Using Associations in SharePoint Server 2007
Visual How to: Creating a Custom Building Block Gallery
Visual How to: Customizing the Office Fluent Ribbon in Visual Studio 2005 Tools for Office Second Edition
Visual How to: Creating Basic Column Charts in Excel 2007
Tuesday, April 03, 2007
Visual How to: Adding Custom Combo Boxes to the 2007 Office Fluent Ribbon
Visual How to: Adding DialogLauncher Controls to the 2007 Office Fluent Ribbon
Visual How to: Automating a Word 2007 Document Using Visual Studio 2005 Tools for Office SE
Kathleen McGrath, Harry Miller, McLean Schofield
Visual How to: Adding Tabs and Controls to the Ribbon in Access 2007
Wednesday, March 28, 2007
Visual How to: Programmatically Customizing the 2007 Office Fluent User Interface
Wednesday, March 21, 2007
Visual How to: Office Open XML Formats: Retrieving Lists of PowerPoint 2007 Slides
Thursday, March 15, 2007
Visual How to: Office Open XML Formats: Replacing PowerPoint 2007 Slide Images
Visual How to: Office Open XML Formats: Setting Custom Word 2007 Document Properties
Wednesday, March 14, 2007
Visual How to: Office Open XML Formats: Retrieving Excel 2007 Cell Values
Thursday, March 08, 2007
Visual How to: Use Office Open XML File Formats to Retrieve a List of Excel 2007 Worksheets
Visual How To: Building Document Templates in Word 2007 Using Content Controls
Erika Ehrli; Brian Jones; Lisa Wollin
Monday, January 29, 2007
Visual How To: Building Word 2007 Documents Using Open Office XML File Formats
Erika Ehrli Cabral; Brian Jones
You can find a complete list of VHTs and Office "How Do I…" articles at the Office Developer How To Center. We will publish at least 50 more VHTs before the end of July.
The Visual How-tos just keep getting out there like popcorn. This time we published some more from Ken Getz, Joel Krist, and Ted Pattison.
New VHTs include an interesting combination of Office products and technologies:
VHTs published in the last couple of weeks…
Visual How to: Writing a Filter Consumer Web Part for Windows SharePoint Services 3.0 using Excel Services
Wednesday, May 30, 2007
Visual How to: Writing a Filter Provider Web Part for Windows SharePoint Services 3.0
Visual How to: Saving Ranges as Custom Building Blocks in Word 2007 Documents
Visual How to: Using Visual Studio 2005 Tools for Office SE to Create Add-Ins with Custom Task Panes in PowerPoint 2007
Visual How To: Using Visual Studio 2005 Tools for Office SE to Create PowerPoint Add-Ins
Visual How To: Searching the Outlook 2007 Inbox for Items with Subjects Containing Specific Words
Visual How To: Office Open XML Formats: Inserting Values into Excel 2007 Cells
Visual How to: Creating User Prompts in Access 2007
Tuesday, May 22, 2007
Visual How to: Running Commands When Inserting a Building Block in Word 2007
Visual How To: Configuring IntelliSense with CAML files when developing for Windows SharePoint Services 3.0
Shame on me for not blogging in such a long time! I just got busy with some Visual How-to articles and some other content that we are about to release.
Anyway, today I want to talk about the Office 2007 Object Model Maps that the Office Developer Documentation (aka Office Dev Docs) group published on MSDN. In the past we published the Office developer references and you had to use the MSDN Library table of contents or search to find reference documentation for an object. Office object models are huge so it's always useful to look at object model maps. Lisa Wollin and Office Dev Docs built a tool to read the different Office COM DLLs and generate a set of diagrams that allow you to drill-down to reference topics. The maps also highlight new objects and collections added to the different Office 2007 object models as compared to Microsoft Office 2003.
You can find the different Office 2007 OM maps at the MSDN TOC location: Office Solutions Development > 2007 Microsoft Office System> app > app Developer Reference > app Object Model Reference > app Object Model Apps
For instance, in Word, it's at:
The Office Dev Docs group also compiled a summary of the changes in the Office 2007 object models as compared to Office 2003, Office XP, Office 2000, and Office 97. These topics can help you understand compatibility challenges for VBA and Add-In applications between the different versions of Office. This information can be found at the MSDN TOC location: Office Solutions Development > 2007 Microsoft Office System> app > app Developer Reference > What's new > Object Model Changes Since <version>.
For instance, in Outlook, it's at:
Those topics can also be found in-the-box, at the TOC location <app> Developer Reference > What's new > Object Model Changes Since <version>
Microsoft Office Live is a set of Web-based services for small businesses to manage their business online. It consists of a public facing Web site and private Web site that employees can use to collaborate and manage the business. These sites can be customized by developers.
The following documentation can help you get started with Office Live:
If you are interested in training for Office Live, you should not miss the Office Live Review events. Don Campbell has a great post where he shares all the details.
I find myself writing wish lists about things that I want to blog about and this one just needed to get out there now.
I know some of you might be interested in new books about Office 2007 and I have a list of MOSS, WSS, VSTO, and Office books that I would like to recommend. Almost all are targeted for developers, but I included some books that may help you solve business problems even when they don't have code samples.
2007 Microsoft Office System Books
2007 Microsoft Office System Inside Out by John Pierce (Editor)
Advanced Microsoft Office Documents 2007 Edition Inside Out by Stephanie Krieger (Author)
Charts and Graphs for Microsoft(R) Office Excel 2007 (Business Solutions) by Bill Jelen (Author)
Designing Forms for Microsoft Office InfoPath and Forms Services 2007 (Microsoft .NET Development Series) by Scott Roberts (Author), Hagen Green (Author)
Developer's Guide to the Windows SharePoint Services v3 Platform (Charles River Media Programming) by Todd C. Bleeker (Author)
Essential SharePoint 2007 by Scott Jamison (Author), et al.
Essential Windows Workflow Foundation (Microsoft .NET Development Series) by Dharma Shukla (Author), Bob Schmidt (Author)
Formulas and Functions with Microsoft Office Excel 2007 (Business Solutions) by Paul McFedries (Author)
Inside Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007 by P. Tisseghem (Author)
Microsoft Office Excel 2007 Inside Out by Mark Dodge (Author), Craig Stinson (Author)
Microsoft Office Word 2007 On Demand by Steve Johnson (Author), Perspection Inc. (Author)
Microsoft SharePoint 2007 Unleashed by Michael Noel (Author), Colin Spence (Author)
Microsoft SharePoint: Building Office 2007 Solutions in C# 2005 (Expert's Voice in Sharepoint) by Scot P. Hillier (Author)
Microsoft(R) SharePoint(R) 2007 Development Unleashed by Kevin Hoffman (Author), Robert Foster (Author)
Programming Applications for Microsoft Office Outlook 2007 by Randy Byrne (Author), Ryan Gregg (Author)
Real World SharePoint 2007: Indispensable Experiences From 16 MOSS and WSS MVPs by Robert Bogue (Author), et al.
VSTO for Mere Mortals(TM): A VBA Developer's Guide to Microsoft Office Development Using Visual Studio 2005 Tools for Office (For Mere Mortals) by Kathleen McGrath (Author), Paul Stubbs (Author)
Visual Studio Tools for Office: Using Visual Basic 2005 with Excel, Word, Outlook, and InfoPath (Microsoft .Net Development Series) by Eric Carter (Author), Eric Lippert (Author)
Workflow in the 2007 Microsoft Office System by David Mann (Author)
If you are interested in books for IT professionals + Home & Office users from MS Press, you can find a good compilation at The 2007 Microsoft Office System - Learning Portal.
I am sure there are more than 19 books for Office developers, so ping me if you know about some other great books. We'll keep the list growing!