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

March, 2008

  • Erika Ehrli - Adventures with Office Products & Technologies

    MSDN Office Developer Center - Home Page Update


    Hi there!

    If you haven't noticed already, MSDN is changing the content and look-and-feel of MSDN Developer Centers. This new design pulls a lot of community elements such as OPMLs, RSS feeds for bloggers and content, featured MVPs, and latest submissions to the MSDN Code Gallery and CodePlex.

    The Office Developer Documentation group updates the MSDN Office Developer Center home page every Monday morning and today we went live with the new home page content and look. Take a look!

    What's new in our home page?

    Featured Headlines, How Do I Videos, and Downloads

    We provide three RSS feeds that pull recently published content, news, and announcements (featured headlines), how do I videos (Visual How Tos), and downloads. Our home page provides a control that pulls the three feeds.

    You can subscribe to our feeds as well:

    Programs and Technologies

    Our site brings together many MSDN developer portals and resource centers related to Office Development. We created an image map with quick links to our top developer portals so that you can access them quickly. We also provide links to more developer portals that Office developers visit frequently. We have many more pages and useful resources and it was tough to make them all fit here, so we also provide a link to our site map.

    Featured Technology

    Every week we feature an Office developer product or technology in our home page. We provide links to developer portals, top articles, top downloads, videos, or blogs that are related to an Office developer product or technology. We have tons of resources to rotate here! We are handpicking every week content with top ratings and highest number of page views.

    Latest Office Developer Documentation Group Blog Posts

    The Office Developer Documentation group authors and publishes developer content for many different Office programs and technologies. We have content managers and programmer writers blogging to share their knowledge with you as well as the latest news related to Office and MOSS content publishing.

    You can find the Office Developer Documentation group OPML here:

    Blog Posts from the Community

    It is amazing how many product team members in Office share their knowledge through blogs. We compiled a list of top 40 Office product team blogs and individual bloggers who have a considerable number of RSS subscribers. We will be updating this OPML every month. You can find an OPML pull for all this bloggers on our home page.

    You can also subscribe to the top 40 Office bloggers OPML here:

    Office Projects from CodePlex

    If your team is taking on the challenge of collaborative development with the developer community, CodePlex is the place to go.  On CodePlex you get the benefits of a Team Foundation Server backend to help you manage your team and your project.

    We created a pull that provides quick access to projects uploaded to CodePlex and tagged as "Office."

    Office 2007 Code Gallery Samples

    The MSDN Code Gallery is a great place to put any sample projects you may have to help our developer customers with our platforms.  Here you can create a Wiki-style page to describe your sample and upload supporting documents including screenshots, design documents, or even video files!  In addition, you can host conversations about your samples, sample projects or other resources that you have provided to the community.  You then place your code file on the releases tab to automatically receive a download count and an MS Public License click through.   

    Code Gallery is, at its core, simply a community enabled site where you can share developer enabling information and resources that will be integrated into the MSDN experience.  Code Gallery is a pure storage site with no project management capabilities.


    We created a pull that provides quick access to projects uploaded to Code Gallery and tagged as "Office 2007."

    Featured MVP

    Many talented Office and SharePoint MVPs submit articles to MSDN to share their knowledge with the community. Every week we will rotate our MVPs so you can meet them and learn more about what they do.

    I think this home page update brings together the best of Office developer content published by Microsoft with the best of content crafted by the community. We hope our improved home page becomes a must stop where you can find tons of useful resources that will help you learn much more about Office Development!

  • Erika Ehrli - Adventures with Office Products & Technologies

    Office 2007 + Silverlight


    Latest technologies offered to Web developers, such as ASP.NET AJAX and Microsoft Silverlight, offer UI improvements and amazing interactive experiences for Web-based applications.

    Silverlight is a cross-browser, cross-platform plug-in for delivering the next generation of media experiences and rich interactive applications (RIAs) for the Web, visit

    Fortunately, you can integrate Silverlight to different Office products and technologies.

    Silverlight + SharePoint

    Not sure if you have seen this, but you can integrate Silverlight to SharePoint sites. Silverlight user interface elements can help you integrate rich interactive functionality in SharePoint sites. You can create Web parts, document libraries, picture libraries, navigation, and custom field types that provide Silverlight support on SharePoint sites.

    The Microsoft Silverlight Blueprint for SharePoint provides source code and guidance for developers describing how to use Microsoft Silverlight and Microsoft SharePoint Products and Technologies together in business applications and Internet Web sites. This capability enables a fresh look at data exposed through SharePoint Products and Technologies using the modern graphics capability in Silverlight.

    Here's a very cool video of the Office Visual How-To Center with Silverlight.

    You can find additional info related to the Silverlight BluePrint for SharePoint on MSDN.

    Silverlight + Open XML

    Want to see Word .docx files using a Silverlight viewer? I've seen many cool applications built using the Open XML Formats, but this one is a quite creative one :).

    Check out the TextGlow Silverlight application. The Open XML format is an ECMA-ratified standard, and having a web-based runtime with the power Silverlight makes it possible to accomplish something that I don't think you could do easily with any other technology. TextGlow downloads Word documents asynchronously, opens them as ZIP files, parses them with LINQ-to-XML and then renders them using the WPF-based text and graphics APIs. (via Tim Sneath)

    Silverlight Resources

    Here are few interesting links and resources you can explore if you want to learn more about Silverlight:

  • Erika Ehrli - Adventures with Office Products & Technologies

    My First PodCast: SharePoint Community Interview


    Happy Friday!

    I was humbled when Luis Du Solier (MOSS MVP) asked if I could do an interview for the SharePoint Community in Mexico. We did the interview over the phone and in Spanish. It really was a fun experience and I enjoyed talking a bit of what I do and sharing some pointers to great developer resources for Office, MOSS, and OBA.

    In this interview I talk about:

  • MSDN Office Developer Center:
  • SharePoint Server 2007 Developer Portal:
  • Microsoft Office Interactive Developer Map Version2:
  • OBA:
  • Book: Programming Microsoft® Office Business Applications :
  • You can find a pointer to the interview here and all the details about the interview in Spanish here.

    For those of you who speak Spanish and love MOSS, you should check out the SharePoint Community PodCast feed and make sure you don't miss Luis's blog for the latest news about SharePoint development.

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