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

February, 2010

  • Erika Ehrli - Adventures with Office Products & Technologies

    MSDN Office and SharePoint in Facebook and Twitter


    Our social media community is growing and we want to provide better support and more features to our followers. We are moving from a Facebook Group to a Facebook Fan Page.

    This will allow us to provide more frequent updates including news to developer content released weekly.

    Please follow us and become a fan of MSDN Office and SharePoint Developer Centers in Facebook.

     We'll be closing down the group, so please become a fan of our page and tell your friends.

    You can also find us in Twitter here:

  • Erika Ehrli - Adventures with Office Products & Technologies

    Office and SharePoint 2010 Developer: RSS Feeds


    The following RSS feeds are now live with headlines from July 1, 2009 to February 19, 2010. The feeds include headlines for all of the Office and SharePoint Getting Started content, as well as the Channel 9 learning courses for SharePoint and Office.

     dd183105.rss_button(en-us,MSDN.10)[2]MSDN: Microsoft Office Developer Center

     dd183105.rss_button(en-us,MSDN.10)[2]MSDN: Microsoft Office 2010

     dd183105.rss_button(en-us,MSDN.10)[2]MSDN Office: Community Submitted Content

     dd183105.rss_button(en-us,MSDN.10)[2]MSDN: Microsoft Office Developer Center - Video

     dd183105.rss_button(en-us,MSDN.10)[2]MSDN: Microsoft SharePoint Developer Portal

     dd183105.rss_button(en-us,MSDN.10)[2]MSDN: Microsoft SharePoint 2010

    And here’s a monthly recap of MSDN Office and SharePoint content published, with a spike in October and November:


    The feeds will be dynamically pulled into multiple MSDN Developer Centers, as well as serve as the baseline for our Twitter and Facebook feeds.

    Subscribe to this feeds and keep up with all the latest developer news about Office and SharePoint 2010.

  • Erika Ehrli - Adventures with Office Products & Technologies

    Extending the Outlook Social Connector


    I am one of those persons who has 25 apps running at the same time. I always have multiple instances of Explorer, VS, Office docs, and other apps running at all times. The one app I never close and I frequently visit is Outlook.

    One of the neat new additions to Outlook 2010 is the the Outlook Social Connector (OSC). The Microsoft Outlook Social Connector is an add-in that surfaces social network data including friends, profiles, activities, and status information from social networks in Microsoft Outlook.

    I really like the idea of bringing a lot of updates from multiple social networks sites where I have multiple personal and MSDN Office accounts to the one app where I spend a great deal of my day: Outlook.

    Microsoft announced yesterday the availability of the Microsoft Outlook Social Connector (OSC) Beta (February Update) and a refresh about partnering with LinkedIn, Facebook, and MySpace.

    You can download the latest version of the Outlook Social Connector from the Microsoft Download Center.  Please be sure to read the detailed instructions and if necessary remove the earlier Outlook Social Connector Beta.  (More details are here)

    What’s more cool about the Outlook Social Connector is that you can extend it. In addition to LinkedIn, Facebook, and Myspace providers, you’ll also be able to write your own.

    This diagram shows the Outlook Social Connector provider architecture:


    If you are a developer and you are interested in extending the Outlook Social Connector, I recommend that you check this blogs, articles, and resources:

    1. MSDN article: Developing an Outlook Social Connector Provider: This article discusses the interfaces that a Microsoft Outlook Social Connector provider (OSC provider) must implement. The OSC provider extensibility interfaces provide a way for disparate social networks to show friend, activity, and relationship information in Outlook. An OSC provider component must implement the ISocialProvider, ISocialSession, ISocialProfile, and ISocialPerson interfaces. These interfaces expose methods and properties that allow the OSC to communicate with a social network independently of the APIs provided by the social network.
    2. Download sample code: ODC Provider Templates: Outlook Sample: Outlook Social Connector Provider: This project contains a sample Outlook Social Connector provider and several provider templates (in C++, C#, and Visual Basic) for Microsoft Outlook 2010 Beta, Microsoft Office Outlook 2007, and Microsoft Office Outlook 2003.
    3. Blog: Angela Chu-Hatoun (WONG) has a great blog post oriented not so much for the end user but for the developer who might want to develop an OSC provider for a social network site.
    4. Blog: Outlook Team blog: Developing a provider for the Outlook Social Connector

    Additionally, as mentioned by Stephen Griffin, later on the Outlook team will be shipping the OSC as an add-in for Outlook 2007 and 2003, so you can get all that social goodness even if you’re not yet on Outlook 2010!

  • Erika Ehrli - Adventures with Office Products & Technologies

    New: Office Developer Atlas


    The Office Product Marketing group has released a new Silverlight-based training set to introduce you to developer investments in 2010 including VBA, Fluent UI, and the Office Backstage.

    The app was released yesterday to MSDN and you can access it from this link:

    I’ll update this post with a link to an MSDN Dev Center landing page with more info as soon as it’s live.

    In the meantime, here’s more info cross-posted from John Durant’s blog:

    The Office Developer Atlas interactive training tool (built using Silverlight technology) is a great way for you to come up to speed on what developing productivity solutions with Office is all about. We've called it an atlas because it's designed to give you a series of training segments that help you orient yourself in the world of Office development.


    The first three segments that we have included in the initial release of Office Developer Atlas include:

    1) Making users instantly productive through VBA

    2) The Microsoft Office Backstage view

    3) The Microsoft Office Fluent UI (Ribbon)

    In each section, you'll find a short explanatory video, an example that demonstrates the kinds of solutions you can build with the targeted technology, and links to rich content on how to convert your awareness to technical skill. Here are a couple more screenshots:



    We'll be adding more modules to the training environment, and all you need is a Web browser to start using it. Enjoy, and please send your feedback and ideas for more training modules.

  • Erika Ehrli - Adventures with Office Products & Technologies

    Office 2010 and SharePoint 2010 Blogs of Notice <OPML/>


    Blogs are super fun! Many product teams for Office and SharePoint are blogging about new features added to the 2010 release.

    Here’s some blogs I recommend following:

    <?xml version="1.0" ?>
    <opml version="1.0">
    <title>Office 2010 and SharePoint 2010 - Microsoft Blogs</title>
    <outline text="Microsoft Office 2010 Engineering" type="rss" xmlUrl="" />
    outline text="The Office Blog" type="rss" xmlUrl="" />
    outline text="Access Team Blog" type="rss" xmlUrl="" />
    outline text="Excel Team Blog" type="rss" xmlUrl="" />
    outline text="Excel Services" type="rss" xmlUrl="" />
    outline text="Outlook Team Blog" type="rss" xmlUrl="" />
    outline text="Ryan's Look at Outlook Programmability" type="rss" xmlUrl="" />
    outline text="Exchange API" type="rss" xmlUrl="" />
    outline text="Word Team Blog" type="rss" xmlUrl="" />
    outline text="InfoPath Team Blog" type="rss" xmlUrl="" />
    outline text="Project Team Blog" type="rss" xmlUrl="" />
    outline text="Project Programmability" type="rss" xmlUrl="" />
    outline text="PowerPoint Team Blog" type="rss" xmlUrl="" />
    outline text="Visio Team Blog" type="rss" xmlUrl="" />
    outline text="PerformancePoint Team Blog" type="rss" xmlUrl="" />
    outline text="BCS Team Blog" type="rss" xmlUrl="" />
    outline text="Office Client Developer Content and Resources" type="rss" xmlUrl="" />
    outline text="Brian Jones and Zeyad Rajabi: Office Solutions" type="rss" xmlUrl="" />
    outline text="John R. Durant's: Office Development" type="rss" xmlUrl="" />
    outline text="Gray Knowlton: Office Development" type="rss" xmlUrl="" />
    outline text="Doug Mahugh: Office Interoperability" type="rss" xmlUrl="" />
    outline text="Eric White: Open XML" type="rss" xmlUrl="" />
    outline text="Frank Rice: Fluent UI, Backstage, and Open XML" type="rss" xmlUrl="" />
    outline text="SharePoint Team Blog" type="rss" xmlUrl="" />
    outline text="Randall Isenhour: SharePoint Content and Resources" type="rss" xmlUrl="" />
    outline text="Andrew May: Discussion from a Documentation Point of View" type="rss" xmlUrl="" />
    outline text="SharePoint Developer Documentation Team Blog" type="rss" xmlUrl="" />
    outline text="Arpan Shaw" type="rss" xmlUrl="" />
    outline text="Paul Andrew: SharePoint Development" type="rss" xmlUrl="" />
    outline text="Paul Stubbs: OBA, SharePoint, and Channel 9" type="rss" xmlUrl="" />
    outline text="Steve Fox: OBA" type="rss" xmlUrl="" />
    outline text="Donovan Follette: OBA, Office, and Channel 9" type="rss" xmlUrl="" />
    outline text="Erika Ehrli: MSDN, Office and SharePoint Development" type="rss" xmlUrl="" />
    outline text="Office Global Experience" type="rss" xmlUrl="" />

    ee402630.opml_trans(en-us,MSDN.10)[1] Download this OPML

    You can easily download and import this OPML to Outlook 2007 or Outlook 2010:




    dd183105.rss_button(en-us,MSDN.10)[2] Also, if you are interested, here’s a previous post with pointers to RSS feeds for Office and SharePoint developers.

  • Erika Ehrli - Adventures with Office Products & Technologies

    What’s New for Developers in Office 2010 and SharePoint 2010?


    The upcoming release of Office and SharePoint offers a wealth of interesting new scenarios and solutions that can be built thanks to new features and improvements added to different Office and SharePoint products and technologies. There’s more possibilities to integrate Office and SharePoint to build rich client-server solutions using tools such as Visual Studio 2010, SharePoint Designer 2010, InfoPath 2010, and Access 2010.

    Some of you already had an opportunity to play with the Betas and write code, read lots of blogs, twitter feeds, and some MSDN articles and videos. Some others are eager to get the final release to start building solutions and are already starting to ramp-up. In either case, I realize there’s a lot of information out there already and it’s always helpful to get some advice on where to start.

    I find it fascinating to learn new technologies, and I truly enjoy working on training content and article plans. For those eager to learn as well, I’ll take you along with me on a joyride of learning what’s new for developers on Office 2010 and SharePoint 2010.

    I’ve spent the last months working in content plans for upcoming MSDN articles, Visual How-tos, and MSDN site projects. Happily, there’s already plenty articles, code samples, and videos on our publishing pipe to cover the most interesting features and scenarios. We started releasing some content in October after the SPC 2009 and in November for Beta. We have much more to come in the following months and it’s a great time to catch-up on blogging as there’s so much to share in the following months. This are exciting times for Office and SharePoint developers!

    With this blog post, I am starting a series of posts that will guide you through the most interesting 2010 features and resources available for developers. I’ll be tagging this series as learn2010.

    I’ll start by introducing the top places/content I recommend if you want to learn more about Office 2010 and SharePoint 2010 development.

     Developing with Office 2010

    Videos: The 5-10+ min intros

    Key Pillars of Office 2010 Development, the 3 + hours intro to Office 2010 development

    The links below provide videos, downloads, and technical articles specific to each pillar.

    Web sites and training content for developers

    Developing with SharePoint 2010

    Videos: The 5-10+ min intros

    Key Pillars of SharePoint 2010 Development, the 3 + hours intro to SharePoint 2010 development

    The links below provide videos, downloads, and hands-on labs specific to each pillar.

  • Getting Started: Building Web Parts in SharePoint 2010
  • What Developers Need to Know About SharePoint 2010
  • Building Blocks for Web Part Development in SharePoint 2010
  • Accessing SharePoint 2010 Data and Objects with Server-Side APIs
  • Accessing SharePoint 2010 Data and Objects with Client-Side APIs
  • Accessing External Data with Business Connectivity Services in SharePoint 2010
  • Developing Business Processes with SharePoint 2010 Workflows
  • Creating Silverlight User Interfaces for SharePoint 2010 Solutions
  • Sandboxed Solutions for Web Parts in SharePoint 2010
  • Creating Dialog Boxes and Ribbon Controls for SharePoint 2010

    Web sites and training content for developers

  • MSDN SharePoint Developer Center
  • SharePoint 2010 (Beta) Home Page
  • SharePoint 2010 Upgrade Resource Center
  • SharePoint 2010 Community
  • SharePoint 2010 Developer Workshop

    While generic, the links above can help you understand the big picture. As we approach the launch, I will be drilling-down into more detailed info about developing solutions using specific features pertaining to key pillars of Office 2010 and SharePoint 2010 development. I’ll try and share more videos, links to articles, pointers to interesting blog posts, and code samples for each piece so you can continue to learn more about features that you find particularly interesting.

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