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

  • Erika Ehrli - Adventures with Office Products & Technologies

    Compliance Features in the 2007 Microsoft Office System

    • 4 Comments

    I have seen some great articles about the 2007 Microsoft Office System, but if you are an architect or solution developer, this is one you don't want to miss: Compliance Features in the 2007 Microsoft Office System. This paper talks about business opportunities and technical aspects of extending the 2007 Microsoft Office system features to facilitate compliance.

    Joanna Bichsel wrote this paper. She is a subject matter expert and she is doing an excellent job to help customers understand how to build Office Business Applications. She runs demos in developer conferences and her blog is a must stop. She will be posting a lot of short walkthroughs for developers and architects.

    I loved this paper piece of art, and the two things I liked the most are:

    1. This paper has a wonderful diagram that will help you understand which programming languages, existing technologies and communication protocols you can use to extend and connect different 2007 Microsoft Office system programs, servers, services and tools. As I said before, sometimes a picture says more than a thousand words.


    2. It's the best document (I have read) about what's new for developers in the 2007 Microsoft Office system. This is THE paper you have to read if you are trying to understand new features that shipped with the 2007 Microsoft Office System and how to build solutions using them. This paper provides an overview of what you can do using: Workflow, Auditing, Digital Signatures, Content Types, Routings, Enterprise Search, Document Inspector, Excel Services, the new Office XML File Formats and more. It's focused on how to use new features for compliance, but it still provides a great overview.

    I know there are tons of papers, documentation, webcasts, and technical articles. But this is one you should definitely send to the printer and enjoy.

    ~Erika

  • Erika Ehrli - Adventures with Office Products & Technologies

    2007 Microsoft Office System - Top Ten List of Resources for Developers and Architects

    • 15 Comments

    Steve Ballmer announced yesterday the business availability of Vista, Office and Exchange. This means that businesses can deploy and start developing solutions that integrate these three products. You can read the executive e-mail here and you can watch the Webcast here. In case you are wondering, the consumer launch is scheduled for 1/31/2007. Microsoft also launched the Vista + Office PowerTogether site.

    So you have the products and it's always useful to find information that can help you get started. I compiled my top ten 14 list of resources for architects and solution developers that plan to start building solutions using the 2007 Microsoft Office system (including SharePoint of course) and VSTO.

     

    1. MSDN Office Developer Center: Since Beta 2, we have published 63 technical articles, 119 downloads (including videos), 5 white papers and 21 updates to SDKs. This a great place to hunt for developer content related to Office, SharePoint and VSTO resources. This month we published 24 content items and we update the portal every week. You can subscribe to our RSS feed here.
    2. Product and Technologies Portals: The MSDN Office Developer Center has product portals for Office programs, servers, services, tools and technologies that have a developer story. We update and add new content to the site each time we publish a related content item. So this is a good place to find code samples, videos, technical articles, channel 9 interviews, downloads, bloggers, webcasts, and virtual labs related to specific technologies.
    3. 2007 Microsoft Office System for Architects: This portal page is part of the MSDN Solution Architecture Center and provides a list of resources that are of interest for architects. Among other things, you can find information about Office Business Applications.
    4. MSDN Webcasts - The Master Office Application Development: This webcast series drills down to product features and contains demos that show how to develop solutions with different Office products and technologies. They combine detailed theory with cool demos.
    5. MSDN Virtual Labs: If you want to get your hands-on some code, this is a great place to start with. You can download the lab manuals and keep them for further reference. You can subscribe to the Office Virtual labs RSS feed here.
    6. Channel 9 Office Interviews: The Channel 9 team has defined a new level of communication between Microsoft and developers and one of the most popular content items offered on this space are video interviews. The interesting thing about these videos is that they allow us to see the human being behind the technology and learn more about the possibilities offered by a product or feature. The Channel 9 team continues to run more interviews and it's always fun to watch them.
    7. Office Developer Screencasts: If you have 10 minutes or less and you are interested in watching a demo, this is a good place to get started. Sometimes watching something in action is better than reading it somewhere.
    8. Microsoft Office System Developers Conference 2006 Videos: The Microsoft Office System Developers Conference featured more than 60 breakout sessions organized in eight technical tracks. We have had tons of hits to these videos and developers are quite interested in the Solutions and Partners track.
    9. 2007 Office System Document: Developer Posters: Office development is a huge story, we have lots of products and inside each product, tons of features, objects and namespaces. We have been working on three posters that cover some key technologies related to Office development. These posters help you understand the big picture of Office development and how products and technologies relate to each other. An image sometimes tells more than a thousand words.
    10. Office bloggers on MSDN: I am quite surprised to see all the awareness that people have for Office 2007 developer features. For previous releases of Office, developers started ramping up to new features some time after RTM was available. Thanks to blogs, developers are quite familiar with the features and have already started building solutions. I find quite useful reading Office blogs; little pieces of knowledge are stored in tons of blog entries. We have compiled a great list of Office bloggers, and we update it every now and then. Every day new blogs are born and MVPs and product team bloggers are changing the way we learn. I have no words to say how much I admire Jensen Harris for being the best Office evangelist. His blog is a MUST stop.
    11. Office Online: Even when the target audience of this site is end users, as a developer I have found tons of useful resources here. Office Online is always useful for templates, clip arts and the best help. You can even download free Office trials!
    12. Office Solution Showcase: I love this site because it "highlights how leading companies are solving critical business problems using solutions built with the Microsoft Office System." Scenarios are categorized by industry and by department. It's always useful to see what others in the industry have done.
    13. Compliance Features in the 2007 Microsoft Office System: It's the best document (I have read) about what's new for developers in the 2007 Microsoft Office system. This is THE paper you have to read if you are trying to understand new features that shipped with the 2007 Microsoft Office System and how to build solutions using them. This paper provides an overview of what you can do using: Workflow, Auditing, Digital Signatures, Content Types, Routings, Enterprise Search, Document Inspector, Excel Services, the new Office XML File Formats and more. It's focused on how to use new features for compliance, but it still provides a great overview.
    14. 10 Essential Resources for SharePoint Developers: Check out this great post by Randall Isenhour, the Microsoft Office SharePoint Server content manager. He has a great compilation of SharePoint resources for developers.
       

    Overwhelming? Yes, can be a lot of information if you are just entering the Office development zone. But once you start diving every site and hunting for resources you'll see it's not enough. We still have lots of code samples to build and technical articles to write. Lots of fun stuff is still scheduled in our queue.

  • Erika Ehrli - Adventures with Office Products & Technologies

    Posters update, Office Live and great news for MSDN subscribers...

    • 0 Comments

    Hi all,

    Just some random thoughts before I go on vacation, stay a week OOF without my laptop, and try not to think about the things I didn't finish before I leave.

    Poster updates:

    We fixed a typo and added required EULA information to the download page. We republished the three Office development posters as pdf files:

    The download family page is still the same:

    http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?FamilyId=771AEB45-9D27-4D1F-ACD1-9B950637D64E&displaylang=en

    A lot of people complained about the packaging and we are commited to make you happy.

    Office Live is ready to rock:

    This week we launched the new release of Office Live. Check out the CNBC news story and the Office Live site. Office Live provides a platform for developers to create a wide range of online business solutions for small businesses including hosted Web sites and collaborative applications. You can explore developer resources that will help you create your custom online solutions at the Office Live Developer Portal.

    Office 2007 is now available to MSDN Subscribers!

    As an MSDN subscriber, you can download the final version of Office 2007 and begin building your applications today. If you are an MSDN subscriber, you can download the final version here.

    See you in a week,

    ~Erika

  • Erika Ehrli - Adventures with Office Products & Technologies

    MSDN Office Developer Center Live on MSDN2!

    • 7 Comments

    We are in the process of migrating the Office Developer Center and all the MSDN Library Office developer content to MSDN2! I love to blog about anything related to Office development, but this time I will share with you some information related with MSDN that you might find interesting.

    What is MTPS and MSDN2?

    Tim Ewald, Kim Wolk and Craig Andera are the principal architects behind a new online delivery and rendering infrastructure better known as MSDN/TechNet Publishing System (MTPS). This new platform supports MSDN2 and the alpha version was released to customers on September 2004. The MSDN Library was the first to use the new system.

    MSDN provides two major venues for developer content. The MSDN Library allows users to browse developer content for all Microsoft products and technologies that have a developer story. It contains technical articles, reference documentation, and sample code, and organizes nodes in a new treeview navigation that avoids the use of frames and reflects the current page URLS's. On the other hand, MSDN Developer Centers pull together content and resources around specific products and technologies. They connect developers with code samples, community sites, technical articles and documentation, upcoming events, and much more. The MSDN Office Developer Center (ODC) provides a road map to help developers understand and work with Office System programs, servers, services, tools, and technologies. The MSDN Library and some MSDN Developer Centers have been migrated to MSDN2.

    Some of the key benefits offered by MSDN2 are:

    • Product to Web integration: Developers will have access from the IDE to the most up-to-date content living on MSDN Online, without having to wait for new MSDN Library or product releases. This is a critical component in providing real continuous publishing support directly to developers.
    • Globalization: MSDN2 enables our goal of providing a unified global MSDN Web site that responds to a customer's language and locale preference. MSDN URLS provide a locale node: http://msdn2.microsoft.com/en-us/library/default.aspx that allows us to globalize our content.
    • New URL scheme providing stable URLs: This is probably one of the most interesting benefits offered by MSDN2. In MTPS, content is primarily identified by a unique identifier, meaning that content can be moved around without changing the URL. This will vastly improve the problem of broken links to MSDN content.
    • Content aliases: Some topics that provide information of key namespaces, types, member names or error codes can be accessed using an alias. For instance, if you want to read the reference documentation for the Microsoft.Office.Excel.Server.WebServices namespace, type http://msdn2.microsoft.com/library/microsoft.office.excel.server.webservices and you will be redirected to the corresponding topic.
    • Site responsiveness: MTPS and ASP.NET 2.0/SQL Server 2005 reduce the page load times for much of MSDN Online content. I have seen that MSDN articles and MSDN Developer Center pages have faster rendering times when they run on MSDN2.
    • Improved time-to-live for new articles and portal updates: For us, publishing and authoring content to MSDN2 is also a great experience. MTPS improves our internal processes for content publishing and portal programming. I am sure there will be a lot of people who will be quite pleased about this.

    And there are more benefits such as alternates, revisions, and versions. I strongly recommend you to read Tim Ewald's article Designing URLs for MSDN2 if you want to learn more about MSDN2 URL improvements. Read also Craig Andera's MSDN article: Consuming MSDN Web Services.

    We are migrating!

    The MSDN Office Developer Center team has been working for the past few months on migrating all Office MSDN Library content and the MSDN Office Developer Center to MSDN2. The volume of technical content assets and ODC pages for Office were a great challenge for us, and I am pleased to say that we are almost done. The new MSDN2 Office Developer Center went live a few minutes ago! I have to warn you though; we are still migrating, so in the next couple of weeks you may find some broken links on some ODC pages. We published all Office 2007 articles and content on MSDN2, but had to migrate all the Office 2003, Office XP, and Office 2000 developer content to the MSDN2 servers. We are still working on updating ODC links for these versions and things may be a little flaky for a couple of weeks but hopefully will be fixed soon. Just as I write this blog entry, MSDN is loading redirects from our old pages to the new site. While we conclude our migration process, you can find all Office Solutions Development technical content on the MSDN Library and I encourage you to see how cool our new MSDN Office Developer Center looks like.

    MSDN Office Developer Top Pages

    The following table shows new URLs for some of our most viewed pages in case you are wondering what happened to them.

    Office Developer Center Home Page http://msdn2.microsoft.com/en-us/office/default.aspx
    Community : Home Page http://msdn2.microsoft.com/en-us/office/aa905341.aspx
    Downloads : Home Page http://msdn2.microsoft.com/en-us/office/aa905351.aspx
    Future Versions: What's New for Developers in the 2007 Microsoft Office System http://msdn2.microsoft.com/en-us/office/aa905358.aspx
    Access: Access Developer Portal - Home Page http://msdn2.microsoft.com/en-us/office/aa905400.aspx
    Excel: Excel Developer Portal - Home Page http://msdn2.microsoft.com/en-us/office/aa905411.aspx
    SharePoint Server: SharePoint Server 2007 Developer Portal - Home Page http://msdn2.microsoft.com/en-us/office/aa905503.aspx
    VSTO: Visual Studio Tools for Office Developer Portal http://msdn2.microsoft.com/en-us/office/aa905533.aspx

    I am also attaching a spreadsheet with all our new URLs in case you get lost. Please feel free to send me comments if you can't find content; I will be glad to help you find your way.

    Enjoy,

    ~Erika

  • Erika Ehrli - Adventures with Office Products & Technologies

    What a week, Windows Vista RTMs too...

    • 1 Comments

    Jim Alchin says it's time! More info about the press release coming soon. In the meantime, every developer should download the .NET Framework 3.0 and start having fun!

    Congratulations to the Windows Division.

  • Erika Ehrli - Adventures with Office Products & Technologies

    2007 Microsoft Office System RTM and Visual Studio Tools for Office Second Edition RTW!

    • 6 Comments

    In case you haven't heard the news, Microsoft announced today the 2007 Microsoft Office system release to manufacture. In terms of scope, this is the most significant release for Office since Office 95 and everyone who made this possible celebrated last Friday at our RTM party.  There's a lot of people who made this possible (including beta testers and TAP customers) and we are quite satisfied with the outcome. To me it has been amazing to be part of this change and learn from all MVPs and early adopters that are already building applications with Office 2007.

    In case you:

    1. Are wondering... If you have been running a beta build of Office 2007, you will have an opportunity to upgrade to the final release when Windows Vista reaches RTM. You can find product information here and pricing details here. Also, according to the press release, starting Dec. 1 in the U.S and Canada (and later to an additional 13 international markets), the RTM version will be available via free downloadable product trials.
    2. Want to see the boxes... 

    Office evolved from a set of programs to a complete family of products and technologies. Today you can extend Office and add functionality and make it be a front-end for your business applications. If you want to extend Office 2007, you must consider exploring the new Visual Studio Tools for Office Second Edition release to the web announced today!

    Read more here:

    Just to be a little philosophical and to make this blog entry a little more emotional than informative.  I just think sometimes human beings lose their capacity to be surprised with things. We take for granted stuff that makes our life easier and sometimes we don't stop to think of how amazing things are and the work it takes to build them. I think Office has changed the World in terms of software and it continues to change the World and the way we all work. I just want to say congratulations and thank you to all the people who made this possible. Office 2007 is brilliant. 

  • Erika Ehrli - Adventures with Office Products & Technologies

    The redesigned Office Online site is live!

    • 0 Comments

    This is an absolute MUST SEE. You should visit the new redesigned Office Online site!  http://www.office.microsoft.com

    The site has a new information architecture and a very cool Ribbon-like UI. It also provides personalization and tons of how-to topics to help you work with all Office versions. I love their tabs!

    Congrats to the Office Online team, the site is absolutely awesome!

    https://blogs.msdn.com/inside_office_online/archive/2006/11/01/we-ve-launched.aspx

  • Erika Ehrli - Adventures with Office Products & Technologies

    Developer Map for the 2007 Microsoft Office System: Download your poster today!

    • 28 Comments

    A couple of weeks ago I blogged about the treasure map for Office developers that we were building and I am glad to announce that we finished two weeks ago the poster version and it's ready to download! This is the third poster of the 2007 Office System Document: Developer Posters download family.

    The Developer Map for the 2007 Microsoft Office system helps developers visualize the different programs, servers, services and tools that will help them build solutions. You can drill down to each product and technology and learn about new features, objects, Web services, namespaces and schemas requiered to extend Office. There are more than 50 persons who worked to make this possible with the motivation of building a cool tool to evangelize Office. Based on the fact that Office 2007 is more than you think, we thought this was a great way to help developers understand the bigger picture and learn how Office products and technologies relate to each other.

    The goals of this poster are:

    1. Provide a roadmap that shows all Office products and technologies that have an interesting developer story.
    2. Categorize all extensibility technologies (green bars) and visually demonstrate how you can use them to extend specific products. For example, you can use Ribbon UI extensibility for Word 2007, Excel 2007, PowerPoint 2007, Outlook 2007 and Access 2007, but not for InfoPath 2007, Visio 2007, Project 2007, Groove 2007 or Communicator 2007.
    3. List most relevant developer features (blue text) added to Office (2007) programs.
    4. Make a clear distinction between all Office products and technologies (programs, servers, tools and services).
    5. Make a clear distinction between features and services offered by WSS 3.0 and Office SharePoint Server 2007.
    6. Highlight the programs you can extend and customize using VSTO and VSTA (you will see a logo where VSTO or VSTA applies).
    7. Explain the Add-in story by making a clear distinction between Shared Add-Ins, VSTO 2005 SE Application Level Add-Ins and COM Add-Ins.
    8. Provide the names of specific namespaces, Web services, interfaces or schemas (gray text) required to extend functionality of different Office products and technologies.
    9. Provide a list of most relevant objects (green text) used to extend Office programs, servers and WSS 3.0.
    10. Finally, the most challenging goal, summarize the most relevant facts and make it all fit on a limited rectangular space.

    BTW, if you have plans to attend Dev Connections in Las Vegas or Tech Ed Barcelona, you should visit the Office booths. We are sending nicely printed copies of this poster. I encourage you to get one (or more) b/c there's a lot of text and it looks better if you print it on a bigger piece of paper.

    I can't describe how happy I am because of this poster. I enjoyed working with all the people who made this possible, but what makes me happier is that I know this will help other developers understand quickly what took me months to figure out. 

    Cheers to Office and the whole galaxy of developer technologies it represents!

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