John R. Durant's WebLog

Blog of "The" Office Developer

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  • Blog Post: The Innovation Decision

    For over a decade I have enjoyed so very much being a leading voice for custom solutions that integrate with Microsoft Office. The last 7 ½  years of that time have been as a Microsoft employee gleefully carrying my blue-badge with me all over the world. I’ve gone many places and talked with thousands...
  • Blog Post: Promoting Office 2010 in Peru

    I just completed a much-needed 2 week vacation in Peru with one of my sons. While there, I wore my Office 2010 t-shirt as well as my Office branded hat, and it prompted some conversations about the products--- even while hiking over a mountain pass or two! While I was away, I wasn’t blogging or even...
  • Blog Post: Microsoft SharePoint Conference 2011: Which Band Should Perform?

    As you all know the SharePoint Conference last year in Las Vegas was a great show (here are links to broadcasts of several of our sessions ). I followed the show with a ticket to see U2’s 360 concert (unlike any other spectacle in rock-and-roll). Since then, I’ve often been asked, “Is there going to...
  • Blog Post: Microsoft Office 2010 General Availability

    So, I was at TechEd 2010 talking a lot about Office 2010 solutions development last week and love was in the air…mostly because I gave out hundreds of t-shirts with our www.iheartmacros.com URL on them. I would say to people coming to our kiosk, “This shirt loves you” and hand them a shirt. But, I digress...
  • Blog Post: Open XML at TechEd 2010

    Open XML was a big part of my first session at TechEd 2010 called, "Office 2010: Developing the Next Wave of Productivity Solutions". The thing that gets the biggest reaction is the Open XML SDK 2.0 "Productivity Tool"-- especially the ability to reflect over an Office document to produce C# code that...
  • Blog Post: Microsoft Office Programmability Delivers for Consultant’s Customers

    I’ve talked with with many dozens of customers here at TechEd 2010 about Office 2010 and shown them a lot of demos at the kiosk. As they arrive I hand them a www.iheartmacros.com t-shirt (hugely popular, btw). Very often the response is: “This is great. I actually do love macros and VBA”...
  • Blog Post: New Office VBA site launch on MSDN

    MSDN now features a special site (also accessible via www.iheartmacros.com ) dedicated to Microsoft Office VBA - an important part of the Office 2010 value. The site presents a clear path for technically savvy users to begin learning how to customize the Office applications to meet their needs...
  • Blog Post: Office 2010 & SharePoint 2010: Platform for Innovation

    There's a great new article by Michael Desmond in Visual Studio Magazine called " Office Alignment: Why Office 2010 and SharePoint 2010 are poised to unleash a new wave of developer innovation ". Read it and you'll get Michael's always engaging insight into the new products investments in this release...
  • Blog Post: Keeping It Real With Microsoft Office: Asking Questions About Solution Design

    I just finished a whirlwind swing through Amsterdam, The Hague, Antwerp, and finally Vienna Austria. I've already blogged about the first three cities, but this last one is the focus of this post. I went to Vienna mainly to meet with some customers in order to provide guidance around Office solutions...
  • Blog Post: Connect Microsoft Excel To SQL Azure Database

    A number of people have found my post about getting started with SQL Azure pretty useful. But, it's all worthless if it doesn't add up to user value. Database are like potential energy in physics-it's a promise that something could be put in motion. Users actually making decisions based on analysis is...
  • Blog Post: Microsoft TechDays 2010 in Antwerp Belgium

    I caught a train from Den Haag to Antwerp in Belgium on Wednesday afternoon. You can see the Dutch countryside in this short clip. Traveling by train to Antwerp. I used to live in Belgium when I was a missionary for my church 25 years ago, and I fell in love with all things Belgian! It's one of the great...
  • Blog Post: Microsoft DevDays 2010 Day #3 with Open XML

    I've been running at a fast pace for the past few days, so I'm going to add a few posts here to catch up. Day 3 of the DevDays event in the Netherlands was a success. I delivered a session on "Open XML Solution Building With Word and Excel Services". Huge thanks to Zeyad Rajabi for pulling together some...
  • Blog Post: Microsoft DevDays 2010 Day 2

    I delivered a session today that describes what's new in Office 2010 for solution developers. It's a session that I have evolved over the past year. My core demos have also evolved, and I'm pleased with the impact they make. The session was well attended, and I was pleased to see plenty of enthusiasm...
  • Blog Post: Getting Started Integrating Windows Azure with Microsoft Office Solutions

    Nearly everyone starts learning anything new by beginning with something simple and adding incremental knowledge. One of the biggest challenges with Windows Azure and SQL Azure is that the simple beginning seems a bit more elusive. The "Hello World" application in the new world of cloud computing, while...
  • Blog Post: To Catch A Thief at Microsoft DevDays 2010

    Here's a quick update. I was down at a nice reception at the hotel for the conference speakers when a door is violently thrown open and a guys goes running through and down the hall. Following closely behind was a security guard. I immediately took off running after both of them. We tore down a long...
  • Blog Post: Microsoft DevDays 2010 Day #1

    It's been an eventful day here at Microsoft DevDays 2010, and the show hasn't even officially started! First item of business is to get to a hotel for rest and get some great food-not necessarily in that order. My flight was as good as one can expect- the guy next to me, Jim Anderson, was affable but...
  • Blog Post: Open XML SDK 2.0 for Microsoft Office Is Live

    I speak with customers every day about the productivity solutions they build using Microsoft Office. Rarely now do my conversations not include a discussion of Open XML. This is because it is such a powerful way to work with Office documents as a data source . Basically, developers can shuttle data in...
  • Blog Post: Microsoft Office Developer Sessions from SharePoint Conference 2009 Now Live

    Readers of the blog know that SharePoint Conference 2009 had some pretty memorable highlights . Now, we're excited to announce that five key Office developer sessions are now freely viewable online. Here's the list of sessions: What's New in Office 2010 for Developers: http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us...
  • Blog Post: Microsoft Office 2010 Developer Video Shoot

    I just felt like doing a different kind of post today. I spent some time on camera yesterday as part of video you'll see when Microsoft Office 2010 launches. I didn't get as much make-up applied on this video, so I'm worried I'll look as tired as I felt. There's a lot that goes into preparing marketing...
  • Blog Post: New MSDN Office Developer Center Update

    Erika, the site owner for the MSDN Office Developer Center, announced today an important visual update to the site. There are brand elements all over in here that match our branding guidelines for Microsoft Office 2010. One could call it a purely cosmetic change, but it signals something even more important...
  • Blog Post: Outlook and LinkedIn

    Many of you have heard that we announced the Outlook Social Connector back at PDC 2009. The connector works as part of Outlook 2010, 2007, and even 2003, and it allows you to surface activity from your social media networks right inside of Outlook. With this you can connect those networks to your email...
  • Blog Post: Office Developer Atlas Released

    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...
  • Blog Post: VBA in Office 2010 Articles Live!

    We have published some new content about VBA in Office 2010: Getting Started with VBA in Office 2010 Getting Started with VBA in Excel 2010 Getting Started with VBA in Outlook 2010 Getting Started with VBA in PowerPoint 2010 We have an additional article, “Getting Started with VBA in Word...
  • Blog Post: VBA code I wrote this week in Excel and how it helped me

    OK—my title is kind of colloquial. But I'm in a hurry, and the title conveys the idea well enough. Here's the deal: I have a spreadsheet with a bunch of important data. But, some of the most distinctive data are all merged into one cell. To make the data more usable, I needed to parse the data elements...
  • Blog Post: Adding Event Code to Microsoft Office Backstage View Customizations

    In my last post , I introduced the basic recipe of how to customize the Microsoft Office Backstage view. I showed how to set up the XML and where to place it. Now, we'll take a look at how to add event code so that when a user interacts with your custom layout in the Backstage view, custom code fires...
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