John R. Durant's WebLog

Blog of "The" Office Developer

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  • 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: Microsoft Excel and Twitter via Smart Tags in a VS 2008 Solution

    I recent wrote (“ Twitter from Excel 2007 ”) about how Chandoo (Plus JP) caught my attention with their quirky take on updating Twitter from Excel. In there, I said I would lay down an expanded, more useful version. In so doing, I believe I have also provided a raison d’être for the thing in the first...
  • Blog Post: Saving Money in IT: Maximizing Value is Key (+ review of new U2 album)

    In a recent post to a blog, a writer, Guy Creese , writes that the key to saving money in IT is ‘granularity’. In short- he suggests that the IT cost-saving key is to figure out what the basic use experiences are for people and match them to the cheapest software that suits those needs. I respect his...
  • Blog Post: www.iheartonenote.com

    I truly enjoy being enthusiastic about OneNote. I’m not ashamed of my unguarded devotion to this application (share the love via the new site: www.iheartonenote.com ). Here at Microsoft, new ideas spring up every day, and those ideas/prototypes/proofs-of-concept fight for attention. They scramble, they...
  • Blog Post: Twitter from Excel 2007

    I cannot think of any compelling reason for sending a tweet from a form in Excel other than it's kind of cool to know it can be done. Nevertheless, the little add-in for Excel has its charm as an odd little novelty: How to write your own Twitter client in Excel ( Userform version is here ) You can see...
  • Blog Post: Adding and Binding XML in Office Documents

    I am frequently asked about how to do some of the basics with XML parts in Office documents. There are excellent blogs and content out there to guide you in working with Office Open XML such as Brian Jones , Doug Mahugh , MSDN , and the Office Open XML SDK . I have also blogged extensively about OOXML...
  • Blog Post: Office 2007 (and beyond) Developer Resources: Looking ahead

    Many of the investments developers make in Office 2007 are version-durable (read: they are likely to endure into the next version of Office). Some of the Office 2007 technologies that are so appealing for business productivity solutions are the new Office document format, Word content controls, and the...
  • Blog Post: Chad Z. Hower aka "Kudzu"VSTO Excel Solution for the Wii

    Chad Z. Hower, aka "Kudzu", A Microsoft colleague has created a VSTO application that lets you analyze Wiimote motions for the Nintendo Wii: http://www.kudzuworld.com/blogs/tech/20070819.aspx Yeah, I know it's not for the XBox, but as Steve Ballmer said yesterday in a meeting with the Oracle CEO, customers...
  • Blog Post: NET helpmsg

    I am running Windows Vista (liking it more every day), and a Windows Update failed. I received this error message, and I did not know what it meant. Here's a little trick to use that will give you the error message description. Let's say my error was 8007 0652 (this was the actual error). I type this...
  • Blog Post: Milestones, SharePoint, and Atlas Falling

    Whew! We're working hard on Visual Studio Codename "Orcas", and that has kept me extraordinarily busy. One of the things I have been working a lot on has been our cool SharePoint workflow tools in VSTO Orcas. Using these tools makes it a lot easier to start developing and debugging a workflow solution...
  • Blog Post: SharePoint Development Article

    I have been intending to mention a great article by Robert Bogue about getting started with SharePoint workflow development: Wrangling SharePoint Workflows with Visual Studio "SharePoint and Workflow may be the most powerful combination since chocolate and peanut butter, but the trick is harnessing their...
  • Blog Post: Updated Deployment Papers for VSTO 2005 SE

    My colleague, Darryn Lavery, just finished the update to his very popular VSTO 2005 deployment paper. This update includes information specific to our VSTO 2005 Second Edition update we released last year. Here's the paper: Deploying Visual Studio 2005 Tools for Office Second Edition Solutions Using...
  • Blog Post: Office File Conversion Tool

    The Office Migration Planning Manager tool is now final and up on the Microsoft download center: http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?FamilyID=13580cd7-a8bc-40ef-8281-dd2c325a5a81&DisplayLang=en This tool is pretty useful if you are an administrator sorting out a multi-phase approach to...
  • Blog Post: What's New in Office 2007- Article List

    On one of our internal Microsoft discussion lists someone asked for a feature comparison between Office 2003 and Office 2007. One of our great support engineers sent a tidy list of articles that while not doing the direct comparisons do give great overviews of what's new in each. I thought this would...
  • Blog Post: Where did "Local Settings"; and "Application Data" go or "Where do I put my Outlook signatures on Vista?"

    I have to admit that I am being steadily won over by Windows Vista. I was running pre-RTM builds, and while I recognized some pleasing improvements, I was not exactly overwhelmed. I hoped that RTM would hold some surprises. Now, I have been running RTM for a couple of weeks, and I am starting to get...
  • Blog Post: Estimating Project Work and Rock Rivalries

    Let's get honest: it routinely feels like a shot in the dark. Here's the scenario: Someone in management is legitimately trying to organize resources and push some projects forward. He or she may be pitching the project to an executive or at least someone who has the red-light/green-light control switch...
  • Blog Post: Product and Corporate Odds and Ends

    I'm cleaning up my inbox, and I have a whole mess of odds and ends (some just product announcements) that I don't know what to do with, so I am going to just dump them in one post and put it out of my mind. Here they are in no particular order: MSBee on CodePlex.com: MSBee is an addition to MSBuild that...
  • Blog Post: Outlook 2007 and the NavigationModule

    I feel empathy for the person who is tackling Outlook development for the first time. Thanks to a number of things, including the advent of a solid Outlook managed developer tools story in VSTO 2005, that number is growing. Nevertheless, the overall corpus of material for Outlook development is pretty...
  • Blog Post: Visual Studio 2005 Tools for Office Second Edition Beta: the Polar Shift

    (I'm missing my friend, Chris Kunicki, and his sure-footed instincts about Office development. He's beening pursuing philanthropic interests full-time and will be for as long as I can tell, so he's no longer a direct part of the Office dev community. However, as a nod to him, I tried to write today's...
  • Blog Post: Time/Resources/Features

    Being a PM at Microsoft boils down to being a project manager. Some PMs are really technical while others are very design focused. But, the bottom line is that we are all tasked with delivering software features that will make customers happy and thus sell. Sometimes, our releases are more feature...
  • Blog Post: Assemblies and Public Key Tokens

    I'm working on a SharePoint v3 workflow project using the out-of-the-box (OOB) techniques. In order to install the workflow, you need to know the public key token for the signed assembly that you add to the Global Assembly Cache (GAC). To get this, I have been installling the assembly into the GAC and...
  • Blog Post: First Look at Windows Vista

    Well, I am back to blogging after emerging from a vortex here at work over the past five months. Read more about it (and cats) in this post on my personal blog . Recently, my skip-level manager asked every program manager (PM) in my group to install Windows Vista. I did, and I thought I would post some...
  • Blog Post: VSTO v3 CTP & Stadium Arcadium

    First, I have some info about our CTP release of VSTO v3 , and then I blog about the Red Hot Chili Peppers ' new double CD: Stadium Arcadium . Microsoft Pre-Release Software Visual Studio Tools For Office "V3" - June Community Technology Preview (CTP) The June 2006 Community Technology Preview...
  • Blog Post: Using Using According to Proper Usage

    Have you ever been in a conversation or meeting when terms are being used that you somehow sense you should already know? Happens all of the time. Well, let me help every one out here by telling a big secret: chances are you are not the only one in the conversation or meeting that hasn't a clue what...
  • Blog Post: Overwrite Custom XML Part in Office 2007 file

    Julie Kremer (everyone should know her) had a great post in March about how to overwrite a custom XML part in an Office 2007 file in the Office Open XML format. Her sample is great. She provided it in C#, so I converted it to VB.NET for those of you who prefer that language. Here's the code: Dim xmlDocRelType...
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