John R. Durant's WebLog

Blog of "The" Office Developer

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  • 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: 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: Excel Open XML & LINQ Part I

    In the next few posts I'll roll out a little project for Excel that uses Open XML and LINQ. The scenario for this little Office solution has to do with my massive collection of music. I've collected over 1000 albums of music both from CDs and from purchases online. [ SideNote: Purchasing music legally...
  • 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: 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: 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...
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