Last week I had the pleasure of getting some very interesting feedback from some of the Microsoft Office development audience (people who develop against office through VSTO/VSTA/VBA/Shared Add-ins/etc ). If you were at said event and are now reading here because of it, I welcome you and hope you enjoy the time you spend.
One of the more interesting things of note I heard was that VSTO just wasn't as easy and simple to deploy for those one-shot customizations that might be created to solve a small problem, save some time or simply just do something repetitious quicker.
Certainly this is entirely true under the older Security model, CASPOL is not something you just "simply do" and move on, it takes a fairly significant degree of initial investment and understanding of .NET to get to the "working" state. Click-Once can also seem like it's a little too heavy-weight for a similar reason, there's all this extra stuff to consider: prerequisites, updating, a publishing location, certificates.
This is why I'm going to talk about the "tricks" you can use for that simple once-off git 'er done solution. These methods are supported they are not considered our prime scenarios used in this particular context.
First Let's talk about publishing versus building. If you are creating a customized document, you might consider bypassing publishing, although if you're creating application level customization (something that will impact multiple documents) then I fully recommend publishing even for these quick and dirty solutions. There are still some things you can do to make things simple and quick with the publishing experience in add-ins. I will come back to add-ins and publishing after I cover documents.
What the Developer needs to do:
What your user needs to do:
Incremental improvements towards more "professional" level solutions that you can do:
Inherently there is a more work to do since you need to somehow "hook-up" the add-in to the hosting (Office) application. Fortunately for you, we've thought through this scenario. Here are the steps to the quickest "simple" setup.
What the developer needs to do:
What the user needs to do:
These are the easiest 2 "throw-away" solution deployment methods that I can think of. There are so many advantages to using VSTO you shouldn't feel blocked by the belief that deployment must always be Click-Once with large amounts of infrastructure. There are ways to wrangle it to manage scenarios beyond the initial "deploy via server and provide constant updates" model that Click-Once specifically targets well.
With that I'll wrap this up with a final side-note. I wrote the bulk of this post a week early because next week I will be on a boat most likely not thinking about anything other than having fun and looking at scenery. I may or may not have a post due to this trip, but it's possible I might have just enough of a backlog to work something out.
Thank You for Reading.
[note: Edited 5-19-2008, Attempting to clarify what is done by user versus developer]