I just got back in the office from Collaborate 08 and DevConnections. Each conference I attend, I see more people interested in Office development which is really exciting to see. With SharePoint on the increase, a very pervasive Office client out there, and more companies wanting to realize gains by pulling data into Office views, I think the wheel is really starting to turn here.
Okay, that said let's talk about our second part of the development of your first OBA: deployment.
Depending on whether you've got a client-side customization (which we're doing in this series of blogs) and/or you've also got a SharePoint component to your OBA, deployment is different. With SharePoint, you need to have to deploy the site and then use the features of SharePoint to create web parts that interact with your data. (This is out of scope for this blog, but I will address it in a future one.) For the client, though, deployment means making sure that the add-in you build is i) discoverable by your org, ii) executable by those who want to download the bits, and iii) trusted by the specific Trust Center for the Office application you've built the add-in for.
If we build off of the last blog, to deploy the client add-in that we created (the Word 2007 document-level solution), you need to do the following:
1. Create a share that is accessible. To test this, I'll set up a share either on my host machine or a machine on the network.
2. Provide the appropriate permissions (or request if you do not have the permissions to do it yourself) for those who you want to download the bits.
3. You then go to the Project Properties, and go to the Build tab and add the folder share you just created in the Build Output field. Also, on the Publish tab add the same folder share to the Publishing Folder URL and the Installation Folder URL.
4. You then need to ensure the customization will be trusted by Word, so close the VS project and open Word. Click the Office button and then click Word Options. Then select Trust Center, Trust Center Settings, Trusted Locations, and click Add New Location.
5. You then add the folder share where the VSTO bits will be published to in the Trusted Location field (and don't forget to click the Subfolders... check box as well).
6. While you're here, you'll also want to add the document library URL for your SharePoint site. You'll see why later, but essentially when you create a content type and map it to your bits the location from SharePoint (and its subfolders) also needs to be trusted.
7. Open your VS project again, and then navigate to your project properties. On the Publish tab, click Publish Now.
And that's it. Your smart client Word doc should now publish all of the bits to the location you provided to it. You can test out on a folder share and then test the installation from another machine.
Note: In a follow-up post to a recent string of conferences, I've posted an additional link that will help you through a number of deployment scenarios: http://220.127.116.11/steve_fox/archive/2008/04/25/conference-follow-up-post.aspx.