Head in the Clouds

As a software architect, my head is often in the clouds, dreaming of the future. And the future is increasingly in the cloud...

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  • Head in the Clouds

    VSTO 'v3' June CTP and WinFX Beta 2

    • 10 Comments
    So many of you have noticed that we got a little surprised by WinFX Beta2. The June Customer Technical Preview (CTP) of VSTO 'v3' requires February CTP of the WinFX Runtime Components along with Beta 2 of Office 2007. Well those Windows guys went and...
  • Head in the Clouds

    What is an Addin?

    • 6 Comments
    Now that we know how to spell it, let’s define our terms. The definition of the word “Addin” it turns out is more complicated -- and is a sense more simple -- than I originally thought when I first started questioning it. Before that I had my own definitive...
  • Head in the Clouds

    Reference vs. Value: Types, Passing and Marshalling

    • 6 Comments
    The .NET Programming Model makes a clean distinction between Reference and Value on three different levels. These three levels interact directly, and it is important to understand the distinction. This article may be old hat to many of you, but it is...
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    What is MAF?

    • 4 Comments
    As I noted we also unveiled yesterday the Managed Addin Framework (MAF). MAF is necessary realization of the Addin Model architecture. It is included in two assemblies: System.Addin and System.Addin.Contract. These assemblies will ship first with the...
  • Head in the Clouds

    Outlook 2007 Form Region Sample

    • 3 Comments
    I've finally finished my Form Region Sample for Outlook 2007 that was promised. I've been working on it in earnest for a couple weeks now in my spare time. I am now resisting the urge to continue tweaking it: it is time to lockdown and ship. The urge...
  • Head in the Clouds

    On the road in Europe

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    It has been almost two weeks now since I arrived in Europe. As noted, I had hoped to blog more, but with all of the working, sight-seeing, eating, drinking and travelling -- not to mention very intermittent internet availability -- I haven't really had...
  • Head in the Clouds

    Back in Redmond

    • 2 Comments
    It's good to be home. But we had a great time in Europe and learned a ton. The best thing I learned is that ISVs are using VSTO and using it well. Hopefully they learned from us as well. I have nothing but good things to say about the Frontline program...
  • Head in the Clouds

    PDC 05: Visual Studio Tools for Applications Announced

    • 2 Comments
    Today we announced Visual Studio Tools for Applications (VSTA). As Eric Rudder said, think of VSTA as the next generation of VBA. But is far more powerful, with the entire power of the .NET Framework, Visual Studio, and C# and VB .NET. This morning...
  • Head in the Clouds

    VSTO Architecture Demo from TechEd and MSDN WebCast

    • 2 Comments
    Good news here -- for me especially :). The demo code from my VSTO Architecture talk at TechEd and in the recent MSDN WebCast is already (mostly) posted here. My colleague Andrew Whitechapel had written the WPF Control and the WCF service that I used...
  • Head in the Clouds

    The reports of VBA's demise have been greatly exaggerated.

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    There have been spurious reports in the media saying that VBA is dead. Caused quite a firestorm around here as you might imagine -- 'cause it just plain isn't true. There is an official statement on the VSTO blog here: \ http://blogs.msdn.com/vsto2...
  • Head in the Clouds

    Outlook 2007 Form Region Sample – Second Edition

    • 2 Comments
    Office 2007 is official today, so it is time to update my Form Region Sample. The big difference is new methods on the _FormRegionStartup interface. With input from us here in VSTO, Outlook changed the interface to make it easier to use from VSTO addins...
  • Head in the Clouds

    VSTA and Generics

    • 2 Comments
    VSTA has been officially released now, in InfoPath in the 2007 Office System, and for use by third parties in the VS SDK. So we're getting our first batch of feature requests. Far and away the biggest request so far is generic support. Admittedly, generic...
  • Head in the Clouds

    Proxies

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    I'm sure that everyone's reaction to the contract concept is that it is very strict, that it can get complicated quickly, and that it is important to get it right and keep it right. In other words, you don't want just anyone partying in the contract space...
  • Head in the Clouds

    MAF vs. COM

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    OK, I know I said my next post would be an in depth treatment of IContract, but I remembered I wanted to fininsh something I started with my earlied post Addins in .NET . I noted there that .NET currently was still analogous to the LoadLibrary\GetProcAddress...
  • Head in the Clouds

    So is it Addin or Add-in or Add in or, for that matter, plug-in?

    • 2 Comments
    This seems silly, arguing about the hyphenation of the word, but there has been an extensive debate on the “correct” spelling of the word. A debate which ultimately I lost – but I get the last word here: it is my blog. The “official” Microsoft spelling...
  • Head in the Clouds

    Hello World

    • 1 Comments
    Hello out there. I am, as you can see by my profile, as Software Architect at Microsoft. That title can imply many things, for me it means I get to work on complicated software and I don't have to manage anyone. Just the way I like it. I still get to...
  • Head in the Clouds

    PDC05: Addins in .NET

    • 1 Comments
    I noted in an earlier post that I was involved in a committee to establish an Addin Model for Windows Vista. As will most large committees, progress was slow. But it wasn't fruitless. I will be speaking at PDC tomorrow with my colleague Jim Miller on...
  • Head in the Clouds

    Contracts and IContract

    • 1 Comments
    In my post What is an Addin? I said that a "contract" is just that: "a previously decided upon method of communication with rules and limitations." Here is where we discuss the rules and limitations for .NET Addin contracts. In my post Addins in .NET...
  • Head in the Clouds

    Are Arrays OK in Contracts?

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    I know its been a while, but I've been busy coding lately. That code will become public fairly soon, so I'll talk about it then. I'm still working on the promised Proxies and Adapters post, it will be coming, I promise. But in the meantime, the subject...
  • Head in the Clouds

    Jobs on the VSTO and VSTA Teams at Microsoft

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    We are hiring! Would you like to help realize the vision of Office as a development platform? Do you want your work integrated into every one of the hundreds of millions of desktops that have Office installed? Are you looking for a role where you...
  • Head in the Clouds

    Using Windows Presentation Foundation in VSTO -- with "Cross-bow"

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    I've been working on this on and off since TechEd. I had a customer ask if it was possible to use WPF (formerly Avalon) in a VSTO Custom Task Pane. It is possible, and we're dealing with CTP (Community Technical Preview) releases on top of beta releases...
  • Head in the Clouds

    Back Into the Light

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    And out of the dark... I've been dark for a while now, time to come out and let you know what's been going on. I've been heads down writing code for VSTO v3 and VSTA v2 due to release -- hopefully, no promises -- later this year. The new version of...
  • Head in the Clouds

    TechEd and MSDN Webcast Demos

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    Geez, I'm looking at this blog, and I'm realizing I've only posted once this year, and that post said I would post more often. What a lame-o! Since my last post I have been busy. I've spoken at two TechEds -- in the US in Orlando and in Europe in Barcelona...
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    Re-launch of my blog

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    This will be, in restaurant parlance, a "soft opening": no fanfare, we'll see if anyone notices. If there are any followers of this blog -- and considering my last post was three years ago, I find that highly unlikely -- you will notice I've changed some...
  • Head in the Clouds

    CloudStorageAccount.Parse is your friend

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    When I started writing my first Azure app, one of the first issues I ran into was dealing with Azure storage -- I couldn't figure out how to set it up in my code so I could use it. I found this nice article about how to structure your connection strings...
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