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

    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

    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...
  • Head in the Clouds

    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 – 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

    CloudStorageAccount.Parse is your friend

    • 1 Comments
    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...
  • 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

    MAF vs. COM

    • 2 Comments
    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

    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

    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

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

    • 1 Comments
    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

    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

    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

    Are Arrays OK in Contracts?

    • 1 Comments
    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

    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 'v3' June CTP can run VSTO 2005 customizations

    • 0 Comments
    One of the biggest complaints we had on the February CTP of VSTO v3 was that you couldn't run your VSTO 2005 customizations in Office 2007. I'm happy to say we fixed that problem in the latest CTP for June. What this means is that when you get the...
  • 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

    Adapters

    • 0 Comments
    Geez, did I make you wait long enough!?! I have been remiss, hopefully I will have time to do this more regularly. Those of you with kids know how time can evaporate. Anyway, I've promised a post on Adapters for months now, so here it is finally. As...
  • Head in the Clouds

    TechEd 06: Chalk-talk today, MAF 101

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    I'm doing a "chalk-talk" today at TechEd -- at 3:45 in DEV (Blue area) Theatre 1 in the TLC. The listed subject is Designing Managed Add-ins for Reliability, Security and Versioning, the same subject of the talk Jim and I did at PDC. I've refined the...
  • Head in the Clouds

    TechEd 06: VSTO 'v3' talk this afternoon

    • 0 Comments
    Mike Hernandez and I are speaking today (3:15 in room 153) about VSTO 'v3' and what we are doing with Office 2007. We'll be showing several demos of the new programmability features enabled by the next version of VSTO in Office 2007. VSTO 'v3' will release...
  • 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

    On the road in Europe

    • 3 Comments
    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

    Categories

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    Those of you who have been following my blog will note that I have retroactively added some categories. I hadn't bothered with categories in the past because almost all of my posts have been about MAF. Well, now that MAF is a real thing, we (meaning...
  • Head in the Clouds

    VSTA CTP Released

    • 0 Comments
    Just a quick note to reinforce the announcement of the VSTA SDK Community Technical Preview. This CTP contains all of the MAF pieces and more. Feel free to download it and play around with managed addins! All of the info you need about how to get it...
  • 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...
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