Welcome to the start of the Microsoft Visual Studio Tools for the Microsoft Office System, Version 2005 Beta program. This technology enables Visual Studio .NET developers to write managed Visual Basic .NET and Visual C# .NET code that runs in Microsoft Word 2003 and Microsoft Excel 2003 documents. Visual Studio Tools for Office, Version 2005 adds great new functionality, such as hosting Word and Excel as full-fledged designers within the Visual Studio development environment, the ability to program directly against data and view objects, and the ability to create and use custom controls within the task pane.
As beta participants, we will provide you with a beta version of Microsoft Visual Studio 2005, which contains the Visual Studio Tools for Office, Version 2005 beta. Our goal throughout the beta is to obtain the best possible feedback from our customers. It is critical to our success that we listen to you and incorporate your feedback into this exciting new version of Visual Studio Tools for Office, Version 2005. During this time, we will be conducting web chats and periodically posting labs for participants to try out.
Availability of bits for Visual Studio Tools for Office, Version 2005
The Microsoft Visual Studio team announced Beta 1 on June 29, 2004. You can now acquire a beta kit from Microsoft, paying only for shipping and handling. Access this site (http://lab.msdn.microsoft.com/vs2005/get/default.aspx#vs2005) and click on the Visual Studio 2005 Beta link. You can then read instructions on how to order the beta. (If the link is not yet live, check back in a couple of days.) Once you have installed the beta, please read the readme for late breaking changes. Please note that you must have Microsoft Office Professional Edition 2003 in order to use the Visual Studio Tools for Office, Version 2005 Beta. MSDN Subscribers can download both Microsoft Office Professional Edition 2003 and Visual Studio 2005 Beta 1 from http://www.msdn.microsoft.com/subscriptions/downloads/. You must download the Visual Studio 2005 Beta full version in order to obtain the Visual Studio Tools for Office, Version 2005 beta.
Note that Visual Studio Tools for Office, Version 2005 Beta is not included any of the Visual Studio Express versions.
Before you continue, it is important to understand that the beta release of any product will not display the stability of a shipped Microsoft product. You may encounter problems with Visual Studio Tools for Office, Version 2005, which could possibly result in a loss or destruction of data. This release is not appropriate for production use, and we suggest that you back up your existing data before you install and run this software.
Please post any questions you may have on our public newsgroup, microsoft.public.vsnet.vstools.office, and submit bugs and suggestions on the MSDN Product Feedback Center - http://lab.msdn.microsoft.com/productfeedback/. You can also read Visual Studio Tools for Office–related blogs at these two locations: Visual Studio Tools for Office User Education Team’s Blog: http://blogs.msdn.com/vsto2 (that's us!) and OfficeZealot.com’s blog site: http://blogs.officezealot.com/chris/.
-- Paul Cornell
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