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Visual Studio Tools for Office: Using Visual Basic 2005 with Excel, Word, Outlook, and InfoPath: Using VB.Net with Excel, Word, Outlook,and Infopath (Microsoft .Net Development) Paperback – 26 Apr 2006

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From the Back Cover

“With the application development community so focused on the Smart Client revolution, a book that covers VSTO from A to Z is both important and necessary. This book lives up to big expectations. It is thorough, has tons of example code, and covers Office programming in general terms―topics that can be foreign to the seasoned .NET developer who has focused on ASP.NET applications for years. Congratulations to Eric Lippert and Eric Carter for such a valuable work!”
―Tim Huckaby, CEO, InterKnowlogy, Microsoft regional director “This book covers in a clear and concise way all of the ins and outs of programming with Visual Studio Tools for Office. Given the authors’ exhaustive experiences with this subject, you can’t get a more authoritative description of VSTO than this book!”
―Paul Vick, technical lead, Visual Basic .NET, Microsoft Corporation“Eric and Eric really get it. Professional programmers will love the rich power of Visual Studio and .NET, along with the ability to tap into Office programmability. This book walks you through programming Excel, Word, InfoPath, and Outlook solutions.”
―Vernon W. Hui, test lead, Microsoft Corporation “This book is an in-depth, expert, and definitive guide to programming using Visual Studio Tools for Office 2005. It is a must-have book for anyone doing Office development.”
―Siew Moi Khor, programmer/writer, Microsoft Corporation “We don’t buy technical books for light reading. We buy them as a resource for developing a solution. This book is an excellent resource for someone getting started with Smart Client development. For example, it is common to hear a comment along the lines of, ‘It is easy to manipulate the Task Pane in Office 2003 using VSTO 2005,’ but until you see something like the example at the start of Chapter 15, it is hard to put ‘easy’ into perspective. This is a thorough book that covers everything from calling Office applications from your application, to building applications that are Smart Documents. It allows the traditional Windows developer to really leverage the power of Office 2003.”
―Bill Sheldon, principal engineer, InterKnowlogy, MVP “Eric Carter and Eric Lippert have been the driving force behind Office development and Visual Studio Tools for Office 2005. The depth of their knowledge and understanding of VSTO and Office is evident in this book. Professional developers architecting enterprise solutions using VSTO 2005 and Office System 2003 now have a new weapon in their technical arsenal.”
―Paul Stubbs, program manager, Microsoft Corporation “This book is both a learning tool and a reference book, with a richness of tables containing object model objects and their properties, methods, and events. I would recommend it to anyone considering doing Office development using the .NET framework, especially people interested in VSTO programming.”
―Rufus Littlefield, software design engineer/tester, Microsoft Corporation

Visual Studio Tools for Office is both the first and the definitive book on VSTO 2005 programming, written by the inventors of the technology. VSTO is a set of tools that allows professional developers to use the full power of Visual Studio .NET and the .NET Framework to put code behind Excel 2003, Word 2003, Outlook 2003, and InfoPath 2003.

VSTO provides functionality never before available to the Office developer: data binding and data/view separation, design-time views of Excel and Word documents inside Visual Studio, rich support for Windows Forms controls in a document, the ability to create custom Office task panes, server-side programming support against Office, and much more.

Carter and Lippert cover their subject matter with deft insight into the needs of .NET developers learning VSTO. This book

  • Explains the architecture of Microsoft Office programming and introduces the object models
  • Teaches the three basic patterns of Office solutions: Office automation executables, Office add-ins, and code behind a document
  • Explores the ways of customizing Excel, Word, Outlook, and InfoPath, and plumbs the depths of programming with their events and object models
  • Introduces the VSTO programming model
  • Teaches how to use Windows Forms in VSTO and how to work with the Actions Pane
  • Delves into VSTO data programming and server data scenarios
  • Explores .NET code security and VSTO deployment

Advanced material covers working with XML in Word and Excel, developing COM add-ins for Word and Excel, and creating Outlook add-ins with VSTO.

The complete code samples are available on the book’s Web page.

About the Author

Eric Carter is the development manager of the Visual Studio Tools for Office (VSTO) team at Microsoft. He helped invent, design, and implement many of the features that are in VSTO today. Previously at Microsoft he worked on Visual Studio for Applications, the Visual Studio Macros IDE, and Visual Basic for Applications for Office 2000 and Office 2003.

Eric Lippert’s primary focus during his nine years at Microsoft has been on improving the lives of developers by designing and implementing useful programming languages and development tools. He has worked on the Windows Scripting family of technologies, Visual Studio Tools for Office and, most recently, the new Language Integrated Query features of C# 3.0.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 3.4 out of 5 stars 5 reviews
18 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars powerful integration of Visual Studio and MS Office 11 May 2006
By W Boudville - Published on
Format: Paperback
Carter and Lippert demonstrate one of the key reasons for Microsoft's continued success over almost 30 years. From its inception, Microsoft was a tool developer, writing and selling compilers and other programming aids to programmers. In similar wise, developers who wish to extend Microsoft Office applications will be pleased by the depth of detail shown in the book. Visual Studio is the IDE that gives you a comfortable and powerful platform.

The book is rather lengthy. Few readers will likely scan it end to end. But the main reason for the heft is the number of applications within the Office suite. Excel gets 4 chapters, and so does Word. While Outlook has 3 chapters and InfoPath has one. Of these applications, it is perhaps Excel that is the most likely to be extended by third party developers. A spreadsheet is something that inherently lends itself to the idea that someone would write more intricate relations. Given that the default mode is for a user to associate cells in some formulaic fashion.

It should also be said that there are several other chapters, mostly concerned with the overall aspects of programming within VSTO. Speaking of which, there is a nice passage showing how to tie an Excel spreadsheet back to a SQL database, through the use of Binding Sources. This takes what is essentially the UI coding of the MS Office applications to a deeper level.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars OK for more advanced programmers 8 Dec. 2008
By Bruce In IRB - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I would not recommend this book for an inexperienced programmer. Topics can be complicated and examples are not always clear. Good book for some of the more esoteric aspects.
1.0 out of 5 stars Broken and worthless 29 Jan. 2015
By Henriette Cecile Beigh - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The book, which I have not returned yet, had a broken spine right at its middle. The break is bad enough that pages fall out around it. I am extremely disappointed in the quality of this item.
4.0 out of 5 stars The best one for VSTO 15 Oct. 2009
By November Rookie - Published on
Format: Paperback
Although it does not cover all areas of VSTO, and half of the time I need to dig them out by reading MSDN myself, this book is definitely a good start for VSTO programming.
3 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A lot of valuable info 9 Jan. 2007
By kkarre - Published on
Format: Paperback
With a more reality-like setup example that uses several dll:s, perhaps on a machine with a policy that prohibits new code to run this would have been a perfect book!
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