Microsoft Office: MSDN Magazine Articles
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  • SharePoint: 10 Best Practices For Building SharePoint Solutions
    E. Wilansky, T. Stojecki, P. Olszewski and S. Kowalewski - March 2009
    Here we summarize a number of best practices for developing SharePoint solutions.

  • Visual Studio OBA Tools: Simplify OBA Development With Interop API Extensions
    Andrew Whitechapel, Phillip Hoff, and Vladimir Morozov - December 2008
    To introduce you to VSTO Power Tools Office interop API extensions, we’ll walk through the development of an application that automates Outlook, Excel, and Word.

  • Office Space: Custom Auditing In SharePoint
    Ted Pattison - September 2008
    Learn how to enable an auditing solution for Windows SharePoint Services (WSS) 3.0 with customized control pages in Microsoft Office SharePoint Server (MOSS) 2007.

  • Form Filler: Build Workflows to Capture Data and Create Documents
    Rick Spiewak - June 2008
    Learn how to create a workflow that uses InfoPath forms and other office documents for passing data to targeted activities and for use in Office documents.

  • Office Apps: Integrate VSTO with SharePoint Content Types
    Steve Fox - May 2008
    See how to build a document-level Visual Studio Tools for Office customization and integrate it with a content type in SharePoint.

  • MOSS 2007: Automate Web App Deployment with the SharePoint API
    E. Wilansky, P. Olszewski, and R. Sneddon - May 2008
    Learn how to automate custom SharePoint application deployments, use the SharePoint API, and avoid the hassle of custom site definitions.

  • Editor's Note: I Want to Believe
    Howard Dierking - May 2008
    Editor-in-Chief Howard Dierking explains why it's wise to consider Microsoft Office a development platform, even though developers typically don't.

  • Office Space: From VBA Macro to Word Add-in
    Robert Bogue - May 2008
    See how to use Word to capture a VBA macro and use Visual Studio Tools for Office to wrap it up into a deployable Word add-in.

  • Office Development: Manage Metadata with Document Information Panels
    Ashish Ghoda - April 2008
    Here the author uses Document Information Panels in the Microsoft 2007 Office system to manipulate metadata from Office docs for better discovery and management.

  • Office Development: OBA Solution Patterns In The Real World
    Steve Fox - March 2008
    OBA solution patterns help architects and developers build Office Business Applications (OBAs). This article introduces the seven core OBA solution patterns and applies one to a real-world problem.

  • Office Space: Simplify SharePoint Development with STSDEV
    Ted Pattison - March 2008
    Ted Pattison shows how to use a new STSDEV utility to set up and deploy SharePoint development projects in Visual Studio in an easy and repeatable manner.

  • Office Space: Security Programming in SharePoint 2007
    Ted Pattison - February 2008
    This month Ted Pattison presents an overview of programming security and permissions for Windows SharePoint Services 3.0.

  • Office Space: Events in SharePoint 2007
    Ted Pattison - November 2007
    Windows SharePoint Services (WSS) 3.0 provides a new and improved infrastructure for handling server-side events. In this installment of Office Space, we look at techniques for hooking up Before Events and After Events using both Features and code.

  • { End Bracket }: Matrimony mashup
    Michael Richter - October 2007
    Our site manager Mike Richter leverages Virtual Earth, the Microsoft MapPoint Web service, and Visual Studio to automate the creation of a Web site for his future nuptials and to manage the guest list.

  • Office Apps: Extend Your VBA Code With VSTO
    Paul Stubbs and Kathleen McGrath - August 2007
    VSTO brings you the full feature set of Visual Studio including LINQ, WPF, WCF, and the .NET Framework 3.5.

  • Excel Services: Develop A Calculation Engine For Your Apps
    Vishwas Lele and Pyush Kumar - August 2007
    The Excel Services architecture lets users design their own algorithms and share workbooks on a server.

  • Office Space: Solution Deployment with SharePoint 2007
    Ted Pattison - August 2007
    WSS 3.0 introduces a new deployment mechanism that lets you move your development efforts into a staging or production environment.

  • OFFICE UI: New VSTO Features Help You Customize Word And Outlook
    Steve Fox and Paul Stubbs - June 2007
    See how to use Microsoft Visual Studio Tools for the Microsoft Office System to build powerful custom applications against the 2007 Microsoft Office system.

  • Collaborate: Help Teams Work Together With Web Services And Groove 2007
    John C. Hancock - May 2007


  • Office Space: Features for SharePoint
    Ted Pattison - May 2007


  • RibbonX API: Extend The 2007 Office System With Your Own Ribbon Tabs And Controls
    Eric Faller - February 2007
    If you want to create your own professional looking tabs and controls in Office, check out the RibbonX API of the 2007 Microsoft Office system.

  • Smarter Art: Create Custom SmartArt Graphics For Use In The 2007 Office System
    Janet Schorr - February 2007
    SmartArt incorporates a gallery of templates and predefined shapes that can quickly be inserted and configured in your Microsoft Office documents. Find out how.

  • Office Add-Ins: Develop Add-Ins For PowerPoint And Visio Using VSTO
    Paul Stubbs - February 2007
    Microsoft Visual Studio 2005 Tools for the 2007 Microsoft Office System is more powerful than ever, allowing you to create add-ins for Word, Excel, Outlook, PowerPoint, Visio, and InfoPath.

  • Editor's Note: Hello, Office
    Joshua Trupin - February 2007
    Nothing’s more disappointing than clever design paired with poor implementation. Bluetooth headsets come to mind: they’re tiny, wireless, and cute. But, they don’t pair properly, they turn on when you want them off, or off when you want them on.

  • Office Space: Building Office Open XML Files
    Ted Pattison - February 2007
    This new column explores how you can extend and customize Microsoft Office System applications and file formats.

  • Vista and Office: View Data Your Way With Our Managed Preview Handler Framework
    Stephen Toub - January 2007
    Stephen Toub shows you how to write your own Preview handlers for Windows Vista and Outlook 2007.

  • Team System: Team Foundation Server Version Control
    Brian A. Randell - January 2007
    In this new column, Brian Randell begins his long look at how to extend and enhance Visual Studio Team System.

  • Graphics To Go: Make A Mobile Imaging App With The .NET Compact Framework 2.0
    Rob Pierry - December 2006
    This article focuses on developing for Pocket PCs, a skill which can then be transferred to Smartphone application development.

  • Basic Instincts: Server-Side Generation of Word 2007 Docs
    Ted Pattison - November 2006
    This month, Office Open XML, which allows ASP.NET and SharePoint developers to read, write, and generate Word, Excel, and PowerPoint documents on the server without running an Office desktop application there.

  • Test Run: Using Excel For Test Data
    Dr. James McCaffrey - November 2006
    This month see how to use Excel for test automation storage, whether you’re just starting out with NET, or you’re an advanced programmer.

  • Business Apps: What You Need To Know About Using Office As A Development Platform
    Andrew Whitechapel and John Peltonen - August 2006


  • Gathering MOSS: New Dev-Centric Features In Office SharePoint Server Keep Your Apps Rolling
    Ted Pattison - August 2006
    Microsoft Office SharePoint Server (MOSS) 2007 provides great portal and search features and much more, and Ted Pattison puts them to good use here.

  • Add-In Power: Let Users Customize Your Apps With Visual Studio Tools For Applications
    Paul Stubbs - August 2006
    If you're looking to increase the usefulness of your applications by making them customizable, you'll want to read about these three technologies available from Microsoft.

  • InfoPath 2007: Designing Form Templates With The New Features Of InfoPath
    Scott Roberts and Hagen Green - August 2006
    InfoPath 2007 is an XML forms designer and editor, and a fully featured and integrated member of the Office family. This article takes a sneak peek at some of its new features.

  • Editor's Note: The Office-Driven Life
    Joshua Trupin - August 2006
    Josh Trupin introduces this month's issue.

  • WSS 3.0 Preview: Discover Significant Developer Improvements In SharePoint Services
    Ted Pattison - July 2006


  • Toolbox: Generate Office Documents, Monitor Event Logs, and More
    Scott Mitchell - June 2006
    Most data-driven Web sites are used as interfaces to collect, process, and summarize information. Reports that summarize the data can be presented to the user in a variety of formats—the most common way is to display the report directly in a Web page.

  • Advanced Basics: Setting Word Document Properties the Office 2007 Way
    Ken Getz - June 2006
    The last time I wrote this column (March 2006), I shared an application that allows you to update all the Microsoft® Word documents in a folder and its subfolders. Each time the application finds a document in the specified path, it updates the document properties to match those you specified in the application.

  • Outlook Add-Ins: Improve Your Outlook With Visual Studio Tools For Office
    John R. Durant - March 2006
    Microsoft Visual Studio Tools for Office 2003 supported only Microsoft Word and Excel. The new version, however, has the tools you need to create managed code add-ins for Outlook 2003.

  • Office Unbound: Bring Your Documents To Life With Data Binding In Visual Studio Tools For Office
    Eric Carter and Eric Lippert - March 2006
    Thanks to Visual Studio 2005 Tools for the Microsoft Office System, Windows Forms controls can be bound to databases, Web services, or objects and added to a workbook or document. Find out how.

  • Advanced Basics: Set Word Document Properties Programmatically
    Ken Getz - March 2006
    At the beginning of another lovely day of writing courseware in mad pursuit of unrealistic deadlines, I received a frantic call from a business partner. He was at the end of a long consulting project and had several hundred Microsoft® Word documents, all of which required their document properties to be set identically, except the Title property of the document, which was to be based on the document file name, minus the .

  • CLR Inside Out: Ensuring .NET Framework 2.0 Compatibility
    Jesse Kaplan - March 2006
    If we learned only one thing about compatibility in the past few years, it is that compatibility is much more than avoiding breaking changes. On the Microsoft®. NET Framework and Visual Studio® teams, we do our part to ensure that the products we build are stable platforms that developers can truly rely on.

  • { End Bracket }: Creating a Custom Metrics Tool
    Stephen Toub - April 2005
    Metrics play an important role in our lives. Even if we don't realize it or characterize it as such, many daily activities have the potential to be quantified to some degree. So it's not surprising that metrics play an even greater role in the workplace, where there are goals and a bottom line and where much of a day's activity can be summarized in numbers.

  • Inside MSDN: Using InfoPath as a Reporting Solution
    Larry W. Jordan Jr. - March 2005
    I love the part of my job that lets me write code and develop software. In addition to those responsibilities, however, I manage a development organization that's working on a number of large strategic projects.

  • Office: Relive the Moment by Searching Your IM Logs with Custom Research Services
    John R. Durant - February 2005
    Often, IM conversations contain important information you'd like to keep and reuse. Fortunately, MSN Messenger 6.2 has a feature to keep a conversation history permanently in XML format. This article shows you how to leverage that conversation history by consolidating IM exchanges so they are indexed, searchable, and ultimately reusable using the Microsoft Office 2003 Research and Reference task pane.

  • Excel: Integrate Far-Flung Data into Your Spreadsheets with the Help of Web Services
    Alok Mehta - February 2005
    Excel 2003 lets you dynamically integrate the data provided by different Web services. It also lets you take advantage of the latest capabilities in Office 2003 to customize list views, graphs, and charts, and to catalog bulk items online or offline. Find out how you can makle the most of the data returned from your Web services with the Office 2003 Web Services Toolkit API.

  • Smart Tags: Realize the Potential of Office 2003 by Creating Smart Tags in Managed Code
    Ben Waldron - February 2005
    While you may well be excited about the prospect of building managed smart tags, there is little information available to help you create them using .NET. In this article the author fills in the blanks. Along the way he discusses the Microsoft Office Smart Tag List XML schema, advanced managed smart tags for Office 2003 and Office XP, and deploying these features in an organization.

  • Testing: Get Your Customers Involved in the Testing Process with Functional Tests in Excel
    Will Stott - February 2005
    For specification documents to be truly valuable, they need to give an accurate picture of all the requirements of a project. This article describes how the communication value of specification documents can be improved by permitting users to test the code under construction using the Framework for Integrated Test (FIT), an open-source tool. It also explains how you can build a Windows Forms application in C# (WinFITRunnerLite) that converts functional tests, as written by your customers using Excel, into a form that allows you to run them with FIT against the code you're developing.

  • { End Bracket }: C# and VBA: Like Oil and Water
    Ken Getz - February 2005
    Some things just don't mix as well as you would like. Take C# and Microsoft® Excel 2003 or Word 2003, for example. Not only are these applications huge productivity tools, but they both also provide access to large object models that you can program against from your own applications.

  • Web Q&A: Refreshing Web Pages, Spyware, Group Policy, and More
    Edited by Nancy Michell - October 2004


  • The XML Files: InfoPath 2003 SP1 Preview
    Aaron Skonnard - June 2004


  • Office 2003: Secure and Deploy Business Solutions with Microsoft Visual Studio Tools for Office
    Brian A. Randell and Ken Getz - March 2004
    Microsoft Visual Studio Tools for the Microsoft Office System is a new technology that brings the advanced features of Visual Studio .NET and the .NET Framework to applications built for Microsoft Office Word 2003 and Microsoft Office Excel 2003. Deploying solutions built with this technology requires that you understand how runtime security is enforced in managed applications and how to configure users' systems to run your solutions without introducing security holes.To promote that understanding, this article will demonstrate how to establish trust, explain policy considerations and permissions, and explain what trusted code is all about. Secure assembly deployment is also covered in detail.

  • Beyond Macros: Create Word and Excel Smart Documents with C++ and XML
    Mike Kelly - December 2003
    One of the coolest new parts of Office 2003 is a programmability feature called Smart Documents, which allows developers to augment Word and Excel documents with programmable content and behavior. Typically, examples illustrating Office programmability use Visual Basic or Visual Basic .NET. In this article, the author develops a Smart Document for Excel using C++. He describes the new ISmartDocument interface and shows how to use it to manage a simple task list such as an Excel spreadsheet.

  • Office 2003: Host an Interactive Visio Drawing Surface in .NET Custom Clients
    Mai-lan Tomsen Bukovec and Blair Shaw - December 2003
    Microsoft Office Visio 2003 introduces a new drawing component that allows you to embed an interactive drawing surface into your application's user interface. You can drive the Visio drawing component from events in your host application or with data from a Web Service and an ADO.NET data adapter. The Visio drawing component supports the rich Visio application programming model, giving you control over how graphics are used and displayed on the drawing surface. This article explains how to embed the Visio drawing component into a C#-based Windows Forms client app that retrieves data from the Fabrikam 2.0 Web Service.

  • The XML Files: XML in Microsoft Office Word 2003
    Aaron Skonnard - November 2003


  • OLAP: Build an OLAP Reporting App in ASP.NET Using SQL Server 2000 Analysis Services and Office XP
    Jeffrey Hasan and Kenneth Tu - October 2003
    Many organizations analyze their business-critical data using Online Analytical Processing (OLAP) technology. OLAP-based data mining provides a way to query multidimensional data sets and drill down into the data to find patterns. ASP.NET and the Microsoft Office Web Components (OWC) enable Web-based OLAP reporting. The OWC controls include PivotTable and Chart components that can be embedded in a Web page and scripted by programmers. In this article, the authors build a Web-based OLAP reporting app using ASP.NET, OWC, and SQL Server 2000 Analysis Services to illustrate the process.

  • Web Q&A: Schema From a DataSet, Exporting SQL Data to Excel, and More
    Edited by Nancy Michell - October 2003


  • Office 2003: Bring the Power of Visual Studio .NET to Business Solutions Built with Microsoft Office
    Ken Getz and Brian A. Randell - September 2003
    Microsoft Visual Studio Tools for the Microsoft Office System is a new technology that brings the advanced features of Visual Studio .NET and the .NET Framework to apps built on Microsoft Word 2003 and Excel 2003. Now you can use Visual Basic .NET and C# to write document-centric, managed code solutions that run in-process with Word 2003 or Excel 2003, taking advantage of the rich object models they expose. Along the way you get the benefits of the managed environment in which a fully compiled .NET-based application executes, including code access security.

  • InfoPath: Turn User Input into XML with Custom Forms Using Office InfoPath 2003
    Aaron Skonnard - September 2003
    Office InfoPath 2003 is a new Microsoft Office product that lets you design your own data collection forms that, when submitted, turn the user-entered data into XML for any XML-supporting process to use. With an InfoPath solution in place, you can convert all those commonly used paper forms into Microsoft Office-based forms and end the cycle of handwriting and reentering data into your systems. Today organizations are beginning to realize the value of the mountains of data they collect every day, how hard it is to access it, and are striving to mine it effectively. InfoPath will aid in the design of effective data collection systems. Here the author shows you how to get started.

  • Web Q&A: InfoPath Back End, WSH Script Signing, and More
    Edited by Nancy Michell - September 2003


  • Editor's Note: Get Ready For Microsoft Office 2003
    - May 2003
    Over the years, we've celebrated a lot of anniversaries in this column. Who can forget our "Ten Years of ENIAC!" Editor's Note back in June 1957? Or the "How Far We've Come: Five Years of the Altair 8800" issue back in January 1980? Or even the "Macintosh Interface: 15 Years Without an Update" Editor's Note page just four years ago?.

  • Office XP: New Toolkit Lets You Share Information Between Office Documents and Web Services
    Krishnamurthy Srinivasan - December 2002
    The Office XP Web Services Toolkit makes it possible to build applications that gather information and trigger transactions through various Web Services. The toolkit allows you to easily discover Web Services remotely. It also includes the Web Service Reference Tool, which lets you call a Web Service from inside an Office application. This article shows how toolkit-generated code can be used to access simple, as well as complex, Web Services.The author steps through the auto-generated code to explain the classes that collect parameters, the schema to format the request/response, and the actual operations of the Web Service.

  • Office XP: Build a Custom DLL to Expose Your Objects and Services Through Smart Tag Technology
    Paul Sanna - January 2002
    Smart Tags is a new technology delivered with Office XP that makes it easy for users to complete common tasks on familiar and relevant data regardless of the application they are using. Microsoft provides tools to make it easy to roll out simple Smart Tag applications using XML as a backbone. The Smart Tag SDK provides the detail needed to build a COM automation server for Smart Tags in Visual Basic or Visual C++. This article brings the reader through the SDK to outline the process of building a Smart Tag DLL using the tag recognizer and the action provider to create customized user experiences.

  • SQL and Outlook: Enable Database Access and Updates Through Exchange and Any E-mail Client
    Alok Mehta and Daniel Williams - January 2002
    Using Microsoft technologies, you can insert, edit, query, and delete database entries using any e-mail client such as Hotmail, Outlook, Yahoo, or even WAP phone. While e-mail is certainly a powerful and widely used tool, it is usually not integrated with an application for performing any tasks other than sending reminders. The application scenario described here, an e-mail-based SQL update program, uses a simple data model; however, this solution will apply to any data model that you are working with. It will also eliminate the need for complex n-tier Internet applications and serves as a low maintenance solution for providing data access.

  • FrontPage 2002: Build Database Connectivity and Office XP Collaboration Features Into Your Site
    Marnie Hutcheson - June 2001
    FrontPage 2002 is packed full of improvements and new features, and includes tighter integration with Microsoft Office. The result is that documents created in Word and Microsoft Excel drop right into your Web site. Tools such as the clipboard, context sensitive search, and advanced copy and paste features have been introduced. Improved views and editing features make content creation faster and easier. Enhanced publishing features give you finer control over what is published, and reports detail publishing and usage statistics. There are also many new wizards to help you fly through tasks such as database connection. This article looks at these and other important features you'll want to explore.

  • Serving the Web: Driving Visio 2000 from Visual Basic
    Ken Spencer - February 2001


  • Digital Dashboards: Web Parts Integrate with Internet Explorer and Outlook to Build Personal Portals
    Maarten Mullender - January 2001
    Digital dashboards gather information and functionalities from a wide variety of sources ranging from Web pages to applications such as Microsoft Outlook and SQL Server, and present the resulting information in a single user interface. Digital dashboards built with the Digital Dashboard Resource Kit (DDRK) are made up of distinct units called Web Parts. Web Parts, introduced with the DDRK 2.01, can contain any Web-based information, are reusable, and integrate with each other and with other dashboards. Creating Web Parts and getting them to work together is illustrated via a sample application that uses a PivotTable view. Integrating Web Parts with Outlook, the Outlook View control, storage, and debugging are also covered.

  • Serving the Web: Using Visio 2000 Enterprise Edition to Model Applications
    Ken Spencer - September 2000


  • Microsoft Office 2000: Create Dynamic Digital Dashboards Using Office, OLAP, and DHTML
    Todd Abel - July 2000
    Digital Dashboards provide users with one single interface through which they can view information from a variety of sources that have been chosen specifically for that user. In addition, dashboards allow a user to view the information offline, adding portability to the mix. This article discusses options for building a dashboard based on the Microsoft Outlook folder home pages feature. It covers culling the data from disparate sources and storing it using the MSDE. It then discusses the creation of nugget definitions for structuring the data, and providing a synchronization mechanism to update to the data stores.

  • Upsize Your Database: Convert Your Microsoft Access Application to Take Advantage of SQL Server 7.0
    Michael McManus - June 2000
    What if you need to convert an existing Microsoft Access 97 database application into a true client-server application that is based on a SQL Server back end? If you know a little about Visual Basic and SQL Server, it's easy to make your app take advantage of the power and scalability provided by SQL Server 7.0. Using some concrete code examples, this article takes you step by step through converting the native Jet queries in your Access application into stored procedures and pass-through queries that SQL Server can use. You'll also learn how to pass on parameters when your client-server app calls these SQL Server stored procedures and queries.

  • Build an Easy Maintenance Intranet Site: Using Office Docs, File System Object, and OLE Structured Storage
    Josef Finsel - March 2000
    If you've ever needed to build an easy-to-maintain intranet site, here's a solution based on Microsoft Office documents. Many sites require constant updating of their HTML, but the use of Word documents can simplify the process. This article details the construction of a human resources site that exploits the File System Object (FSO), OLE Structured Storage, and ActiveX capabilities of Word documents. This allows the HR staff to copy their revised or newly created Word files to the site, dynamically generate a list of links to their files, and free IS from the constant recoding of HR updates into new HTML pages.

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