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Collaborative Development of Office Solutions

Multiple developers can work on a Microsoft Office 2003 solution that uses managed code extensions in the same way that they collaborate on other Visual Studio projects. Visual Studio correctly locates Microsoft Office Word 2003 and Microsoft Office Excel 2003 on each computer, even if Office is installed in different locations. However, there are some important considerations to be aware of.

Debug Properties Are Not Shared

Debug properties are not shared among multiple users under source control. Visual Basic and C# projects store the debugging properties in a user-specific file (<ProjectName>.vbproj.user or <ProjectName>.csproj.user), and this file is not under source control. If more than one person is debugging, each person must enter debug properties manually.

If the project is housed on a network share instead of in source control, some extra steps must be taken to enable the collaborating developers to open the solution and test the assembly.

Source Control Requires Checking Out All Files

If you use source control for your projects, you should check out all of the files under the document or workbook node in Solution Explorer every time you change the document or workbook, even the files that are hidden by default. If you check out only the document or workbook, your changes might be lost.

After you make your changes, check all of the files back in.

Steps for Informal Collaboration on a Network

  • If a UNC path (such as \\Servername\Sharename) is used as the development location, the wizard presents a security warning. If the network location is not secure, another user can overwrite your assembly with a malicious assembly and compromise your computer. You can make the network location more secure by setting read-only access to the shared folder for everyone, and granting write permissions only to yourself and to people that require that level of permission. It is recommended that you do not trust the project using the URL as evidence, but rely on a signature, publisher key, or other form of evidence to trust the assembly. For information about different forms of evidence, see Evidence.

  • The developers must be administrators on the network for Visual Studio to grant full trust automatically and run the project. If the developers are not administrators, an administrator must set the security policy to grant full trust to the assembly and document at the machine level for each collaborating developer. For more information, see Office Solution Build Process Overview and Security Requirements to Run Office Solutions.

See Also