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Microsoft Office 2003 Editions: Overview of Developer TechnologiesSeptember 2004

Tools for Office version 2003 solutions are tied to documents or templates; you cannot use this technology to build program-specific code, for example a Word add-in. However, you can use it to provide custom menus and toolbars for use with the associated document.

When you want to test an application, t click Start on the Visual Studio .NET toolbar. This starts the Word document or Excel workbook and runs the custom code. Then, you can view the Word or Excel solution and observe the results of the running code. You can also set break points in the code and return to Visual Studio .NET for debugging purposes.

The code that you write is built as a dynamic-link library (DLL) file, which you can deploy to any number of places depending on the specific needs of the solution – a local hard disk, a network share on a corporate intranet, or on a secured Internet site. Code written with Visual Studio Tools for Office version 2003 is managed code, and uses the built-in security features of the .NET Framework. Indeed, .NET security for Visual Studio Tools for Office version 2003 solutions is aggressively locked down so that you must use explicit security policy to control whether or not the code is trusted.

You can choose to use the No-Touch Deployment feature of the .NET Framework to facilitate easier deployment and maintenance. If the security checks are in order, when a user opens the Word or Excel file, the computer downloads the DLL from the deployment location to the user's computer and the solution runs. After you deploy a new DLL to the location, the next time a user opens the Word or Excel file, the computer detects that the DLL is updated and downloads and runs the new code automatically. No intervention is required by either you or administrator and the user does not need to download a new version of the file.

Suggested Next Steps

View online demonstrations: http://msdn.microsoft.com/office/understanding/vsto/multimedia/default.aspx

Compare VBA and Visual Studio Tools for Office version 2003: http://msdn.microsoft.com/office/understanding/vsto/articles/default.aspx?pull=/library/en-us/dno2k3ta/html/odc_ofcomparevba6andvsto.asp

Learn how to migrate Word VBA solutions to Visual Studio Tools for Office version 2003: http://msdn.microsoft.com/office/understanding/vsto/articles/default.aspx?pull=/library/en-us/odc_vsto2003_ta/html/odc_vstvbatovsto.asp

Walk-through Visual Studio Tools for Office version 2003 training labs: http://msdn.microsoft.com/library/default.asp?url=/library/en-us/odc_2003_ta/html/odc_landvsto03_tr.asp

Understand Visual Studio Tools for Office version 2003 project templates: http://msdn.microsoft.com/office/understanding/vsto/articles/default.aspx?pull=/library/en-us/odc_vsto2003_ta/html/vstointro.asp

Learn how to access Web services in Excel using Visual Studio Tools for Office version 2003: http://msdn.microsoft.com/office/understanding/vsto/articles/default.aspx?pull=/library/en-us/odc_vsto2003_ta/html/odc_vstexlweb.asp

Read the Visual Studio Tools for Office version 2003 blog: http://weblogs.asp.net/vsto

"Visual Studio Tools for Office version 2005 (beta)"

"Visual Studio Tools for Office version 2005 (beta)" builds upon the capabilities introduced in Visual Studio Tools for Office version 2003 to help address some of the biggest challenges facing Office solution developers. "Visual Studio Tools for Office version 2005 (beta)" brings significant enhancements to development areas including the separation of data and view elements,

© 2006 Microsoft Corporation. All rights reserved. Page 26 By using or providing feedback on these materials, you agree to the attached license agreement.

To comment on this paper or request more documentation on these developer features, contact us at O12Devdx@microsoft.com. We look forward to hearing from you.

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