(C) 2009 - 2014 by Mourad Louha · All rights reserved

As you surely know, VBA allows to write very complex applications simplifying and optimizing business processes in a company. However VBA is gradually beginning to reach its limits and will certainly be removed in one of the future versions of MS Office. Major shortcomings of VBA applications are the low protection of the VBA Code or missing code management tools. With VSTO – Visual Studio Tools for Office – Microsoft provides specific templates and interfaces in Visual Studio to develop office applications based on .NET. This also means that the full power of .NET applications is made available to office Add-Ins. And, very important, the code is managed, each line of code is verified for its rights before excecution.

On one hand, you can create document based solutions with VSTO and, on the other hand, solutions on the application level. You need Visual Studio for using VSTO. Currently VSTO is available in Version 3.0.

For some time, I’m playing a little with this new possibilities. My first goal is to be able to migrate my VBA applications in the near future as effectively as possible. Certainly I will not avoid to rewrite some parts of my code and this would not be done in a few days, as some of my applications are containing more than 50.000 lines of code. So, I was searching the internet for tools for simplifying the migration process. I found the company „Add-In Express“ offering tools for what I was searching.

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As mentionned in my first post, I would like to share my experiences when porting my VBA applications to .NET. Ok, now after playing with Visual Studio, I had to say that I also have to familiarize myself with some features of Visual Studio. This, even if I’m coming from Borland C++ and later Microsoft C++ (really very long time ago, still someone knows a Borland C ++?).

To start, I intended to migrate my very small application „Hide and unhide objects in Excel“. I expect that the new application would run both in Excel 2003 and Excel 2007. And it would be nice, if I also can use the application in Word and PowerPoint.

Ok, let’s begin. First, I created a new project in Visual Studio. As mentionned in part one of this post, I choose „ADX COM Add-in“ from „Other project types – Extensibility“

Add-In Express

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Recently, I found the download link for the „Office 2010 Developer Training Kit“ on Twitter and on the german blog from Tom Wendel. The Training Kit has been mainly created and tested by Paul Stubbs, Girish Raja, Steve Fox, Donovan Follette and Chris Mayo. As far as I know, the Training Kit is only available in English (I’m from Germany). The Training Kit provides many useful and interesting informations about Office 2010 and also exercises for developers.

Office 2010 Developer Training Kit

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