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All posts tagged Tutorial

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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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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The „Project Gemini“ is the code name for an Excel 2010 Add-In, which allows the user to use real „Self Service Business Intelligence“. Gemini consists of the three following components:

An Excel Add-In with own interface and own ribbon. If you use the Add-In, you’ll be able to imports millions of rows, create relationships between them, calculate values in new columns using formulas and create attractive Pivot Charts. You don’t need to learn database query languagues like T-SQL or MDX. And, in additionl, you can publish your solutions on a sharepoint server.
There is also an Add-In availaible for Sharepoint 2010. This Add-In allows you, for example, to manage the workbooks published with Gemini, assign some rights or create more reports. Please note that the Excel Services should be installed and activated.
The last component is the new memory engine, using a column-based compression. Exactly this engine allows you quickly and easily manage and include the millions of rows.

Microsoft let me also participate to the Gemini preview; thanks for that! The Gemini Team provided to the participants some samples and tutorials for the first steps in Gemini. In these samples are included data files for use with the Microsoft SQL Server and also an Access Database for the people who have not access to a SQL Server. Throughout this article, I lean to some steps of the tutorial. For simplicity, I used the Access Database for my first steps with Gemini. Another reason is that on one hand I’m not an expert for SQL Server and an another hand, I should have to install it, which is not possible at this time.

Gemini Add-In in Excel

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