It seems that it’s still existing some confusion regarding what it actually requires to develop and use VSTO solutions and also which versions of Office are supported. This blogpost will try to give a better overview of VSTO.
At present there exist two versions of VSTO, 2005 and 2005 Second Edition (VSTO 2005 SE).
VSTO 2005 can either be used standalone or ‘on top’ of Visual Studio 2005 Professional and higher. It requires that we buy a license of it in order to use it.
With VSTO 2005 we can:
- Create workbook’s level solutions, i e standalone workbooks and templates with managed code (VB.NET / C#) behind for Excel 2003 (and Excel 2007).
VSTO 2005 SE is available free for download. In order to use it we either need VSTO 2005 or Visual Studio 2005 Professional and higher.
What we can do with VSTO 2005 SE:
- Create managed COM Add-ins (VB.NET/ C#) for Excel 2003 and Excel 2007
The following list shows the requirements on the development computer:
The following list shows the required Office version for each version of VSTO (and on the development computer):
Note 3 above is important as we cannot explicit use VSTO 2005 with Excel 2007 to develop workbook’s level solutions. The workaround is to use Excel 2003 and then test the solutions with Excel 2007.
Note 4 above, I did test to have Office 2003 and Office 2007 installed side by side together with VSTO 2005 SE but it only ended up in a critical error message.
The following list shows the requirements on the targeting computers:
Finally, I have an article, that is regular updated, about online resources for VSTO here which includes all the relevant links for the above.