VSTO & .NET & Excel

May 19, 2009

The 2nd Edition of Professional Excel Development (PED) is available!

Filed under: .NET Books, VSTO Books — Dennis M Wallentin @ 4:30 pm

The book “Professional Excel Development” (aka “PED”) is now available in the second edition. The major news is that .NET including VSTO has been added to the book. Because I’m responsible for the .NET section in the book the list of authors now also includes my name too.

2nd PED

For some weeks ago Ross McLean had the kindness to make an interview with me. Instead of repeating what I said in the interview you can read the full story here. However, I would like to thank Rob Bovey  for being an excellent teamleader for this edition. Another person I would also like to thank is Gabhan Barry (a Program Manager in the Excel group at Microsoft) who made the technical review on the .NET chapters.

New Chapters
The second editions includes five new chapters:

Chapter 10 – The Office 2007 Ribbon User Interface:
This chapter cover the Ribbon UI paradigm and discuss some advanced problem solving with the new UI.

Chapter 11 – Creating Cross-Version Applications:

In view of the fact that the Ribbon UI was introduced with Excel 2007 and that Windows Vista differ from Windows XP we decided to add this chapter. It covers how to create applications that target both Excel 2003 and previously versions and Excel 2007. We also discuss the major differences between the two operating systems.

Chapter 24 – Excel and VB.NET:
In the first part we introduce the IDE in detail and cover some basic VB.NET programming. In the second part of the chapter we discuss how to automate Excel with VB.NET.
The chapter present a practical case, PETRAS Report Tool.NET which is a standalone utility to retrieve data from PETRAS SQL Server database and populate some Excel reports templates.

Chapter 25 – Writing Managed COM Add-ins with VB.NET:
This chapter is the “flag ship” of the .NET section and goes in detail on how to create managed COM Add-ins and it also discuss in detail Automation Add-ins.
Here we also port the practical standalone utility, PETRAS Report Tool.NET. to a managed COM Add-in.

Chapter 26 – Developing Excel Solutions with Visual Studio Tools for Office System (VSTO):
In the first part of the chapter we set focus on two questions: What is VSTO and When to use VSTO. We also discuss VSTO add-ins, VSTO workbooks and how to deploy a VSTO workbook via the Web with the ClickOnce technology. To leverage the content in this chapter it requires that you have access to Excel 2007.

To buy the book or not?
If you have an interest in Excel and .NET including VSTO then you should consider buying the second edition. However, if your concern is native Excel and VBA then it is better that you save the money and wait until the next edition of the book is available.

If you want to buy or rank the book then please click here

PED’s site
With this edition we decided to build a completely new site for the book with Q&A forums. The intention with the site is to allow you to interact with the authors and leave suggestions for future editions of the book. The Q&A forums are built around the book’s content and they have a similar structure as the book’s TOC. In addition, it is here you will find information about updates and more downloads. 
We strongly encourage you to become a member and discuss the book in detail. Rob and I will try to answer all questions to the best of our knowledge. At the same time we feel it is important to state that the site is not a general Q&A forum about the involved technologies.

Together with the publisher we have made two chapters available for free download. To find out more please visit the PED’s site.

Let me know if you want any further information.

Kind regards,


  1. Awesome Dennis!

    Congrats on a huge achievement and your contribution to a great series/franchise.

    I’m looking forward to reading it, especially the .NET chapters. 😉


    Comment by Mike Rosenblum — May 17, 2009 @ 5:04 pm

    • Hey CM Mike 🙂

      Thanks for Your kind words and I sincerely hope that my contribution will be well received.

      I take this opportunity to explicit thank You; both for being a great friend to me but also for Your work to help others Excel developers when it comes to the .NET platform including me.

      All the very best,

      Comment by Dennis Wallentin — May 17, 2009 @ 7:48 pm

  2. Fantastic, Dennis!

    Congratulations on completing the book. I know how hard it can be to soldier on through the writing at times, and this is a huge accomplishment.

    I’m looking forward to getting my hands on a copy and having a read through. It’s high time that I get back into learning VB.NET.

    All the best,


    Comment by Ken Puls — May 18, 2009 @ 5:06 am

    • Hey Ken 🙂

      Thanks for Your kind words. I must admit that next time I review a book I will not be too hard as I also know how hard it can be. Yes, I agree that You should start with VB.NET. Not necessarily with VSTO but with writing managed COM add-ins with VB.NET.

      All the very best,

      Comment by Dennis Wallentin — May 18, 2009 @ 10:30 am

  3. Congratulations Dennis – Worth all the hard work I am sure – It will make interesting reading…

    All the best,


    Comment by Will — May 22, 2009 @ 1:15 am

    • Hey Will 🙂

      Many thanks for Your kind words. I hope things are well with You and with Your family.

      All the very best,

      Comment by Dennis Wallentin — May 22, 2009 @ 10:51 am

  4. Dennis,

    Congratulations with your new book.

    Writing a book is a hell of a job and a real accomplishment if you manage to pull it off! Well done!

    Comment by Maarten van Stam — May 25, 2009 @ 9:06 am

    • Hi Maarten,

      Thanks! Yes, I discovered that I went through all the emotions when writing. It’s an interesting learning process; starting out with a blank Word template and in the final end have 60-70 pages. In addition, writing is one thing that we can visualize and understand. But the manuscript is reviewed both from a technical view as well as from an publishing view which all in all is quite resource consuming.

      I have promised myself that next time I review a book I will be much nicer!

      All the best,

      Comment by Dennis Wallentin — May 25, 2009 @ 10:36 am

  5. Congratulations on the book Dennis
    my copy arrived in the post a couple of days ago. I’ve had a quick skim, but I am looking forward to going through it properly over the summer.


    Comment by Simon — July 7, 2009 @ 11:30 am

    • Simon,

      Thanks and I’m really sorry to hear that the book arrived for some days ago. I’m not sure why the distribution has been so slow.

      Kind regards,

      Comment by Dennis Wallentin — July 7, 2009 @ 12:30 pm

  6. I have the first edition, and this book really is the market leader for professional Excel development in my opinion.

    I am going to make it one of the must read books in my guide to getting work as an Excel developer in banking.

    Comment by FinancialRadDeveloper — April 13, 2010 @ 1:28 pm

    • Alan,

      Thank You very much for Your kind words and we appreciate that You think it qualifies to be recommended.


      Comment by Dennis Wallentin — April 13, 2010 @ 5:43 pm

  7. Hi,

    Just received the book from Amazon and am impressed. Only negative is that, unlike my first edition, the mentioned CD is not attached. Please advise where the code can be downloaded.

    Comment by John — July 7, 2010 @ 3:39 pm

  8. PED first is great! Need to know — does 2nd Ed. is it compatible with Excel 2003 and does it come with a disk? If yes to both, I’ll DEFINITELY get a copy!

    Comment by Benjamin Johns — July 30, 2010 @ 9:58 pm

    • Benjamin,

      Thanks for Your kind words. As for the 2nd edition it’s compatible with Excel 2003 and it’s shipped with a CD.

      However, for the completely new written chapters about VB.NET/VSTO we decided to focus on Excel 2007 and drop Excel 2003. There was technical issues that made us take that decision.

      As I also write in this article is that much of the chapters from the 1st edition have not been significantly updated either.

      Kind regards,

      Comment by Dennis Wallentin — July 31, 2010 @ 12:58 am

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