VSTO & .NET & Excel

March 20, 2010

The COM Shim Wizard for VS 2010 is available

Filed under: .NET & Excel, COM Add-ins — Dennis M Wallentin @ 1:33 pm

Misha Schneerson has now made the Shim Wizard for VS 2010 available for download. What should be noted is that the new version is not officially released by Microsoft and it’s not officially supported. For more information please see COM Shim Wizards for VS 2010.

In view of the fact that VSTO is getting better and better for every new release the need to use managed COM add-ins will decrease. Especially if we only develop for one software within the Office suite. Perhaps this new version of the Shim Wizard will be the last one?

Kind regards,



  1. Thanks for the head’s up Dennis, this is good to see.

    > “Perhaps this new version of the Shim Wizard will be the last one?”

    I’m going to make a personal guess that the answer is “no”. It could be possible if the next version of Excel does not require any changes to the shim wizard, but this has yet to happen from 2003 to 2007 and then to 2010.

    Another possibility is to expect everyone to simply use VSTO. This will occur some day, but VSTO only supports solutions for Excel 2003 and above, so I still think that having the capability to produce managed COM add-ins without VSTO is still important.

    Personally, I am looking forward to the day when I can use VSTO and not look back… Today, however, I need my projects to be backwards compatible below Excel 2003, so I have no choice but to use managed COM add-ins instead.

    Hmmm… another issue is that VSTO does not support automation add-ins for user defined functions (UDFs). I do not think that it is nearly as important to shim an automation add-in, but it is still recommended to do so. Therefore, this is another reason why the Shim Wizard is so important. But, some day VSTO will likely have UDF support as well, I would think…

    — Mike

    Comment by Mike Rosenblum — March 20, 2010 @ 8:13 pm

  2. Mike,

    Although I agree with You to some point I find it hard to see the future of the COM Shim Wizard.

    In my experience most developers usually use VBA or XLLs for UDFs.

    The backward compatibility issue, i.e. target several Office versions, will be less important as we move forward.

    Personally I have never target any other environment than Excel with any client managed/unmanaged COM add-in solution. Looking around I don’t see many tools that target multiply Office softwares.

    How important is it to isolate managed COM add-ins from each other? If all managed COM add-ins are well written then shimming is less important.

    Based on Misha’s post I can only conclude that the Shim is a personal spare time project. When Misha no longer want to keep up the work we face a difficult situation.

    Anyway, by using Add-in Express.NET we actually resolve most issues 😉

    Kind regards,

    Comment by Dennis Wallentin — March 20, 2010 @ 10:16 pm

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