VSTO & .NET & Excel

April 2, 2010

Walkthrough: VSTO Solution Case for Excel 2007

Filed under: .NET & Excel, VSTO & Excel — Dennis M Wallentin @ 1:33 pm

Mathias Brandewinder has recently created a series where he walks through how to create a VSTO solution for Excel 2007 using VSTO 3.0 and C#. I find the series to be good and of interest for everyone that is interested of VSTO & Excel.

For more information please see: Excel 2007 VSTO add-in: table of contents

Kind regards,

PS. Mathias use an interesting free software for his site which is also worth  to check out.


  1. Hej Dennis,

    Yes, Mathias’ blog on VSTO is excellent. (The link to his blog is http://www.clear-lines.com/blog/)

    I’ve read all his articles, some day I hope to actually implement them…

    — Mike

    Comment by Mike Rosenblum — April 2, 2010 @ 9:14 pm

  2. Mike,

    VSTO has been around since 2004/2005 but still waiting for a wider use among a larger group of developers. I guess it will still be a compliment for Excel developers despite what any future Excel version will include or not.

    Kind regards,

    Comment by Dennis Wallentin — April 3, 2010 @ 12:46 pm

    • @Mike: thanks for the kind words!
      @Dennis: I really appreciate the link – and in general your feedback on the VSTO sample.
      VSTO is still a bit of a fringe topic. It’s a tough sale for both groups who should be interested: for VBA developers, it takes an effort to get into .Net, and the benefits are not immediately obvious (some things are just way more complicated initially with VSTO than with VBA) – and for pure .Net developers, the benefits of coding against Excel or Office applications are not clear, and lack the cutting-edge-technology excitement factor.
      I have no doubt that it is there to stay, though: I haven’t seen any investment from Microsoft in VBA since a while, but VSTO has been constantly upgraded over time, integrated better and better with Visual Studio, and given the commitment of Microsoft to the .Net platform, I am sure that they would prefer VSTO to become the standard for Office development.

      Comment by Mathias — April 4, 2010 @ 10:07 pm

  3. Mathias,
    You’re welcome 🙂

    In my experience; the large group of inhouse unofficially Excel developers have only access to Excel. VSTO is part of VS Professional and higher version. It can be difficult for members in this group to justify an investment in VS Professional.

    If they get their hands on VS Professional they face a situation where they need to learn a new language. Despite the similarities between VBA and VB.NET it’s still a steep learning curve for them. Another challenge is the deployment process, i.e. from one file deployment to a great number of files deployment including the security aspect.

    For .NET developers the advantage is that they can use much of their knowledge. But the great challenge is to learn Excel’s Object Model. In many cases they find the Object Model to be outdated as it lack events and methods. Another area of difficulty is to release the Excel Objects that have been used in all solutions. To some degree I can agree on that due to the lack of ” the cutting-edge-technology excitement factor” some .NET developers aband Excel development on the .NET platform.

    Despite all the efforts MSFT do with VS and with VSTO in particular I believe that the two situations described above prevent VSTO to be more widely used.

    I fully agree that it’s a shame that MSFT upto this date has not made any larger improvements for VBA and in the Excel’s Object Model. As it is now VBA is a second class citizen…

    All in all, the above explains why I’m pessimistic about VSTO’s future.

    Kind regards,

    Comment by Dennis Wallentin — April 5, 2010 @ 4:11 pm

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