VSTO & .NET & Excel

April 7, 2013

Time to move on – Exit MVP Program

Filed under: .NET & Excel, .NET Books, Apps for Office, COM Add-ins, Excel, SQL Server, VSTO & Excel, VSTO Books, XLLs — Dennis M Wallentin @ 4:27 pm

Around 2005 – 2006 I peaked with MS Excel, since then I have slightly moved away from it year to year. In 2010 I was honored to become part of Microsoft’s MVP-program.

Of course, it was interesting to get another position and more closed to Microsoft in general, the production team in particularly. However, I never got excited about it as I was moving away from MS Excel. In addition, I didn’t put much efforts to support the online community in various forms.

Given the circumstances I finally took the decision to not be up for the next renewal process. Looking back I can conclude that it has been an amazing time, from the 80’s and until now. I have also achieved more than what I thought was possible. In other words, I have nothing more to proof. So I can walk away and looking ahead for new adventures in the world of softwares.

But before I close the MS Excel book I have one thing I would like to point out and to discuss. Let me first conclude that Microsoft have never really been loyal to the group of developers for MS Excel. It’s regretful as the group have a strong commitment and interest of developing MS Excel further.

In the beginning we got the macro language, XLM, which we started to use more and more. Then VBA and VB6 came and Microsoft asked us to drop XLM in favor of these two Basic languages. 10 years later VB6 was depreciated and since then VBA also risk to be depreciated. Microsoft asked us to replace them with .NET and VSTO. 10 years later .NET and VSTO face the same situation as VB6, i.e to be depreciated. Microsoft now ask us to start develop with Apps for Office. Given the short history, i.e about 20 years, it’s remarkable the number of changes Microsoft have done.

In my opinion, Microsoft’s trust capital is now below zero due to lack of loyalty Microsoft show the group of MS Excel developers. The question is not about Apps for Office rather what will come next?

But it’s no longer of interest for me. I’m moving along and I set focus on other tools and platforms. The blog will change its name and extend its contest with other tools including other platforms. Actually, I will go back to VB6, pick up new tools like PowerBasic and PureBasic which will allow me to write everything in code, including the UI.  Other tools I have picked up is Real Studio and LiveCode together with my two favorites databases; Valentina and Ninja Pro.

I have uninstalled Office 2013 and replaced it with the 2000 version. I may re install it later on in case I find Apps for Office interesting unless it has been already replaced with something new!

It has been a fantastic time in my life to be part of the online Excel community and be part of an exciting time for MS Excel. My English has been improved with >90 %.  I have some good friends around the globe . So without mention any names I would finally say:

Thank You all!

Kind regards,



  1. Hi Dennis, We would be grateful to you if you could be so kind to host your articles of your earlier site Excel KB somewhere on this site…..I learnt a great deal about Database connectivity from that site and I have no doubt the articles will be will be useful to other Excel enthusiasts….It is sad to see you go…

    Comment by sam — April 9, 2013 @ 1:12 pm

    • Sam,
      Thanks, that’s a great idea. I cannot publish all the articles because some of them are now available at MSDN. However, I will review the stuff and publish what can be published so to speak.

      Kind regards,

      Comment by Dennis M Wallentin — April 9, 2013 @ 6:58 pm

      • ” some of them are now available at MSDN” – I dont think even MS knows what is published on MSDN !!…and its impossible to search – so could you kindly provide a link to the MSDN articles ….

        PowerPivot I thought had the potential of becoming the game-changer of sorts had they made it available in 2013 – normal editions….but MS is hell bent on losing market share….

        Comment by sam — April 10, 2013 @ 5:05 pm

      • sam,
        You can find them under Publications at the following URL:

        In my opinion Microsoft have made a huge mistake when PowerPivot, PowerView (new for 2013) are only made available with the Pro version and higher… I don’t believe that Office 2013 will be a hit without these tools. With Excel 2013 itself there are no really big improvement that justify to upgrade to 2013 from 2010. If You want to continue to use PowerPivot but are not willing to pay for the Pro version the best solution is to continue to use 2010.

        Personally I have the impression that Office 2013 is the last version of the suite that is focused on the Desktop platform. Take a closer look on what Microsoft are up to:

        The big movement for Azur
        The huge improvements with Windows Phone
        The new platform WinRT
        The new App Store

        The Desktop platform is not part of the future, it’s part of the old paradigm. What is most important is that Microsoft is targeting to turn the enterprise from the largest software vendor to be the largest services enterprise.

        Do You agree?

        Kind regards,

        Comment by Dennis M Wallentin — April 10, 2013 @ 6:31 pm

  2. Hi Dennis,

    Sad to hear this news. I think you’re spot on with your analysis of MS and Excel (of course office in general) and what about VSTA!!!

    Best of luck with the slight change in direction, I’m sure you’ll be a big hit, and I look forward to keeping up with the new blog.

    All the best Dennis


    Comment by Ross — April 9, 2013 @ 2:20 pm

    • Ross,
      Thanks for Your kind words. For me it’s a relief to announce my departure. It has not been enough fun to be around.

      Take care mate,

      Comment by Dennis M Wallentin — April 9, 2013 @ 7:02 pm

  3. Hi Dennis,

    Thank you for all of your contributions over the years. I have learned a great deal from you (Unbeknownst to you) from the XLDennis Corner @ Ozgrid, ExcelKB, quality posts of the forums, whitepapers on MSDN and PED2. Truly an amazing body of work for which you should be extremely proud and I, for one, am eternally grateful.

    All the best in your future endeavors,

    Comment by winston — April 11, 2013 @ 5:53 am

    • Winston,
      Many thanks for taking Your time to post here. It’s very much appreciated and I thank You and many other who have believed in me. I feel humble for Your words and all I can say is: Thank You.

      Kind regards,

      Comment by Dennis M Wallentin — April 12, 2013 @ 1:52 pm

  4. Hi Dennis,

    Sorry to see you depart from the Excel community!
    You’ve been quite an asset. It was you who convinced me to try some feable steps in VSTO.
    But then along came Office apps and I said bye-bye to VSTO 🙂
    Good luck on your new projects. I’m curious where they will take you!

    Comment by Jan Karel Pieterse — April 12, 2013 @ 3:30 pm

    • JK,
      You’re a kind person. Thank You for kind words.

      Who knows where I will pop up next time 😉

      All the very best,

      Comment by Dennis M Wallentin — April 12, 2013 @ 8:28 pm

  5. Dennis,
    Don’t be too concerned about Microsoft general lack of direction on office…..It happens when you have non-technical people try to run technology based company…They are just panicking a bit because people are buying more IPAD’s and IPHONES rather than Laptops and conventional Tablets…So they want to just blindly follow the trend…

    During the mid 90’s when I first started working on computers we had a server and “dummy terminals” – We use to have MS Office 95 for Workgroups loaded on the server and each terminal worked on the “server” copy of Office….It was slow and clunky and unreliable….

    Then came the Desktops… and we all had our own copies of office…. The Desktops kept getting more and more powerful….and the software’s kept getting more bulkier ….this package (Powerful Desktop + Bulkier Software) became very expensive…. so during one of the recession periods …. 20 years later some one came up with an idea…. the old setup was re-bundled and the terminal was given a new name …. “Thin Client” ….and the Server is now called the “The Cloud” 🙂

    The “Cloud” office is slow, clunky and a highly watered down version of the “Desktop” office…..This everything on the cloud is just another fashion trend and will die down soon…..The Desktop is not going away any time soon.

    Comment by sam — April 15, 2013 @ 1:23 pm

  6. Hi Dennis,

    Not sure if you remember me (the guy from Holland) but we had some interesting conversations some years ago, mostly about database stuff.
    I sure do remember you and was somewhat surprised to see your anouncement to leave Excel/VBA behind.

    Not that I can not understand your decision. Your analysis of M$ and their history with programming languages in office is simply true.
    Haven’t looked at office apps yet and right now I don’t feel like doing that either.

    I wish you all the best for now and look forward to reading your articles about the other programming languages mentioned above.

    Take care,


    Comment by Remco Boom — April 24, 2013 @ 12:15 pm

    • Remco,
      Of course I remember You. Yes, it was some interesting discussions we had, privately but also via Colo’s Q&A Forum. Do You still work with FireBird?

      30 years is a long period, I feel a little bit of newborn when exploring new tools.

      Thank You and all the very best,

      Comment by Dennis M Wallentin — April 24, 2013 @ 12:47 pm

      • Dennis,

        Yes, we communicated a lot through the JMT forum at the time. For some unknown reason to me that forum ceased to exist overnight. Do you know what happened to it?

        I worked with Firebird at the time because it was the database used in MailTraq (an Exchange alternative).
        Other than that I haven’t used it.

        Right now I work a lot with Progress which is a commercial database. I don’t think you’ll come across it much. I use it as part of an ERP system and as such I am only digging around in tables and views. That all happens with a simple ODBC connection, in Excel but also in BI/SQL tools like SquirrelSQL, Cognos and Omniverse (older Oracle reporting tool). Unfortunately they do not support OLE in the version that we have here.

        Anyway, nice to hear from again and good to know you haven’t forgotten me 😉

        Best regards,


        Comment by Remco Boom — April 24, 2013 @ 1:41 pm

      • Remco,
        I have no idea why JMT was shut down. But I can ask Masaru about it.

        Progress? I have only seen a Progress-based business system but never worked with it? Do You have any link to it? (As usual I get very curious :-))

        Kind regards,

        Comment by Dennis M Wallentin — April 24, 2013 @ 2:52 pm

      • Dennis,

        I thought it was run by one of his friends in South Africa, not Masaru himself. He was visiting frequently though.

        Progress is quite a corp. You can find about their dbase product (OpenEdge) here:


        We use ‘Unit4 Wholesale’ which is an ERP system developed here in The Netherlands. It is based on OpenEdge.


        I thought I heard that they are moving away from Progress and move towards Oracle. Not sure though.

        Best regards,


        Comment by Remco Boom — April 24, 2013 @ 3:48 pm

      • Remco,

        Yes, You’re right about it. Anyway life goes on and perhaps we see each other again in some odd forum 😉

        Take care and thanks for the links,

        Comment by Dennis M Wallentin — April 24, 2013 @ 6:06 pm

    • David,
      It takes time before a guest article is published. That’s all.

      You don’t need to be a MVP to get articles published.

      Kind regards,

      Comment by Dennis M Wallentin — May 24, 2013 @ 10:43 am

      • The tone of your reply implies that I was in some way insulting you. That is no true. In fact, I was promoting your article, since no mention of it appeared on your web site.

        Comment by David Hager (@dhExcel) — May 24, 2013 @ 9:24 pm

      • David,
        My apologize, I was somehow confused over Your comment. English is not a simple language. Thanks for the clarification 🙂

        Thanks for promoting the article. I’m not a person that automatically push for my own contributions…

        Thanks and all the best,

        Comment by Dennis M Wallentin — May 24, 2013 @ 9:32 pm

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