VSTO & .NET & Excel

January 1, 2014

Syncfusion’s Free Offers

Filed under: .NET & Excel, Apps for Office, COM Add-ins, Excel, SQL Server, SQLite, Tools, UI Design, Valentina DB, VSTO & Excel — Dennis M Wallentin @ 8:37 pm

During 2013 Syncfusion have been releasing additional books in the series of Succintly. They cover a lot of development areas and are all free (PDFs).

Not only books are shipped free. Syncfusion offers also for Hobbyist the Essential Studio for JavaScript.

Per se it’s not free as You need to pay $ 1 for 1 license which is also valid for next offer.

Another offer for Hobbyist  is the Essential Studio for WinRT (Windows 8.1)

The JavaScript Studio should attract Excel developers who develop so called Office Apps.

Anyway, I find it nice when a company like Syncfusion actually see the group of hobbyists.

Yes, I’m a full member of the Hobbyists group ūüėČ

Happy Coding!



November 19, 2013

Add-in Express Series for Excel Beginners

Filed under: .NET & Excel, Apps for Office, COM Add-ins, Excel, SQL Server, Tools, Valentina DB, VSTO & Excel, XLLs — Dennis M Wallentin @ 7:51 pm

Add-in Express have published a great number of interesting articles for Excel beginners. To be more specific, Excel beginners who use their All-in Framework .NET to create COM Add-ins, RDTs and Functions Libraries (XLLs and UDFs).

Here is the link to the first article in the series:


Kind regards,

May 30, 2013

SQLabs SQLite Tools

Filed under: .NET & Excel, Apps for Office, COM Add-ins, Database, Excel, LiveCode, Real Basic Developing, SQLite — Dennis M Wallentin @ 5:42 pm

We all get some favorite tools, tools that we use on a regular basis. They usually do the work fast and effective. I still use SQLite databases and have done it more then eight years or so. The SQLite database is great for a various tasks, especially as an embedded database. It’s easy to work with in all the environments I move between, VB6 / VB.NET / LiveCode / Real Studio (Xojo) / PowerBasic & EZ GUI / NSB AppStudio.

The key to successfully use SQLite in different solutions is the tools I administrate SQLite databases with. For some years ago I stumbled over a site that caught my interest, http://www.sqlabs.net/.

When looking into it I read about some tools that could help me manage SQLite databases. The first tool was the SQLite Manager which turned out to be a powerful database management tool. The following picture is a screen shot of it:


Next, I needed to port two databases, i e so called Access database and then I tried the SQLite Converter. Success! Since then I always use SQLabs’s Converter. Yes, the below screen shot shows the SQLite Converter in action:


For a year ago or so SQLabs published an excellent offer for their relational database management system (DBMS) named to cubeSQL:

  • A Developer key : ¬†Unlimited connections key but requires you to restart the server every 4 hours or
  • A Freeware key:¬†Max 3 concurrent connections key without any time limitation.

Some months later, after the publish, I needed a server for my SQLite databases. I then remembered this kind offer. Now I nearly cannot live without it.

The following screen shot shows the cubeSQL in action:


In my personal opinion these tools are highly recommended and the price of each SQLite tool should not scare anyone away.

They, SQLabs, also offer some more tools that may be is of interest.

For more information, please visit their site: http://www.sqlabs.net/


Kind regards,

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,

March 24, 2013

Clean Up!

As part of my maintenance, in order to keep the computer fresh, is to regular run the built-in tool Free up disk space.

The tool is accessible via the following commands:

  • Start Button > Control Panel > System and Security > Administrative Tools > Free up disk space

After running it the following dialog is showed:


Yes, I admit it was some time ago since I last executed the clean up process. However, I cannot understand how Temporary Files can grow to a size of 30 GB?

In addition, does anyone know if it exist a small utility that can automatically clean up Temporary Files?

The general recommendation is to not forget to run the Free up disk space on a regular basis!

Kind regards,

February 28, 2013

Windows 8 – News and Solutions

Filed under: .NET & Excel, Apps for Office, Excel, Installation Tools — Dennis M Wallentin @ 5:18 pm

SamLogic have recently published some articles at their blog about Windows 8 and the news for it. Personally I have difficulties to work with Windows 8. Maybe I’m too old and simple don’t understand how wonderful the new UI actually is.

One thing we know for sure, when Microsoft designed Windows 8 it was not the desktop platform in focus. For me Windows 8 works well with smart devices and pads.

Anyway, here comes the links to each article:



Kind regards,

February 22, 2013

POEditor: An Excellent Translation Tool!

It’s very¬†exceptionable¬†that I get thrilled over a software. The last time must be the first version of Excel 2.1d, that’s nearly 30 ago, I got in my hand!

I can only say that it’s an excellent software and it’s also free. It’s so good that I say its speak for itself.

The URL to POEditor is: http://poeditor.com/


Kind regards,

February 21, 2013

Black clouds over MS Office 2013

Filed under: .NET & Excel, Apps for Office, Excel, Tools, VSTO & Excel — Dennis M Wallentin @ 4:47 pm

I’m getting worried over what’s going on. For every new version of Office and Excel there has been a positive tone in the online community and an¬†excitement¬†with the new features.

But that’s not really true with MS Office 2013. The terms to use a license shrink and some features are no longer available in some packages like Office Professional effectively prevent all happiness with the new version.

Instead of going on with the details I give two URLs that explain the new issues with Office 2013.

If we view it friendly we could say that both the new license agreement and the lack of some tools are due to that the new version actually targets smart devices and pads. It makes sense that softwares are tight to the devices in a different way than to the Desktop platform.

However, the future is not here yet so still the Desktop platform plays a critical role and will still do it for some time.

The only reasonable conclusion is to not upgrade to MS Office 2013.

  • If we have MS Office 2010 there is no reason to upgrade to MS Office 2013.
  • If we have MS Office 2003 or MS Office 2007 then consider to upgrade to MS Office 2010 but not MS Office 2013.

The above two alternatives offer best value for our money and still support our business very well.

It will also send a clear message to Microsoft: Do it again! Do it right!

Kind regards,

December 7, 2012

Tools for MS Excel 2013 Development

Filed under: .NET & Excel, Apps for Office, Excel, Tools, VSTO & Excel, XLLs — Dennis M Wallentin @ 2:12 pm

I just want to add an article that gives the URLs for downloading the SDK and the Toolkit for Apps for Office with Visual Studio 2012. It’s not easy to keep up the pace and find the required tools so this is also a reminder to myself.




November 1, 2012

VS 2012: A disaster for VSTO Developers?

Filed under: .NET & Excel, Apps for Office, Excel, Tools, VSTO & Excel — Dennis M Wallentin @ 9:33 pm

I thought I would get on with the blog much faster than I have done. Visual Studio (VS)¬†2012 has been out now for some time but still it’s ‘a new kid in town’.

First I thought I would make some kind of a walkthrough for the news in VS however I ended up turning down that approach. Let other bloggers do that.

Whenever something is dramatically changed there exist some kinds of explanation that we can take part of. Usually we understand and also accept the changes although it will take some time to do it. During the beta stage of VS 2012 I thought that some parts are already fixed and therefore not part of the beta. One of the parts that were missing was the Office Shared Add-in template.

When the RTM was released I was quite surprised to find out that the Office Shared Add-in template was not available. Later I got quite upset and raised the question in some¬†closed mailing lists.¬†When no one bothers to answer I realized that Microsoft had done something that they don’t want to discuss in public, not even in a closed mailing list.

From my point of view¬†I find it to be quite¬†a stupid action as Microsoft directly¬†abandon a group of Office developers, those developers that only develop Office solutions with VSTO.¬†That’s indeed remarkable as Microsoft have pushed Office developers to use¬†VSTO¬†for the last nearly 10 years!

Because¬†it’s not possible to develop UDFs in VSTO Office developers need the Office Shared Add-in template. Of course, it exist external alternatives such as Excel-DNA that can easily replace the template.¬†Perhaps another better approach is to buy a copy of the¬†RAD Tool Add-in Express for Office¬†and .NET. In my opinion the best¬†RAD¬†Tool available.

But the point here is that Microsoft silently has removed a good tool for VSTO developers and of course for other Office developers as well. Not every developer is allowed to use third-party tools when developing customized Office solutions.

Soon will the next new version of Office be launched; Office 2013. One¬†thing that really sticks out is the new concept “Apps for Office”. Technically it means that we use JavaScript, HTML and CSS to create customized Office solutions with. Don’t hold You breath because version 1.0 only includes creating task panes for various tasks.¬†If we look around us we can conclude that JavaScript/HTML5/CSS is hot, actually it’s so hot that You burn Your fingers. In other words, “Apps for Office” is probably the future for Office development.

What about VSTO? Well, there is no big news in VS 2012 except that VSTO Add-ins for Office 2007 is no longer available in VS. In other words, the VS Team had made another silent action. I suspect that some developers will be surprised when they launch VS 2012 for the very first time and start to look for VSTO Add-ins for Office 2007.

If we look behind the scene we notice that almost all original members of the VSTO Team at Microsoft are no longer working with VSTO. They have moved to new interesting areas inside Microsoft. It seems that the support for VSTO inside Microsoft have also been remarkable downsized.

It’s amazing how the VS Team has been able to cut off Office Developers from the .NET platform in silence.

I have some suggestions to make:

#1 Make the Office Shared Add-in template be available again in VS 2012

#2 Bring back the VSTO Add-in Templates for Office 2007

#3 Otherwise VS 2012 is a disaster for VSTO Developers!

Kind regards,

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