VSTO & .NET & Excel

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:

 

Enjoy!

Kind regards,
Dennis

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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/

Enjoy!

Kind regards,
Dennis

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,
Dennis

February 4, 2013

Ninja WinRT Database Released

Filed under: .NET & Excel, COM Add-ins, Database, Excel, Tools, VSTO & Excel — Dennis M Wallentin @ 9:41 pm

For the larger group of developers the vendor Kellerman Software may be an unknown vendor. Time to change it. For the last couple of years I have been using components for developing managed COM solutions for MS Excel. The components are great and do the work well.

Now Kellerman Software has released their first version of their Ninja Database for the Windows 8 Runtime. Ninja WinRT Database is an ACID compliant object database and is compatible with any WinRT processor including ARM, x64 and x86.

As an introduction Kellerman Software offers 50 % discount on the price until 9th February.

For more information please see: Ninja WinRT Database

Kind regards,
Dennis

Note: I have no financial interest in Kellerman Software and their products. I’m just a pleased customer.

January 9, 2013

SamLogic Visual Installer 2012 available in English!

Filed under: .NET & Excel, COM Add-ins, Excel, Installation Tools, SQL Server, VSTO & Excel — Dennis M Wallentin @ 3:18 am

In some earlier blog articles I have written about and mentioned Visual Installer 2012 from SamLogic, a Swedish Company. The key feature for Excel developers is that Visual Install 2012 can create professional installation programs for all Excel files and in particular for native add-ins as it can both install/activate as well as uninstalling add-ins in a very smooth way. Of course, it can handle both 32 bits and 64 bits versions.

For more information please see my blog article: Install and Activate Add-ins in Excel with SamLogic’s Visual Installer

The good news is that Visual Installer is now available in English too.

Screen shot of the Main Window of Visual Installer 2012:

VS2012

Visual Installer also includes a script commands that gives more control of the various processes upon installing and uninstalling softwares.

The following screen shot shows the help section for the script command to get any native add-in activated:

Excel Add-in

For more information about Visual Installer 2012 please see the following links:

Please note that the Excel add-in’s feature is only available in the professional version.

Kind regards,
Dennis

January 6, 2013

Set up a GMail E-Mail Account in Outlook 2013

Filed under: E-Mail — Dennis M Wallentin @ 1:53 am

The blog article’s content is beyond what I usually cover in this blog. However, since I know that many today have a GMail E-mail account I thought this would be of common interest.

To add a new GMail E-mail account we must first select the File tab from the Main Window in Outlook 2013. Next, click on the Info button and click on the + Add Account. In the first dialog in the Wizard we select the second option as the below screen shot shows:

OL1

Click on the Next button and we get the next dialog as the following screen shot shows. Select the option POP or IMAP and click on the Next button.

OL2

In the next step we fill in all the details as the below screen shot shows. As we can see we select the account type IMAP. We use the mail.gmail.com for the incoming server and for the outgoing server we use the smtp.gmail.com.

OL3

In the next step we click on the More Settings… button. In the new dialog we select the tab Outgoing Server and fill in the required information as the following screen shot shows.

OL4

The final step is to click on the last tab, Advanced, and write the following information as the below screen shot shows:

OL5

After that You just click on the OK button which gets You back to the main dialog. Click on the Next button and that’s it!

Congratulations, now You have successfully added a GMail E-Mail account to Outlook 2013!

Kind regards,
Dennis

December 20, 2012

Support for Small Business by Microsoft

Filed under: .NET & Excel, Articles, Excel, Small Business, Tools, VSTO & Excel — Dennis M Wallentin @ 7:29 pm

I’m happy to inform that Microsoft is developing and expand their services and support to small and medium-sized businesses (SMB). From my point of view this is most welcoming as this group of companies have been sidestepped for some time now by Microsoft, in favour to the group of enterprises.

I know that professional MS Excel consultants work on a daily basis with the SMB group. When Microsoft now start to build up a strong support for this group I’m convinced that the companies can increase their ROI when using Microsoft’s products. It will also help the Excel consultants group in that they now can point their clients to Microsoft’s support portal.

I’m also convinced that the group of Excel consultants can get some help from the portal themselves.

All in all, everyone can benefit from Microsoft’s venture on SMB 🙂

At present Microsoft is building up the portal so in the coming weeks we can find more and more information. Please add a bookmark for the new portal and make sure You check it out on a regular basis:

Support for Small Business

Enjoy it!

Kind regards,
Dennis

December 17, 2012

COM Add-ins & Excel 2013: Important News

Filed under: COM Add-ins, Excel, Tools — Dennis M Wallentin @ 4:03 pm

In case You wonder; VB6, aka classic VB, is still in use 🙂 Developing VB6 based COM add-ins is still an option, especially when targeting Excel 2000 and onforward.

Microsoft has reported that Office 2013 does not include an important dependency file, Add-in Designer Object Library (msaddndr.dll).  If You use the Shared COM Add-in template then You need to distribute this file with the solutions.

For more details please see the blogpost: VB6 based add-ins may fail to work in Office 2013

It’s great that Microsoft actually publishes it but I don’t like the last section of the blog entry:

For the long term, if you are the developer of the add-in, please consider moving to newer supported ways of writing add-ins, such as Apps for Office or VSTO.

It’s obvious that Microsoft try to force us to stop developing with classic VB. Of course, in the long run classic VB is a dead technology as it does not support x64 versions of Office.

The issue is actually two folded. First, VSTO is only maintained and it seems that no more development of it will be made. To be honest, VSTO is a less successful poor development platform and very few developers actually use it. Apps for Office is, at best, in the beta stage and is, at present, of little practical use.

It’s worrying that Microsoft points us to technologies that suffer from various troubles and issues. At the same time Microsoft cut off classic VB; the Shared COM Add-in template is no longer shipped with Visual Studio.NET and does not support any longer Office 2007. In addition, Office does not include important files. Am I supposed to only use VBA? Is VBA future saved? Probably not.

My personal opinion is that Microsoft wants to drop MS Excel as a development platform. Does MS Excel 2013 represent the new era where MS Excel is only an end users’ tool?

Kind regards,
Dennis

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.

Download:

Enjoy!

Dennis

November 10, 2012

Axialis Pure Flat 2013 Toolbar Stock Icons Rock!

Filed under: .NET & Excel, COM Add-ins, Excel, Real Basic Developing, Tools, UI Design, VSTO & Excel, XLLs — Dennis M Wallentin @ 2:00 am

A software program’s success is usually depended on its functionality, i.e. it does the work and it has a user-friendly UI. In fact, the UI is the most important part of applications as that is what the end-users see and work via. This is something we all known (or at least should know).

Among the components that make up the UIs are icons. Icons should give the users an understanding about the functions that are hidden behind the icons. When Microsoft changes the UI for its Windows operating system it also affect the design on icons.

With Windows 8 we have got a new UI style, the Metro style. The new style of icons can simple be named as flat.

Axialis, the vendor of the tool IconWorkshop, offers also excellent icons. At least that’s my opinion, therefore I would like to push for their new series of Pure Flat icons.

The below Ribbon UI shows some of the flat icons in Axialis first series of icons:

For more information and to see more icons examples please visit:

Kind regards,
Dennis

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