Interop or VSTO or ?

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G

Glenn Welker

Long time developer of addins but have been out of development for

three years. Last experience was with VB6 and was fairly painless.

Forgive me for asking multiple questions. It seems that they are all

essentially the same topic.

I have no interest in using VB6 at this point but I need advice on how

to move forward into .NET. I am confused as to my options.

Targets currently are Outlook 2003 and 2007. I currently don't need

the new functionality in 2007. This suggests that I can use the VSTO

but.

1. I currently have Office 2007 and VS 2008 installed. I also

installed the 2003PIA but it keeps complaining that it the 2003 pias

aren't installed. Is it possible to develop an addin for 2003 on a

machine with Office 2007 installed?

2. When targeting multiple versions, it seems as though developers are

creating separate dlls. Can these be tied together in a single install

or are other developers creating single dlls to target multiple

versions?

3. What is most common, VSTO or using the IDTExtensibility2 interface?

Once again, any help is greatly appreciated.
 
K

Ken Slovak - [MVP - Outlook]

You can't just install a PIA, the last one installed wins. If you want to

develop for Outlook 2003 you need that installed.

A VSTO addin for 2003 will run in 2007 but won't handle the ribbon, custom

task panes, etc. A VSTO addin for Outlook 2007 won't run at all on 2003.

When I need to target multiple versions of Outlook I compile on the oldest

one and use a shared addin rather than a VSTO addin. To shim it so it has

its own AppDomain I use the COM Shim Wizard which comes with VS2008. That

way I can fork my code based on version and handle CommandBars for UI for

2003 and the ribbon for UI in 2007 for Inspectors. For Explorers both

versions use CommandBars, but be aware that in Outlook 2010 Explorers also

use the ribbon and the old CommandBars interface pushes your UI into the

hard to discover Add-Ins tab.

I have test addins now that are running on Outlook 2003, 2007 and 2010 that

correctly handle the relevant UI based on the runtime version of Outlook,

all in one addin DLL.

Shared addins use Extensibility. So do VSTO addins, but VSTO handles those

interface events and just provides you with Startup() and Shutdown()

handlers. VSTO also shims your code for you, something the shim wizard also

does.

"Glenn Welker" <outlookutil@gmail.com> wrote in message

news:1881f283-5c8f-439c-beeb-fddfe591c588@k30g2000yqf.googlegroups.com...
> Long time developer of addins but have been out of development for
> three years. Last experience was with VB6 and was fairly painless.
> Forgive me for asking multiple questions. It seems that they are all
> essentially the same topic.

> I have no interest in using VB6 at this point but I need advice on how
> to move forward into .NET. I am confused as to my options.

> Targets currently are Outlook 2003 and 2007. I currently don't need
> the new functionality in 2007. This suggests that I can use the VSTO
> but.

> 1. I currently have Office 2007 and VS 2008 installed. I also
> installed the 2003PIA but it keeps complaining that it the 2003 pias
> aren't installed. Is it possible to develop an addin for 2003 on a
> machine with Office 2007 installed?

> 2. When targeting multiple versions, it seems as though developers are
> creating separate dlls. Can these be tied together in a single install
> or are other developers creating single dlls to target multiple
> versions?

> 3. What is most common, VSTO or using the IDTExtensibility2 interface?

> Once again, any help is greatly appreciated.
 
G

Glenn Welker

On Aug 13, 12:15 pm, "
<kenslo...@mvps.org> wrote:
> You can't just install a PIA, the last one installed wins. If you want to
> develop for Outlook 2003 you need that installed.

> A VSTO addin for 2003 will run in 2007 but won't handle the ribbon, custom
> task panes, etc. A VSTO addin for Outlook 2007 won't run at all on 2003.

> When I need to target multiple versions of Outlook I compile on the oldest
> one and use a shared addin rather than a VSTO addin. To shim it so it has
> its own AppDomain I use the COM Shim Wizard which comes with VS2008. That
> way I can fork my code based on version and handle CommandBars for UI for
> 2003 and the ribbon for UI in 2007 for Inspectors. For Explorers both
> versions use CommandBars, but be aware that in Outlook 2010 Explorers also
> use the ribbon and the old CommandBars interface pushes your UI into the
> hard to discover Add-Ins tab.

> I have test addins now that are running on Outlook 2003, 2007 and 2010 that
> correctly handle the relevant UI based on the runtime version of Outlook,
> all in one addin DLL.

> Shared addins use Extensibility. So do VSTO addins, but VSTO handles those
> interface events and just provides you with Startup() and Shutdown()
> handlers. VSTO also shims your code for you, something the shim wizard also
> does.

> >

> http://www.slovaktech.com

> "Glenn Welker" <outlooku...@gmail.com> wrote in message

> news:1881f283-5c8f-439c-beeb-fddfe591c588@k30g2000yqf.googlegroups.com...
>
> > Long time developer of addins but have been out of development for
> > three years. Last experience was with VB6 and was fairly painless.
> > Forgive me for asking multiple questions. It seems that they are all
> > essentially the same topic.

>
> > I have no interest in using VB6 at this point but I need advice on how
> > to move forward into .NET. I am confused as to my options.

>
> > Targets currently are Outlook 2003 and 2007. I currently don't need
> > the new functionality in 2007. This suggests that I can use the VSTO
> > but.

>
> > 1. I currently have Office 2007 and VS 2008 installed. I also
> > installed the 2003PIA but it keeps complaining that it the 2003 pias
> > aren't installed. Is it possible to develop an addin for 2003 on a
> > machine with Office 2007 installed?

>
> > 2. When targeting multiple versions, it seems as though developers are
> > creating separate dlls. Can these be tied together in a single install
> > or are other developers creating single dlls to target multiple
> > versions?

>
> > 3. What is most common, VSTO or using the IDTExtensibility2 interface?

>
> > Once again, any help is greatly appreciated.


As always, thanks for the detailed response. Looks like I have my work

cut out for me. : )
 
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