Deploying add-ins from Visual Studio Tools for Office

  • Thread starter tnemec78@googlemail.com
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tnemec78@googlemail.com

The recommended way to write office add-in these days is using VSTO

and C#.NET

Can I rely on .NET framework and/or other prerequisites to be

installed with Office 2003 and newer? If this is not the case then I

don't see the point of using this technology ...

I am writing a COM add-in in C++ and want to evaluate pros and cons of

migrating to VSTO.

Thanks
 
K

Ken Slovak - [MVP - Outlook]

VSTO is great if you only need to support one version of Outlook in your

addin (2003 or 2007), or can live with not supporting the ribbon in Outlook

2007 with an Outlook 2003 targeted addin. If I have to support multiple

versions of Outlook in one addin code base I generally prefer to use a

shared addin myself.

The choice of C# or VB.NET is up to you and which language you are more

comfortable with. There are more samples in C#, but otherwise they are

roughly equal. I program Outlook/Office addins using both languages,

depending on the customer's wishes. I will say however that the ratio is

probably about 80% C#, 10% VB.NET and 10% VB6 these days as to what the

customer wants.

The prerequisites are a mess with any language or shared/VSTO addins with

managed code. It's your responsibility to make sure they all are there.

WinXP SP2 or later on CD, and later versions of Windows, all include a

Framework version. Other versions of Windows don't and unless the Framework

has been installed for some other code or from MS Update it won't be there.

Therefore you would need to check for that being installed.

The PIA's aren't installed at all, except as an optional installation, for

Office 2003 or earlier. For Office 2007 the PIA's are only installed when

Office is installed if the Framework is already installed when Office is

being installed. Otherwise they must be installed optionally. Therefore you

also must check for the PIA's being installed in the GAC.

The PIA installation for Office 2003 from the CD includes Extensibility. The

redistributable PIA MSI for Office 2003 doesn't include Extensibility, and

therefore that MSI must be separately installed. The redistributable PIA

package for Office 2007 does include Extensibility, so it doesn't require a

separate installer MSI for that.

For VSTO you also need the VSTO runtime installed, plus optionally the

language pack. You also need custom actions to set the CAS to provide full

trust to the VSTO assemblies.

If installing on Vista or later you also would need to strong name your

assemblies and include a manifest file that includes the public key of your

certificate as well as the <asInvoker> type XML to set the security level

required to run your addin.

Managed code installation is nowhere near as clean and simple as installing

an unmanaged code addin, whether in C++ or VB6 or Delphi or whatever.

<tnemec78@googlemail.com> wrote in message

news:ade8f15f-e9a6-424f-b134-51ce44461f7e@r3g2000vbp.googlegroups.com...
> The recommended way to write office add-in these days is using VSTO
> and C#.NET
> Can I rely on .NET framework and/or other prerequisites to be
> installed with Office 2003 and newer? If this is not the case then I
> don't see the point of using this technology ...

> I am writing a COM add-in in C++ and want to evaluate pros and cons of
> migrating to VSTO.

> Thanks
 
T

tnemec78@googlemail.com

Hmm, all this looks like too much of a hassle to me. I guess I shall

stick to my guns then ;-) If it ain't broke ...
 
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