Today the MSE team did a Tech Preview to fellow developers on Visual Studio 2008 which actually available for MSDN subscribers late last year and is available for sales now.
My session is about Visual Studio Tools for Office (VSTO) 2008 and a lot of productivity enhancements have been put inside the package in this current version. They include but not limited to:
- Better UI Development on Office UI
- Form Regions in Outlook
- Custom Task Pane
- Custom Ribbon for Excel, Word and PowerPoint.
- No relearn, leverage on Windows Form Development skill
- Windows Form able to host WPF app and extends this capability via Custom Task Pane
- No more manual writing of workflow.xml, feature.xml (both are SharePoint feature config files) and deployment script
- Streamline development process from 15 steps to 3 steps in VSTO 2008
- Bringing unstructured data from Word documents to a structured world
- Able to attach custom XML such as RosettaNet or UNeDoc which as industry based XML schema to Word data.
- No more reliant on CASPOL
- Transparent to end users
I demo a cool VSTO addin for Word 2007 hosting a WPF user control with colossal effect and acting as a client to a WCF services at the back end. The data access is done using LINQ for XML. After that I will publish
It is based on an article in MSDN Dec 2007 issue but the source codes there is not working for RTM version of VS 2008. Many thanks for fellow MS staff Andrew Whitechapel for making it work for VS2008 RTM.
You can download the slides and working version of the source code here. They are hosted on Windows Live Skiydrive/ Folders.
I will come out with a tutorial for the SharePoint Workflow later and also a VB9 version of the source code. So stay tuned. 🙂