Behind VSTO today

Jack Vaughan

New enhancements to Visual Studio Tools for Office (VSTO) were part of the news at TechEd in Orlando earlier this month. VSTO for .NET 2.0 notably adds better hooks to Outlook. These hooks, and other adjustments and additions come as the VSTO beta gets used, and the Microsoft VSTO development team gets feedback on the tool set, in preparation for a November launch.

If you want to look a little deeper into where the next VSTO is and where this same VSTO is headed, you could do well to look at Eric Carter's blog. Carter, along with Eric Lippert have already written a book for the ranks of developers interested in understanding VSTO. That is: "Visual Studio Tools for Office: Using C# with Word, Excel, Outlook and InfoPath," due from Addison Wesley later this year.

Among the issues that VSTO Outlook add-ins address is the problem of building managed COM add-ins for Outlook using IDTExtensibility2. As described by Carter in his June blog pages, VSTO Outlook add-in projects now require no extra settings to configure. As well, Outlook add-ins can inherit trusted VSTO add-in status, benefit from a more natural programming model, and can cleanly shut down.

Carter's blog also describes the latest (at the time of this writing) changes to VSTO dynamic control support features. These involve Controls.AddBookmark, InlineShape and other Shape properties.

.NET4Office blog site

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