VSTO: Visual Studio 2008 SP1 and Outlook Add-in issues

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By now I’m assuming most of you have downloaded and installed Service Pack 1 for Visual Studio 2008. For those who haven’t here’s a few links you may want to note:

Before installation

If you’ve installed any hot fixes over the last few months you should clean them up first

Visual Studio 2008 Service Pack Preparation Tool (14 MB)

(note: this replaces the original Hotfix Cleanup utility for removing KB944899)

Service Pack 1

Visual Studio 2008 Service Pack 1 main installer

Visual Studio 2008 Service Pack 1 .iso file (831 MB)

.NET Framework 3.5 Service Pack 1 (note: this is included in the Visual Studio SP1 so you only need to download this for patching servers and non-Dev client machines).

After installing – VSTO problems

Something to note – a few things might go funny if you have any VSTO add-ins.

I’ve got a number of Outlook add-ins that I’ve been working on and when I started Outlook (after installing SP1) it would hang. Starting in Safe mode and then setting the Add-ins Inactive, allowed me to narrow it down to the offending modules. Some were fine, others caused problems.

(To get to this dialog in Outlook go –> Tools –> Trust Center –> Add-ins. Click on the Go… button at the bottom to set modules inactive)

Some Add-ins were fine, others would hang Outlook

[The funny thing was that I hadn’t had Outlook open all morning, and only opened it a few hours after SP1 was all installed. It took me a little while to realise that my own add-ins were causing the problem :-).]

Fixing the issue – just Rebuild

All that was required was a simple rebuild of the solutions and they are working fine again in Outlook.

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