VSTO: VS2008 SP1 enhancements


I’m putting together the final list of resources for my OBA and VSTO presentation at SBTUG this Wednesday, and I realised there’s plenty of VSTO news that I haven’t linked to of late (here’s my normal VSTO feed if you’re interested). That certainly needs to be remedied, so brace yourself for a few ‘better late than never’ link posts in the next few days :-)

Back in May Christen Boyd gave us a sneak peak at the VSTO SP1 goodies, specifically the new Word and Excel extended object possibilities, and the ability to use Event viewer messages during deployment.

In her latest post from 2 weeks back, Christen not only gives a much fuller run down of the VSTO SP1 change set, but she explains how the team arrive at their decisions as to what makes it in. Remember, Service Packs are usually about fixing bugs, and just on the VSTO side of things there’s over a thousand bug fixes (143 are high severity). Amazing work folks.

But that’s just the start. Then there’s the enhancements they pack in as well. You’ll see that deployment is a key focus with VSTO. It’s traditionally been a problem with the product, and even though VSTO V3 resolved most of the big ones, deployment is still the biggest hurdle to wide-spread adoption (take a stroll through the VSTO forums if you need convincing). A later post from the team shows how keen they are to overcome these issues.

[As an aside, in preparation for my talk at SBTUG I emailed members asking what they wanted to see covered – out of the 6 people who responded, 3 mentioned difficulties with deployment. 6 responses isn’t high I guess – hey it’s only a small user group – but half of them mentioning deployment issues isn’t something to ignore]

Back to the enhancements in SP1 and you’ll see that it includes two very welcome additions – the ability to include the PIAs in your installer, plus the option of targeting the Client Profile (the reduced .NET framework installation). Bring it on.

Note that Andrew Coates will be delivering an entire session on VSTO deployment at this year’s TechEd in Sydney. Make sure you check out his PowerPoint presentation on this post.

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