New Visual Studio 2005 Tools for Office
Visual Studio 2005 Tools for Office brings a host of new additional enhancements
to the solutions that can be made. These tools can enhance the way you use the
Word, Excel, Outlook and InfoPath. With these tools you can separate the data
and the view elements for different types of scenarios.
You can also add business logic to the forms that you build. This is achieved with the support for InfoPath. This business logic is added using the managed code and not script. Since you use managed code it is possible to create advanced business logics and tasks. Integration of these tools in Visual Studio means that you have access to the IntelliSense feature that helps you to create codes faster. Help support through F1 is also available.
In the Visual Studio 2005 Tools for Office new templates are available in the Office subfolder after you select the projects folder. Templates for Excel, InfoPath and Outlook are added in the Visual Studio 2005 Tools for Office. In this product you have code files for all the worksheets that you have in the excel sheet and there is one code file for the workbook. You can see the list of worksheets in the Solution Explorer. For the Word documents you have one code file.
the Visual Studio 2005 Tools for Office you can open the Word or the Excel sheet
in the Visual Studio designer and work with that environment as if you are working
in the windows forms. Once you have opened them in the designer you can write
managed code for them and change the look in a way you want. This is also like
working with the windows forms.
Word and Excel Host controls are available in addition to the windows forms controls.
The host controls have an event model associated with them and data binding is
possible with the host controls. Just like you work with other applications you
can drag and drop the windows forms control on to the Word or Excel document that
is opened in the design view.
controls can bind data to them and they even expose events associated with the
controls. Some of the host controls that are available for Word are Bookmark,
XMLNode, and XMLNodes. The host controls for Excel are NamedRange, XMLMappedRange,
ListObject, and Chart. Host controls are treated as extended office objects and
they can be added in many ways to the document. One of the ways to add a host
control is to use the design time and add.
Smart tags are also available with Visual Studio 2005 Tools for Office. It is easy to add smart tags and program them. Writing code for smart tags is also easy with the IntelliSense feature available. The support for regular expression and integrate help feature enables smart tag programming easier. There is a separate class that has all the codes necessary to create a smart tag. Smart tags are scoped to that particular document alone. This means that same type of smart tags have different meanings and actions for different documents.
Custom task panes can be created using the ActionsPane object. Custom actions can be programmed for the different controls in the action pane. The actions pane is like a container that can have different forms control or user controls. A typical way to add control to the action pane is to add the forms control to a user control and then add the user control to the action pane. It is also possible to dynamically add controls to the action pane. This could even be in response to the user actions.
the Visual Studio 2005 Tools for Office you can separate data from the document
view. You can program using native .net types. By this you can extend the features
of the application. You can embed data as data islands. You can use the programming
model to interact with the XML data islands. Data binding between the view and
the data island is achieved through programming.
With the ServerDocument class and server-side programming you can modify the data without even opening up the office environment. The data thus changed can be viewed using office applications. In this scenario the office applications are used as a client application for only viewing the data. You can modify the data in the server without opening up any office application. When the user opens the office document, the data island embedded in the document is synchronized with the changed data in the server and the updated data is presented to the user.
A new project type called the InfoPath project is available in the Visual Studio 2005 Tools for Office. This can be used for including any business logic to the InfoPath forms. Advanced processing can be done using such features. For example encryption and decryption and digital signal processing can be done. You can program this project using your favorite Visual Basic .Net or C#. InfoPath is a data centric model. The data for InfoPath in the XML form and code are written to interact with this data. Several security settings are available for the InfoPath template. Settings like Restricted, Domain, and Full Trust can be used.
for Outlook is available in Visual Studio 2005 Tools for Office. The outlook add-in
will not open in the designer and it does not have any host controls associated
with it. A separate AppDomain is added for each add-in. The mechanism is the same
at the application and the document level.