Friday, April 01, 2005

VS2005 Office Development Restrictions

While listening to various podcasts and reading blogs on VSTO 2005 I got the distinct impression that there are so many deployment restrictions to the VSTO functionality, it would be difficult to justify developing with it:

  • Limited to Office 2003.
  • Limited to Word and Excel in the 2005 release.
  • One podcast mentioned that it would only be deployable with Office 2003 Enterprise Edition. Unfortunately I can’t remember which podcast it was, so couldn’t provide a link.
  • Is only document centric, so doesn’t provide options for toolbar extensions which means working with the existing COM interfaces. If you do this then you may as well get the benefits of deployability to other Office versions.

Then I came across the development restriction listed here

So now you have to get the uber expensive team system version of Visual Studio to get access to Office development functionality that has many deployment restrictions. This peeved me off so I did some quick web research to double check things. The following items move VSTO 2005 a bit more out of the development choice red ink land:

  • This link indicates that VSTO 2005 apps are deployable to more than just the Office Enterprise edition.
  • There’s a no cost upgrade for MSDN Universal subscribes to one role of the Visual Studio Team System. There’s still the issue of requiring a Universal subscription and that only one role applies. The initial reaction to the single role upgrade is that people in small/micro development houses play many roles. Not sure if this role thing is an issue because I wouldn’t have acess to team server system anyway.

All in all, it just seems a shame that the appealing VSTO 2005 functionality comes with some many restrictions and deployment gotchas.