Vivek Thangaswamy is a Software Solution developer and technical author based Chennai, India. He specializes in Microsoft enterprise application architectures and server-based product integrations. Vivek is a Microsoft MVP and he completed his Bachelor of technology degree in Information Technology and is currently pursuing a MBA in Finance. In this conversation, Vivek discusses his newly released book: VSTO 3.0 for Office 2007 Programming.
Geetesh: Tell us more about your VSTO for Office 2007 book, and what is the profile of your typical reader?
Vivek: Although there are numerous web resources available for VSTO, there are very few books available on this suject. I find it is always nice to refer to a book as and when required. When choosing a book for a new technology, readers always look for one that teaches from the ground level. In my VSTO 3.0 for Office 2007 Programming book, I start from the basics and make readers competent enough to take control over the VSTO programming. This book addresses all segments of the audience including beginners, intermediate users, and VBA programmers — it is also a good resource for VBA programmers who want to learn VSTO. I make them comfortable with C# programming in VSTO, which info is not available in any other resource that I am aware of. The entire book was written in a style that calls for short and crisp content to make learning easier and faster. Full examples are provided using the latest Visual Studio 2008 Team Suite, and the code snippets are done using C#.
You will learn about VSTO, how VSTO compares to VBA, and features and limitations of the current version of VSTO, including its architecture. Each individual Office application is handled precisely in separate chapters of the book, including InfoPath and Excel. The book covers new ground by exploring VSTO programming for PowerPoint, Visio and Project, again that’s something I haven’t found covered elsewhere. You learn new concepts like Ribbon programming, application level solutions, and document level solutions for Microsoft Office 2007. Object models for each Office application are covered.
As part of a team with Packt Publications, I aimed to create a quality book for budding developers.
Geetesh: Tell us about your experiences working with the object model in PowerPoint 2007, and controlling it with VSTO.
Vivek: Microsoft PowerPoint is one of the finest presentation tools available. However, I was not a frequent PowerPoint user — so I brainstormed with some frequent PowerPoint users about the essential operations that all PowerPoint users perform frequently, and used those observations for programming examples using VSTO for PowerPoint in my book.
First I cover all the basic programmability of PowerPoint using VSTO, and than explain the object model for PowerPoint. There is a huge collection of objects available to be explored by the PowerPoint programmer. While I don’t cover it all, I have worked with the basics in the book so that the budding programmer has a strong foundation to start with PowerPoint programming using VSTO. Currently I don’t see as many PowerPoint programmers in the community as for other Office applications. I hope that my book will raise the PowerPoint programming interest in the community.