Here I am in Los Angeles, attending the Microsoft Professional Developers Conference 2005 (PDC05). As an attendee, you get an opportunity to speak with the Microsoft product development teams, as well as the opportunity to see potential <big disclaimer here> future product features and directions. You will also receive prescriptive guidance on design recommendations that Microsoft feels confident in prescribing, in order to ensure your applications and ultimately your customers, will benefit from.
I am Jack Gudenkauf, a Group Development Manager in the Microsoft Visual Studio Tools group (aka Trinity). I have participated in the development of two products; Microsoft Visual Studio Tools for Office (VSTO) and Microsoft Visual Studio Tools for Applications (VSTA).
In addition to working on these products, I have also been involved in driving towards defining a solution for providing a framework that enables isolated, version resilient, managed Add-in’s (Add in, AddIn). This is a critical component in designing .Net Smart Client applications. This effort has culminated in the PDC announcement of the Managed Addin Framework (aka MAF). These products and Framework components have been under development for a number of years and PDC 2005 is where Microsoft has chosen to unveil this technology.
VSTO, VSTA and MAF, provide a platform infrastructure and tool set for the evolution of managed, and mixed mode (managed/un-managed Hosts offering a managed or Inter-Op Object model) Hosts, that offer a managed Smart Client application development environment. The framework and tools, support Host integration solutions that provide application extensibility and automation.