Catching up: Cypress (VSTO 2005 SE), Frontline and more...

Wow, I can't beleive that it has been more than two months since I posted, but the numbers don't lie. It has been an eventful summer. We've been working like dogs on new features that you will be hearing about in the fullness of time. I also had a nice long vacation in Chatham, MA. Worth a visit if you can make it, it's on the elbow of Cape Cod.

Anyway, I'm sure you've all heard by now about Cypress-- er, I mean VSTO 2005 SE (if you want to see the full name -- and download the beta -- click here ).VSTO 2005 SE is an addon pack to VS 2005. It adds app-level addin support for several Office apps for both Office 2003 and Office 2007 (or should I say 2007 Office...). This is a step on the way to Orcas, which I've been blogging about for sometime now. We wanted to get something in the market for 2007 Office as soon as it shipped, and we took the opportunity to backfill some support for Office 2003. If you want to hear about some of the thinking behind what we chose to do and not do for VSTO 2005 SE check out channel 9 in the next week or so. I did a little interview for them and covered some of this ground there. I don't have a direct link because it hasn't made it up there yet, but any day now.

One of the things I said in the interview was that I had an Outlook Form Regions sample on my blog. Clearly, it had been too long since I had been here, since this is not true. I was thinking of the WPF sample, I guess. I had been showing a Form Region sample at various conferences, but I never got it to the point where it was sharable. So now I have some work to do. Cypress is out, (I can't get used to VSTO 2005 SE I guess) so I will create a simple form region sample to show you how to do these with Cypress and 2007 Office Beta 2 Technical Refresh. It isn't totally simple with Cypress, but there is a lot of power there. I'll try to get this done in the next couple weeks, maybe I'll get it up before the interview gets posted if I'm lucky.

I am planning on blogging quite a bit in the next couple weeks. The reason being that I am on the road. I am currently in the air above Canada on my way to Munich, Germany. (SAS airlines has WiFi on the plane!)

I am embarkinng on some customer engagements for the Frontline program. Some of my fellow Server and Tools bloggers have mentioned this already. My division has a great program where senior R and D folks go out "into the field" to work directly with customers. We choose customers who are using our products and give them direct access to Microsoft's people. Everything I've read about this is extremely positive. I'm especially lucky in that I get to go to Europe for some of my engagements. And I swear that I happen to be in Munich during Oktoberfest is just a lucky coincidence. One that I will take full advantage of, of course.

I'm travelling with another VSTO dev lead and we will be visiting Nuremberg and Lindau, Germany and Vienna, Austria in addition to Munich. I'll try to post several times on the trip. Hopefully I'll be able to share some frontline VSTO experiences.