Comparing FrontPage Development to Other Office Applications

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If you've developed solutions for other Microsoft Office applications, you already understand the basics of developing solutions for Microsoft FrontPage. However, there are some differences you should understand before you get started.

The FrontPage Object Models

The most notable difference between developing custom solutions in FrontPage and developing custom solutions in other Office applications is that the FrontPage object model was developed around a design-time user experience whereas the object models for other Office applications were developed around a run-time user experience. For example, a developer can create a checkbook application in Microsoft Excel that hides Excel in the background and only displays to the user specially-designed forms. FrontPage object models are designed to create utilities that simplify the creation of Web pages and Web sites. For example, a FrontPage developer might create solutions that add or remove HTML content to or from a Web page.

Although their purposes are different, the basic design of the FrontPage object models is similar to object models for other Office applications. Therefore, you can draw on your programming experience with other Office applications when developing solutions for FrontPage. For more information on FrontPage object models see About the FrontPage 2002 Object Models.

Creating Add-ins

Another notable difference between developing custom solutions in FrontPage and developing custom solutions in other Office applications is how add-ins are developed for FrontPage. When you create solutions for other Office applications, you can create either application specific add-ins or COM add-ins. Application specific add-ins store the code a document or template for the application. For example, in Microsoft Word you would create an application specific add-in by storing the code within a document or a document template (.doc or .dot) file; in Excel, you would store it in an Excel add-in (.xla) file, and in Microsoft PowerPoint in a PowerPoint add-in (.ppa) file. (For more information, see COM Add-ins vs. Application-Specific Add-ins in the Microsoft Office XP Developer's Guide.) However, in FrontPage you develop solutions to extend FrontPage through COM add-ins. For more information on creating COM add-ins, see About Add-ins.