VSTO (or, Visual Studio Tools for Office) 2005 is pretty darned cool. Yeah, I know about it...yeah, I've thought about it...and yeah, I know some day I'll spend some time using it...but not yet.
So, I stayed for Tim's presentation at the San DIego .NET Developer's group this past Tuesday, and realized that I can actually build better spreadsheets now, as a developer, using VSTO, than I ever stood a chance of doing just by using Excel directly. I suck at Excel macros, I never cared for VBA, but I love VSTO. The sheer idea of my own developer environment that I know and love letting me write some “code-behind” for my Excel spreadsheets and Word documents, letting me drag and dop buttons to create forms in a natural design environment, and letting me debug this like I would any other application...wow.
I know, it is nothing new, but I feel like I really “saw” it for the first time this week. Was it Tim's good looks, his killer presentation, or was I just ready to accept the promise of VSTO? We may never know the answer, but it doesn't matter, I'm going to build killer spreadsheets....er....as soon as I get a few minutes free...
Want to know more? Clearly I have no sample code to share (yet) but you can go here to get started: