Happy wishes and some Office predictions for 2016

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Another year has gone, a new year started … this is 2016. Welcome!

My year, for the eleventh time already, started with receiving the Microsoft Most Valuable Professional (MVP) Award again.

After nine years of receiving the award for Visual Studio Tools for the Office System (VSTO), one year of Office365 I now, after the award update, received the award in the award category “Office Servers and Services”. This is where all former Office365, Exchange, SharePoint, Skype for Business and Yammer are grouped today. As of October 2015 the MVP Award categories have changed, there are now less categories and in theory you can get the MVP Award in multiple categories.

So what will bring 2016 to you and me? Well nobody knows… so I don’t know either, but let’s see if we can make some educated guesses here.

2015 was the year Office Microsoft released some early updates on the Office 365 APIs. Starting with the outer ring of Office365 we got access to files, contacts and much more. Access to the documents itself (the structure of the document, in VBA the Object Model) was fairly limited.

In 2016 I expect to see much more APIs providing access to the Office document model. This will give you the functionality, but now cross-platform, like you used to see with VBA, COM-Addins and in VSTA/VSTO solutions.

Let’s see how the Office365 APIs progresses in the year of 2016. Join me in the process of learning the ‘modern’ ways of developing Office solutions on x-plat. Keep an eye on my blog …

Open Live Writer – Windows Live Writer Open Sourced!

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If you have been using Windows Live Writer to do your blogging you know it was a bit of a PITA to get this up and running on your current platform. Well, this now will change as Microsoft added this to their stack of Open Source software, to keep it alive and allow you to propose enhancements:

“Open Live Writer is an open source application enabling users to author, edit, and publish blog posts. It is based on a fork of the wellloved but not actively developed Windows Live Writer code. Open Live Writer is provided under a MIT license.”

If you read this it is the evidence that it works, as it is written using the download link to the Open Live Writer installer you can find here:

Download

Go to the Open Live Writer website and read all the details, or even better … fork it and start working on it!

http://openlivewriter.org/

Have Fun!

Under Review: Change Icon for Visual Studio 2015

Just after the release of Visual Studio 2015 I ran into the issue where I had a couple of previous Visual Studio versions installed (due to the fact that I had to support software products built on these Visual Studio versions using features that only were available in these specific versions) and apparently Microsoft decided -not- to change the icon for this version.

Now I had on my taskbar four versions (2010, 2012, 2013 and 2015) and the latest two versions displayed an identical icon making it hard to identify the right version and caused me to click the wrong version on several occasions.

So I filed a uservoice request to change this ‘feature’ and make it more obvious to start the right version (for that moment in time).

Obviously many responses were entered on how easy it is to change it yourself… Yes, I was already aware of this but the writers of this comments are forgetting that I am not the only one, so many, many, many users all had to go through the same little steps. Also reinstalling, or just installing on other machines required you to do the same time-wasting little thing to get something that should be there in the first place: a recognizable icon pointing to the right application.

Currently the status of the request (1191 votes to get this changed) has been edited by the team and is now changed into “Under Review”. Hopefully this will mean that they will put in the minor effort to change the icon for the next ‘service release’/sprint/version making your developer life just a little bit better.

The voting is still open, so if you ran into this issue like I did, throw in a couple of votes! :
Change Icon for Visual Studio 2015

Office JS Public Preview is here!

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After months, years maybe, it is finally here: The new cross-platform Excel and Word JavaScript API’s in Public Preview!

Up to now the development of this was happening behind the screen, not available for the general public. At first with little snippets, test scenarios and try-outs to find the best way to work with this, not only on Windows platforms but also the other platforms like iOS or Android.

Until now the Office JS API’s were mostly limited to Office365 interfaces but not targeting file content. This now is changed, at least for the first and still somewhat limited version.

What this means is that you now get the option to actually interact with the file contents. For now only on Excel en Word and only for a small subset of the Object Model as you know it from VBA and/or VSTO, but it is a start.

As its now open into the public, go ahead, and take a look at the public preview of Office.js API’s in Office 2016 and try some of the samples to get an impression on how this works:

Increase the productivity of Users’ with enhanced Office.js APIs in Office 2016

I will go into some more detail in future blog posts. Hopefully a start to get the full object model available but now on multiple platforms!

Want to upgrade but what version of Office am I using?

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Now Office 2016 is available you want to upgrade, but you are not sure what version of Office you are currently running. In my blog post yesterday I already provided a couple of links where to go if you upgrade from Office365 Personal/Home or Business. But to do so you need to know what is installed on your machine today.

To help you a bit with this Microsoft put all the version information for the various versions into one location:

What version of Office am I using?

Now identify your version and upgrade to the right edition.

#TheNewOffice

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Today September 22 not only autumn kicked in, but it is also the day that Office 2016 is officially released:

The Office Team Blog: The New Office Is Here

There is a lot worth mentioning about this version. It now has the option to collaborate, work together in one (or more) documents at the same time. You see little markers appear when the other is editing parts of the document you are working on. Try it!

Too many things to go in to detail here right now: Skype for Business integration, Office365 Groups, Office365 Planner, Windows 10 integration, Office 2016 for Mac, Sway, mobile apps on Windows Phone, Android –and– iPhone, Enterprise features, new Visio 2016 and Project 2016

Go download the bits, and start working with it. Another Office Milestone … enjoy!

Links:

How do I upgrade to Office 2016 if I have an Office 365 subscription?

How do I update Office to Office 2016 using Office 365 for business?

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SDN Conference September 2015

Friday September 11th we are organizing another Dutch SDN Event for 2015 in The Netherlands. With four full tracks of sessions hosted in Zeist in the Achmea Conference Center on:

Microsoft Band – Roy Jansen

Microservices – Dennis van der Stelt

Reverse Engineering and security analyses – Michiel van der Sluis

DevOps and ALM – Hassan Fadili

A special ‘track’, a couple of sessions, on PowerShell with Claus Nielsen from Denmark and Eric Tummers

Cross Platform Development – Klaas Polinder

Extensibility with Chrome apps – Fanie Reynders

Windows Azure SQL Databases – Tobiasz Janusz Koprowski

OWIN – Dennis Doomen

SQL Server Source Control in the Cloud Era  – Tobiasz Janusz Koprowski

Distributed Systems principles – Dennis van der Stelt

Azure Websites – Eelco Koster

TIdTCPClient – Herbert Schrama

REST Web Services with XML – Bob Swart

and last but not least Stephen Ball talking about:

Azure Translator Services with Delphi

IoT and Delphi

InterBase XE7 & Change Views

In other words a lot to go and see in one day! For the full descriptions and to register, visit our SDN Event page:
http://sdn.nl/EVENTS/11-september-2015

Make sure you will be there, not only to learn but to network with peers as well or get your printed copy of the SDN Magazine!. See you there!

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