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Over the next few days, I am on a ridiculously over-scheduled training course, so I will not be producing any new content until sometime mid next week (and probably not answering comments or emails until then too). In the meantime, I wanted to ask you what you would like to see covered in this blog over the next few months.
Way back when I started this last September, I wrote “I plan to write this blog from now until around the general availability of Office 12, and I am hoping to talk in some depth about all the different features we have added to Excel 12. As things unfold, I look forward to reading your comments and hearing suggestions on what would you would like to read about.”
I am have covered the bulk of Excel 2007’s new feature set, so I thought it would be an appropriate time to step back and see what else you would like to hear about. What questions would you like answered? What would you like covered in more detail?
For your reference, below is my rough list of things that I still plan to write about (no promises I will cover things in the order below, though). Please take a look, and then let me know about anything else you would like to see. You can either send me an email or post a comment – your choice. Thanks for the help, and see you next week.
I'd like to hear what bugs have been fixed in Excel 2007. It's difficult to commit to switching to the upgrade without knowing that the problems I have found and reported have been fixed.
If You ask MSFT then the only answer will be:
Managed COM add-in developed with C# (or at least VB.NET) where Ýou need do understand what shimming is. OK, you need also to realize that at present there exist no Shim wizard for C# 2005 (although it has been advertised it for some time now).
However, from a practical experience the best solutions would be the already existing once:
XLA developed by Excel (although You need to carefully investigate what is backward compatible or not)
XLL developed with C/C++ (for advanced and more powerful functions) and I hope Steve Dalton will update his book on the subject.
COM add-ins developed with classic VB.
On a personal level I can't say that I see the logical in creating managed COM Add-ins for an unmanaged enviroment.
Stephen Bullen has developed an ActiveX control that host a VBA Userform. This control extend the Office CustomTaskpane object. The control is still under beta and hopefully it will be available when Excel 2007 hit the market.
I have had the pleasure to test it and it works excellent. I've made some solutions where I've added built-in controls to it, populate the controls with data from a SQL Server 2005 db.
Based on the user's selection data is then retrieved and added to the target sheet.
The control offer a flexible alternative to the present task pane and make it easier to work with data then the present IBF offer (Let see what PerformancePoint Server 2007 will be offering later this year).
To Dennis Wallentin - I've worked with and/or written all of the above.
By shim you mean a PIA for the .net code to interoperate with COM don't you? That's generally trivial.
Take a look at the following article which gives You the answer to Your speculations:
Isolating Office Extensions with the COM Shim Wizard
I leave it up to You to decide weather it trivial or not.
I would also like to hear about whether changes are being made to MS Query. Will its functionality be more directly integrated into Excel?
I need Excel's formulas/functions and 64k column limit but would like Access' ease-of-use and power in creating queries.
Pivot table, Chart and the new Table concept are powerful ways to manipulate/organize data. I am interesting to hear about other new concepts that user would like to have or new concepts that Excel team have studied. For example, what about Animation or Creating a function from a pre-existing Excel formula.