maandag 14 april 2008

Some wishes for Office and Visual Studio

If, but only if you have a licensed copy of Office (Excel, Word, Outlook) AND a licensed copy of Visual Studio Professional and up, you can create your own add-in libraries or you can extend your documents and templates using managed code at the expense of VBA or you can create a mixture from both worlds if you want to save that nicely-working VBA module!

I'd like to see such programmability for Access projects (.accdb databases or .adp projects) and I'd like to see the following:

1. There's a FREE Access 2007 runtime version just in order to run Access databases like applications. I'd like to see a FREE Excel 2007 runtime that can only run the underlying VBA code and only edit cells that are normal editable cells. Like the Access 2007 runtime the menus should be very very crippled just in order to execute that .xls spreadsheet as an application.
2. I'd like to be able to use an Access database or an Excel spreadsheet as a program library INSIDE my VB.NET program WITHOUT the need to 'load and execute' the whole whopping Access or Excel executable and its depending libraries. The .mdb (.accdb) or the .xls should be able to get treated like a normal .dll library.
3. I'd like to be able to re-use Office components in my own software. This should only be possible if the following is met: licensed version of Office AND a licensed version of Visual Studio.NET Professional just in order to bypass the necessity of 'loading and executing' the whole whopping Office application.

Think about an extended DAO/ADO.NET engine for Access databases that adds VBA possibilities to your database in order to create user-defined functions or a VBA version of stored-procedures to make the database more intelligent.
Think about an Excel Spreadsheet engine the cousin of Jet's database engine which is able to create full fledged .xls spreadsheets programmatically.
Think about a grid component for the sake of opening an Excel spreadsheet for data-entry or querying data resulted from calculation by formulas.
Deploying the application to customers should then be royalty-free and there should be some other licensing thoughts.

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