Microsoft Releases New Beta of Office Tools

The company releases a beta version of its Visual Studio 2005 Tools for the Microsoft Office System, allowing developers to use the 2007 Office system as a platform.

Microsoft released the beta version of Visual Studio 2005 Tools for the Microsoft Office System on Sept. 14. The technology is also known as VSTO (Visual Studio 2005 Tools for Office) Second Edition Beta, or VSTO 2005 SE Beta for short, the company said.

In a blog post, KD Hallman, Microsofts general manager for Visual Studio Tools for Office, said VSTO 2005 SE Beta enables developers to leverage the new features of the 2007 Microsoft Office system to build feature-rich, highly collaborative solutions.

/zimages/1/28571.gifTo read about the final public test build of Office 2007, Click here.

Hallman said VSTO 2005 SE Beta, previously known by the code name Cypress, is a "fully supported add-in" for Visual Studio, available free to all users of Visual Studio 2005 Professional Edition or Visual Studio Tools for Office 2005.

In addition, by using VSTO 2005 SE Beta, "developers can take advantage of add-in support for the six most popular Microsoft Office applications—Outlook, Excel, Word, PowerPoint, Visio, InfoPath—and support for key 2007 Office system features," she said.

/zimages/1/28571.gifGuru Jakob Nielsen offers advice on designing applications for usability. Click here to watch the video.

Perhaps the most important aspect of the beta release is that VSTO 2005 SE gives developers the power to take advantage of the 2007 Office system as a development platform and create scalable Office-based solutions, Hallman said.

Meanwhile, the 2007 Office system provides a variety of new features that developers can leverage to help make users of the applications they create more productive.

"From the new Ribbon [user interface] and custom task pane to SharePoint services, developers can now build applications with more robust user interfaces and collaborative features," Hallman said.

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