Office Add-ins types
- Functionality extension in Excel, PowerPoint and Word
- New object creation in PowerPoint and Excel
- Functionality extension in Outlook add-ins
Office add-in development technologies
- Develop add-in using Visual Studio Tools for Office (VSTO)
- Add-in created using this technology is highly portable across different platforms like Windows, iOS, Mobile Phones and Tablets.
- Easy support to bring data from external sources or third party apps.
- Interactive visualization using Charts, Maps and ClipArt to its own excel spreadsheets and PowerPoint presentations.
- This technology is new and introduced with office 2016 and thus has very limited support available.
- It offers very limited APIs and functions and thus not suitable to every requirements.
- All APIs are not supported by all platforms currently. One needs consider the platform while using few APIs in add-in development.
- This technology is still in development. You may find some issue during development should Microsoft changes any API or support.
Visual Studio Tools for Office (VSTO) Add-in
VSTO is a set of development tools that is available in the form of add-in or extension (project templates) and it allows Office 2013 and later versions of Office applications to host the add-in and to expose their functionality via .NET framework.
This allows extensions to the Office applications to be written in programming languages as well as to use functionality and user interface constructs from Office applications in .NET applications.
Benefits of Visual Studio Tools for Office (VSTO) Add-in
- It provides access to complete office object model. So one can nearly perform any operation on office client.
- Any feature of office client is feasible to improvised or modified.
- Local machine integration like file systems and other applications are comparatively easy.
- Good support from Microsoft and other sources available
- C# or any other CLI programming language can be used to create new office add-in.
Challenges of Visual Studio Tools for Office (VSTO) Add-in
- Distribution and licensing process need to be handled separately.
- Integration with third party services using data from different sources is confined to its Microsoft support and compatibility.
- Purpose and objective of Add-in
- Data and data source for add-in
- Host support for add-in
- Functionalities of add-in