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Excel add-ins

We're looking to turn part of one of our applications into an Excel add-in - i.e. a function.

Can anyone recommend a book (or website) that gives a comprehensive treatment of making Excel add-ins.  Looking for info not just on how to make an add-in, but what your installer needs to do, differences between Excel versions etc.

Dave M
Wednesday, May 23, 2007
Professional Excel Development, from Addison Wesley.
Raj Chaudhuri Send private email
Thursday, May 24, 2007
I can't give you a link for a general Excel development site, but depending on which versions you intend to support you may want to look into Visual Studio Tools for Office (VSTO). If you go that way I'd strongly suggest you check out the Carter & Lippert book:

I'll ask Beth if she knows any sites which may help. She's worked on similar products before, but from what I understand it's pretty similar to working within the Visual Studio automation model (IDTExtensibility2 and all that...).

Either way, I suspect VMs will be as much of an asset to you for this as they are to us for Visual Studio add-in development. With any form of add-ins testing is paramount, as the stability of your product/tool directly affects the host IDE.
Anna-Jayne Metcalfe Send private email
Thursday, May 24, 2007
Probably you mean MSDN? :)
rontero Send private email
Thursday, May 24, 2007
Hi Dave,

Could you tell us what you intend to write the add-in in? Will it be an xla, xll, COM Add-In? You could use VBA, VB, C++, Delphi. Who is the intended market?

There are plenty of resources available, but a little direction would be helpful.
Marcus from Melbourne
Thursday, May 24, 2007
Hi all, thanks for the feedback. 

Marcus, the functionality for the add-in will be contained in a DLL, built with Delphi and used in Excel as a function in a formula.

I can figure out the basics for making the add-in, so I guess I'm interested traps for young players, differences between versions etc.  Also how to build and installer, that "just works" - don't want users fiddling about with Excel menus to make it go. 

Not sure it needs to work for Office 97, but would like to cover the versions since then

Dave M
Thursday, May 24, 2007
You might try Add-In Express for Delphi

IMO, VB6 is the easiest to use dev environment for writing COM add-ins.

Last I heard, .NET 1.0/1.1 was a pain, but 2.0 may be better.
MBJ Send private email
Friday, May 25, 2007
Hi MBJ, I don't believe a COM add-in will be of benefit to Dave as he needs it to work as a worksheet function. This functionality
is supported by Automation Add-in. It also appears that the language is chosen.

Developing worksheet functions is not an area I've got experience in. One Russion developer I worked with once spoke highly of this book. While it's geared towards C++ (essentially developing XLL's) you may find it of benefit.

Regards - Marcus
Marcus from Melbourne
Saturday, May 26, 2007
MBJ I stand corrected. Add-In Express does appear to be able to assist in generating Automation Add-Ins...
Marcus from Melbourne
Saturday, May 26, 2007

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