A Professional Developer’s Intro to the Office Development Platform

Thanks to everyone attended my sessions at Tech Ed North America and at SharePoint TechFest. It was a lot of fun and everyone had great questions. This type of session is a challenge due to the plethora of overlapping technologies involved.  Hopefully, the session did as advertised:


Provide an understanding of the developer technologies provided by the Office platform and explain when to use each technology.

You will leave here with an understanding of when to use Office technologies like Open XML, VSTO, SharePoint Document Services (Word, Excel, Visio), SharePoint REST API & Client Object Model, Business Connectivity Services, etc., and how to build them.

I have attached the slide deck and the demo code to this post. As a I mentioned at the beginning of the session, the MSDN Office Developer Map is a great place to go to find content related to any Office Development task. Here is the link:


The session deck has even more links and I’ll post a ton of material so be sure and check those out as well.


Download the files here.

Using SharePoint Business Connectivity Services to Expose Line of Business Data: Tyson Developer’s Conference

I wanted to thank everyone who came out to my presentation. Here is a link to the slide deck:

Using SharePoint Business Connectivity Services to Expose Line of Business Data

Building Business Applications with SharePoint 2010 and Office 2010: Presentation from Tyson Developer’s Conference

I wanted to thank everyone who came out to my presentation. Here is a link to the slide deck as well as a link to the source code.

Building Business Applications with SharePoint 2010 and Office 2010

Source Code
Nortwind Office Business Application

Speaking at Dallas SharePoint Developer Group

I will be taking my international road show just down the street to speak at this month’s Dallas SharePoint Developer Group meeting.


I’ll be covering How To Integrate Sharepoint With Office And Line-Of-Business Applications.

What I plan to do is show-off how to use Office as the front-end to solutions that work with SharePoint.


For fun, I’ll show how to integrate data from a sales database as well as an accounting program.

It will be fun. And if it isn’t…well, at the least there will be pizza. Never hurts to serve food at these things to keep everyone happy.

Learn How to Customize Outlook’s User Interface (attend my session at Tech-Ed)


Next week I am presenting a session at Tech-Ed that shows off a few cool techniques for customizing Outlook. I’ll presenting with one a fellow Cogent Company cohort, Damon Armstrong.

If you are interested in customizing Outlook and want to learn how to customize its UI then you don’t want to miss this session. We’ll cover the basics while implementing a business process that allows us to show more advanced techniques.

In fact, we’ll show you to do this:


Trust me you want to attend…especially because you learn just how simple a solution like this can be.

Below is the full session abstract copied from the official Tech-Ed 2009 site.

See you in LA!

OFC325 Building Custom Applications in Microsoft Office Outlook 2007

Ty Anderson, Damon Armstrong

Tue 5/12 | 2:45 PM-4:00 PM | Room 408A


300 – Advanced, Breakout Session, Developer, Developer Manager, Microsoft® Office Suites, Office and SharePoint, Solutions Architect, Yes, Yes

This session covers strategies for customizing Outlook for your unique business requirements. The session covers how to build task panes (for Inspectors and Explorers), form regions, custom Ribbons, and more. A real-world business scenario is used to provide context as each demo builds upon itself to show how each UI component can work with each other. In addition, other features like data storage, views, and search are covered.

Some Setup Required (re: Code from Outlook Session at ODC)

 wrench_thumbIt has come to my attention that the sample code I posted from my Outlook session at ODC 2008 does not compile. Well, all I have to say is that it does compile…as long as you have all the components.

The project utilizes a a couple of 3rd Party controls. So before compiling, install the following:

  1. The Krypton Toolkit from Component Factory. This is a free toolkit and I think it rocks for building compelling UIs for Office Business Applications. In my sample code I use the Krypton Header control.
  2. The Telerik RadControls for Winform. These controls are not free but you can obtain a trial version. In my sample code, I use the Telerik RadChart control.

Once you install both of these components, the code should be good to go.

ODC Slides and Sample Code Part II

Here is the presentation and sample code for session CLI309 Turning Outlook into a Front-End for Third Party Systems. Thanks again for everyone that attended the session. To run the sample code, be sure and install the sample sales database (a modified version of the AdventureWorksLT sample database). The database is in the zip file as AW.bak. You will need to restore the database in SQL 2005.

Here is the abstract from the session:

Turning Outlook into a Front-End for Third Party Systems

This session will explain both why developers should embrace Office as a front-end for their organization’s applications AND how to begin this process. I will explain the different technologies within Office and VSTO that enable developers to utilize Office for their solutions. I will explain how to build a solution within Outlook that integrates with a Line-of-business application. Along the way, attendees will see demos of Custom Form Regions, Custom Task Panes, and more. After attending the session, attendees will have new understanding of Office as a development platform.

Here is the content:

ppt_3 Presentation File for CLI309
zip_3 odc2008cli309code

ODC Slides and Sample Code Part I

As promised, I am making the slide deck and code from sessions at ODC 2008 available here at OfficeDeveloper.net. This post contains the content from session SER307-Customizing SharePoint’s Content Management System.

Here is the abstract from this session:

Customizing SharePoint’s Content Management System.

This session will explain how to build web parts that extend the navigation framework within SharePoint. I will explain the SharePoint publishing framework along with a quick overview of how to skin SharePoint using master pages. The bulk of the session will be a demo where I build web parts that extend SharePoint’s navigation. The navigation utilizes a custom skin intended for an Internet –facing site and contains several features that allow users to add new elements to the page that normally would require the assistance of a designer. With these web parts, all that is needed is a trained user. At the end of this session the attendee will have a solid understanding of SharePoint’s navigation features and master page architecture.

You can download the content by following the links below:

ppt_3 Presentation File for SER307
zip_3 Sample Code for Session SER307

If you have any questions, please just leave a comment.


ODC Parties with Freaky Mimes (or My Encounter With Hugh MacLeod)

I will give Microsoft this…they know how to make a party filled with developers interesting. If you were at ODC this past week and attended the party on Tuesday at the Tech Museum then you know what I am referring too. MIMES! Good god, what is the deal with MIMES! They are freaky…they may even be more socially awkward than your average software developer. 

I attended the party, and while minding my own business and enjoying the white chocolate fountain, I was damn near accosted by some ballet dancer/mime-type (I am not at all sure how to classify here). She was 6 inches from me, looking directly at me while while looking through me. She had no expression on her face…it was a blank stare. She danced in front of me for maybe 5 seconds but the experience is burned in my memory forever.

Freakiness aside, the mimes/clowns/dances (whatever they were) made for some great people watching. I become highly entertained watching others have the same reaction as myself.

On my way out of the party, I ran into Hugh MacLeod. He was creating "cartoons on the back of business cards" for anyone who was interested. ConsultantsCard_thumbI decided to ask him to create an original Hugh MacLeod for my business cards. Hugh grew up in Texas (at least I think he did) and went to t.u. (some call t.u. The University of Texas…it is not) so it was fun to discuss Texas and slam each others alma mater (I went to Texas Tech).

Here is the cartoon he created. Hugh drew-it in a stream-of-conscience style in response to my description of Cogent Company. I told him we are consultants who get things done. I added that we are not type of uber-consultants that take themselves so damn seriously, write 600 page reports, and can’t get anything done unless they have 12-15 months to do it (and even then what they deliver stinks). Thus we have this new cartoon…genius!

I will have a new batch of cards printed for everyone in the company by next week.

On a programming note, my next posts will be the slide decks and sample code from my sessions at ODC.

Customizing SharePoint’s Content Management System


Turning Outlook into a Front-End for Third Party Systems


I know I promised to have them up today but it is looking more like Sunday as I am taking the remainder of the day off.

Back Home After ODC 2008

Thanks to everyone that attended my sessions. I had a great time and enjoyed meeting everyone. I’m back home and I will add the slide decks and demo code for each of my sessions soon…hopefully by tomorrow.