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Is purchasing VSTO the only way to build an Outlook add in? RRS feed

  • Question

  • Hi.

    I have written customized VBA codes for Outlook at work and found that VBA codes that manage Calendar appointments(delete, reschedule,view by file number) for my work(which is a law firm) but when I looked into distributing them to about 60 or more users, I found that the only is to install it locally machine by machine(Is this right?).

    Anyhow, I've been told that I'm better off building an actual Outlook Add-in that does the same thing as my VBA. I wanted to check with experts here that this is the way to go. Also, do I have to purchase add-in express for this? Are they any alternatives? Do I have to pay any fees when it comes to rolling out MS plugin I built and selling to a third parties?

    Many thanks

    Saturday, February 8, 2014 1:37 AM

Answers

  • No, absolutely not, you can do straight COM and simply create a COM object that implements the IDTExtensibility2 interface.


    Dmitry Streblechenko (MVP)
    http://www.dimastr.com/redemption
    Redemption - what the Outlook
    Object Model should have been
    Version 5.5 is now available!

    Saturday, February 8, 2014 3:41 AM

All replies

  • No, absolutely not, you can do straight COM and simply create a COM object that implements the IDTExtensibility2 interface.


    Dmitry Streblechenko (MVP)
    http://www.dimastr.com/redemption
    Redemption - what the Outlook
    Object Model should have been
    Version 5.5 is now available!

    Saturday, February 8, 2014 3:41 AM
  • What's the fuss with the Add-in express? Any advantages of owning the add-in over just having the Visual Studio then?
    Sunday, February 9, 2014 5:36 AM
  • Hi William,

    VBA macros is a good choice if you are not going to distribute the code. But they are not designed for copying on other PCs. This is what COM add-ins were designed for.

    Add-in Express is a commercial tool for developing COM add-ins (also XLL add-ins, UDF, RTD Server). It is aimed to reduce the development time and efforts. 

    VSTO is a free component available only for paid editions of Visual Studio (for example - Professional, Premium, Ultimate).

    Both technologies (ADX and VSTO) are based on the IDTExtensibility2 interface and provide almost the same features that comes from the Office Extensibility model (Fluent UI, Office Object Model). However, frankly speaking, ADX provides a little bit more: ability to support all versions of Microsoft Office from 2000 to Office 2013, choose the target .Net framework, advanced Outlook view and form regions.

    Implementing the IDTExtensibility2 interface allows you to stay independent from other frameworks and components. For example, if you encounter a bug somewhere, you need to wait a fix. You can't support a new Office version until it is supported by the framework your add-in is based on.

    Finally, it is up to you which way is to choose.


    Sunday, February 9, 2014 11:44 AM
  • Depends on what you are doing. If you will have an addin that will do more than just being loaded by Outlook, and buying a third party component will save you at least few hours, it is worth the investment in my not so humble opinion.


    Dmitry Streblechenko (MVP)
    http://www.dimastr.com/redemption
    Redemption - what the Outlook
    Object Model should have been
    Version 5.5 is now available!

    Sunday, February 9, 2014 4:01 PM