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Professional Excel Development
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"As Excel applications become more complex and the Windows development platform more powerful, Excel developers need books like this to help them evolve their solutions to the next level of sophistication. Professional Excel Development is a book for developers who want to build powerful, state-of-the-art Excel applications using the latest Microsoft technologies."-Gabhan Berry, Program Manager, Excel Programmability, Microsoft "The first edition of Professional Excel Development is my most-consulted and most-recommended book on Office development. The second edition expands both the depth and range. It shines because it takes every issue one step further than you expect. The book relies on the authors' current, real-world experience to cover not only how a feature works, but also the practical implications of using it in professional work."-Shauna Kelly, Director, Thendara Green "This book illustrates techniques that will result in well-designed, robust, and maintainable Excel-based applications. The authors' advice comes from decades of solid experience of designing and building applications. The practicality of the methods is well illustrated by the example timesheet application that is developed step-by-step through the book. Every serious Excel developer should read this and learn from it. I did."-Bill Manville, Application Developer, Bill Manville Associates The Start-to-Finish Guide to Building State-of-the-Art Solutions with Excel 2007 In this book, four world-class Microsoft (R) Excel developers offer start-to-finish guidance for building powerful, robust, and secure applications with Excel. The authors-three of whom have been honored by Microsoft as Excel Most Valuable Professionals (MVPs)-show how to consistently make the right design decisions and make the most of Excel's most powerful new features. Using their techniques,you can reduce development costs, time to market, and hassle-and build more effective, successful solutions. Fully updated for Excel 2007, this book starts where other books on Excel programming leave off. Through a hands-on case study project, you'll discover best practices for planning, architecting, and building Excel applications that are robust, secure, easy to maintain, and highly usable. If you're a working developer, no other book on Excel programming offers you this much depth, insight, or value. * Design worksheets that will be more useful and reliable* Leverage built-in and application-specific add-ins* Construct applications that behave like independent Windows programs* Make the most of the new Ribbon user interface* Create cross-version applications that work with legacy versions of Excel* Utilize XML within Excel applications* Understand and use Windows API calls* Master VBA error handling, debugging, and performance optimization* Develop applications based on data stored in Access, SQL Server, and other databases* Build powerful visualization solutions with Excel charting engine * Learn how to work with VB.NET and leverage its IDE* Automate Microsoft Excel with VB.NET* Create managed COM add-ins for Microsoft Excel with VB.NET* Develop Excel solutions with Visual Studio Tools for Office (VSTO)* Integrate Excel with Web Services* Deploy applications more securely and efficiently
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Table of Contents

Acknowledgments . . . xiv About the Authors . . . xv Chapter 1 Introduction About This Book . . . 1 Who Should Read This Book . . . 2 Excel Developer Categories . . . 2 Excel as an Application Development Platform . . . 4 Structure . . . 7 Examples . . . 8 Supported Versions of Excel . . . 9 Typefaces . . . 10 On the CD . . . 10 Help and Support . . . 11 The Professional Excel Development Web Site . . . 12 Feedback . . . 12 Chapter 2 Application Architectures Concepts . . . 13 Chapter 3 Excel and VBA Development Best Practices Naming Conventions . . . 27 Best Practices for Application Structure and Organization . . . 40 General Application Development Best Practices . . . 45 Chapter 4 Worksheet Design Principles of Good Worksheet UI Design . . . 69 Program Rows and Columns: The Fundamental UI Design Technique . . . 70 Defined Names . . . 71 Styles . . . 78 User Interface Drawing Techniques . . . 83 Data Validation . . . 88 Conditional Formatting . . . 92 Using Controls on Worksheets . . . 98 Practical Example . . . 100 Chapter 5 Function, General, and Application-Specific Add-ins The Four Stages of an Application . . . 107 Function Library Add-ins . . . 110 General Add-ins . . . 117 Application-Specific Add-ins . . . 118 Practical Example . . . 125 Chapter 6 Dictator Applications Structure of a Dictator Application . . . 141 Practical Example . . . 157 Chapter 7 Using Class Modules to Create Objects Creating Objects . . . 166 Creating a Collection . . . 170 Trapping Events . . . 177 Raising Events . . . 180 Practical Example . . . 188 Chapter 8 Advanced Command Bar Handling Command Bar Design . . . 198 Table-Driven Command Bars . . . 199 Putting It All Together . . . 219 Loading Custom Icons from Files . . . 228 Hooking Command Bar Control Events . . . 232 Practical Example . . . 241 Chapter 9 Introduction to XML XML . . . 249 Chapter 10 The Office 2007 Ribbon User Interface The RibbonX Paradigm . . . 273 An Introduction to the Office 2007 Open XML File Format . . . 274 Ribbon Design and Coding Best Practices . . . 278 Table-Driven Ribbon UI Customization . . . 289 Advanced Problem Solving . . . 291 Further Reading . . . 300 Related Portals . . . 300 Chapter 11 Creating Cross-Version Applications Command Bar and Ribbon User Interfaces in a Single Application . . . 304 Other Excel 2007 Development Issues . . . 319 Windows Vista Security and Folder Structure . . . 326 Chapter 12 Understanding and Using Windows API Calls Overview . . . 331 Working with the Screen . . . 337 Working with Windows . . . 340 Working with the Keyboard . . . 349 Working with the File System and Network . . . 355 Practical Examples . . . 369 Chapter 13 UserForm Design and Best Practices Principles . . . 375 Control Fundamentals . . . 384 Visual Effects . . . 392 UserForm Positioning and Sizing . . . 400 Wizards . . . 407 Dynamic UserForms . . . 411 Modeless UserForms . . . 419 Control Specifics . . . 425 Practical Example . . . 432 Chapter 14 Interfaces What Is an Interface? . . . 433 Code Reuse . . . 435 Defining a Custom Interface . . . 437 Implementing a Custom Interface . . . 438 Using a Custom Interface . . . 440 Polymorphic Classes . . . 443 Improving Robustness . . . 448 Simplifying Development . . . 448 A Plug-in Architecture . . . 460 Practical Example . . . 462 Chapter 15 VBA Error Handling Error Handling Concepts . . . 465 The Single Exit Point Principle . . . 475 Simple Error Handling . . . 475 Complex Project Error Handler Organization . . . 476 The Central Error Handler . . . 481 Error Handling in Classes and UserForms . . . 488 Putting It All Together . . . 490 Practical Example . . . 496 Chapter 16 VBA Debugging Basic VBA Debugging Techniques . . . 507 The Immediate Window (Ctrl+G) . . . 517 The Call Stack (Ctrl+L) . . . 521 The Watch Window . . . 522 The Locals Window . . . 532 The Object Browser (F2) . . . 533 Creating and Running a Test Harness . . . 537 Using Assertions . . . 540 Debugging Shortcut Keys That Every Developer Should Know . . . 542 Chapter 17 Optimizing VBA Performance Measuring Performance . . . 545 The PerfMon Utility . . . 546 Creative Thinking . . . 551 Macro-Optimization . . . 556 Micro-Optimization . . . 567 Chapter 18 Introduction to Database Development An Introduction to Databases . . . 577 An Introduction to SQL . . . 594 Data Access with ADO . . . 598 Further Reading . . . 613 Chapter 19 Programming with Access and SQL Server A Note on the Northwind Sample Database . . . 615 Designing the Data Access Tier . . . 616 Working with Microsoft Access Databases . . . 620 Working with Microsoft SQL Server Databases . . . 630 Upsizing from Access to SQL Server . . . 642 Further Reading . . . 647 Practical Example . . . 648 Chapter 20 Data Manipulation Techniques Excel's Data Structures . . . 661 Data Processing Features . . . 667 Advanced Functions . . . 678 Chapter 21 Advanced Charting Techniques Fundamental Techniques . . . 687 VBA Techniques . . . 702 Chapter 22 Controlling Other Office Applications Fundamentals . . . 709 The Primary Office Application Object Models . . . 725 Further Reading . . . 739 Practical Example . . . 740 Chapter 23 Excel and Visual Basic 6 A Hello World ActiveX DLL . . . 742 Why Use VB6 ActiveX DLLs in Excel VBA Projects . . . 758 In-Process Versus Out-of-Process . . . 774 Automating Excel from a VB6 EXE . . . 775 COM Add-ins . . . 783 A "Hello World" COM Add-in . . . 783 The Add-in Designer . . . 788 Installation Considerations . . . 790 The AddinInstance Events . . . 792 Command Bar Handling . . . 795 Why Use a COM Add-in? . . . 798 Automation Add-ins . . . 799 Practical Examples . . . 802 Chapter 24 Excel and VB.NET .NET Framework Fundamentals . . . 818 Visual Basic.NET . . . 819 Debugging . . . 845 Useful Development Tools . . . 853 Automating Excel . . . 855 Resources in .NET Solutions . . . 863 Retrieving Data with ADO.NET . . . 864 Further Reading . . . 870 Additional Development Tools . . . 871 Q&A Forums . . . 871 Practical Example-PETRAS Report Tool .NET . . . 872 Chapter 25 Writing Managed COM Add-ins with VB.NET Choosing a Development Toolset . . . 890 Creating a Managed COM Add-in . . . 891 Building the User Interface . . . 908 Creating Managed Automation Add-ins . . . 928 Manually Register and Unregister COM Add-ins . . . 940 Using Classes in VB.NET . . . 940 Using Classic ADO to Export Data to Excel . . . 948 Shimming COM Add-ins . . . 952 Related Blogs . . . 962 Additional Development Tools . . . 962 Practical Example-PETRAS Report Tool.NET . . . 963 Chapter 26 Developing Excel Solutions with Visual Studio Tools for Office System (VSTO) What Is VSTO? . . . 976 When Should You Use VSTO? . . . 983 Working with VSTO Add-Ins . . . 985 Working with VSTO Templates and Workbook Solutions . . . 1006 Deployment and Security . . . 1016 Further Reading . . . 1026 Related Portal and Blogs . . . 1026 Additional Development Tools . . . 1026 Chapter 27 XLLs and the C API Why Create an XLL-Based Worksheet Function . . . 1029 Creating an XLL Project in Visual Studio . . . 1030 The Structure of an XLL . . . 1034 The XLOPER and OPER Data Types . . . 1044 The Excel4 Function . . . 1050 Commonly Used C API Functions . . . 1052 XLOPERs and Memory Management . . . 1053 Registering and Unregistering Custom Worksheet Functions . . . 1054 Sample Application Function . . . 1057 Debugging the Worksheet Functions . . .1060 Miscellaneous Topics . . .1061 Additional Resources . . . 1062 Chapter 28 Excel and Web Services Web Services . . . 1065 Practical Example . . . 1072 Chapter 29 Providing Help, Securing, Packaging, and Distributing Providing Help . . . 1085 Securing . . . 1094 Packaging . ..1099 Distributing . . . 1104 Index . . . 1107

About the Author

Rob Bovey, President of Application Professionals, has developed several Excel add-ins shipped by Microsoft. He coauthored the Microsoft Excel 97 Developers Kit and Excel 2007 VBA Programmer's Reference. Dennis Wallentin has developed Excel solutions since the 1980s through his firm, XL-Dennis, based in OEstersund, Sweden. Stephen Bullen, coauthor of The Excel 2007 VBA Programmer's Reference, owns Office Automation, Ltd., based in Essex, Ireland. John Green owns Execuplan Consulting, a Sydney, Australia-based consultancy specializing in Excel and Access development. Bovey, Bullen, and Green hold Microsoft's prestigious Most Valuable Professional (MVP) honor.

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