Well, I've finally done it. I've just finished installing Visual Studio 2005 Professional, complete with patches, the MSDN Library files and VSTO 2005 SE Beta. 🙂
I figured that I might as well just bite the bullet on it, as I've been getting ready to re-write my XLG Favourites add-in for Office 2007. News I got today seems to point to the fact that I can't design it the way I want from VBA alone, so a COM add-in will be necessary. I can't say that I'm crazy about needing another program to do this, as it means that I'm staring up from the bottom of a big learning curve, but if we stayed in our comfort zone all the time we'd learn very little.
The install actually went pretty easy, except for one small thing. When I installed Office 2007, I didn't have the .Net framework installed. (I'm running on Win XP now, and hadn't needed it to this point.) Because the .Net framework wasn't installed, all the options for .Net programming compatibility were unavailable. I really didn't think anything of it at the time, as I wasn't really planning on jumping in to this just yet. The problem I ran into was, when I started an Excel project, it referenced certain Primary Interop Assemblies. The issue, though, was that I had an error telling me that the "Primary Interop Assemblies are not installed".
So here I am, looking at the UI of a program that is completely new to me, trying to figure out what to do. I did a full install of every component, and I'd forgotten about my .Net issue. Fortunately Google is my friend, and I found a nice little MSDN article on How to: Install Office Primary Interop Assemblies. (Someone please tell me why Microsoft would create a component with the acronym PIA? Don't they realize that it stands for something else?)
At any rate, I didn't bother to download the redistributable package, as that article somehow triggered my memory on the .Net stuff I didn't install. I hate installing extra stuff that I can avoid (yes, I know I did a full install that I'll probably never use all of, thanks), so I just went back to Office and modified the install. There were about 8 places that I had to check to install .Net programability support.
Now, here's what I don't get. Visual Studio, during the install, checks to see if you have the .Net framework installed, and will install it if you don't. Why does VSTO, when you install it, not check to see if you have the .Net PIA's installed for the installed Office apps and install them if you don't? It would seem to make logical sense, wouldn't it?
At any rate, it's time to start a new journey.