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Thread: Article: Deploying Add-ins in a Network Environment

  1. #1
    Administrator Ken Puls's Avatar
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    Article: Deploying Add-ins in a Network Environment



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    Ken Puls, FCPA, FCMA, MS MVP (Excel)

    Master your data with Power Query: Purchase your copy of my book M is for Data Monkey today!

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  2. #2

    Thank you thank you thank you

    Brilliant!

    For years I've had a couple of add-ins that multiple users accessed from a shared network drive and always had hassle getting the timing right so I could update them when no-one else was on the system.
    Setting them to read-only and using the method described above is going to make things a lot easier so thank you very much for having this post here

    Note - the xcelfiles.com domain that is also referenced above no longer exists. However it can be accessed on the "Wayback machine" if anyone wants to get hold of the code that will let you know which user currently has a file open - also a great tool but doesn't work for 2007+ files (I'd post the link but not allowed until I've posted 5 times ... grrr).

  3. #3
    Administrator Ken Puls's Avatar
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    Thanks for letting me know about this, and sorry about not being able to add the link. Only way I can keep the spammers at bay.

    Link to the page through the Wayback Machine is http://web.archive.org/web/200805170...sFileOpen.html (For reference, I don't find that these pages render very well in Internet Explorer. They do work great in Chrome though.)
    Ken Puls, FCPA, FCMA, MS MVP (Excel)

    Master your data with Power Query: Purchase your copy of my book M is for Data Monkey today!

    Main Site: http://www.excelguru.ca -||- Blog: http://www.excelguru.ca/blog -||- Forums: http://www.excelguru.ca/forums
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    If you've been given VBA code (a macro) for your solution, but don't know where to put it, CLICK HERE.

  4. #4
    Thanks for this article!

    Before reading it, I was planning to send the .xlam files via Dos Command line on the /Addins shared folders on EVERY users desktop ...well, anyway, your method is way more efficient than mine. Keeps sharing solution of everyone's problems!

  5. #5
    Administrator Ken Puls's Avatar
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    Cool stuff, glad you found it useful!
    Ken Puls, FCPA, FCMA, MS MVP (Excel)

    Master your data with Power Query: Purchase your copy of my book M is for Data Monkey today!

    Main Site: http://www.excelguru.ca -||- Blog: http://www.excelguru.ca/blog -||- Forums: http://www.excelguru.ca/forums
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    If you've been given VBA code (a macro) for your solution, but don't know where to put it, CLICK HERE.

  6. #6
    I've been looking for a way to easily roll out add-ins to colleagues on a network and update/tweak them without too much disruption.
    This has worked very well and hasn't (so far) disrupted any custom buttons that people have set up to access add in macros quickly.
    Exactly what I was after. Great work.

  7. #7
    Neophyte ramina2000's Avatar
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    Hi. I found your article quite interesting. This is partially relate to my problem which I describe below and hope I could get some directions for.

    I am currently working on a project where we are interested in deploying an application level Excel add-in. We use Win7 ultimate and the add-in is developed in .NET 4.5.1 and for Excel 2010 with Visual Studio 2015.

    To get started I have used Visual Studio Installer to deploy a simple add-in to a shared network folder and it works great. The challenge right now is to find a smart update mechanism for updating add-ins on user machines. Our desire is that on startup excel must check if there is a newer version of the add-in on the network folder. If so the user must be prompted to update now or wait.

    The next step would be to call the msi-file if it is an update and the user answers yes to the question. Could you help me with this or refer to other relevant sites/links.
    I would be very thankful for that.
    Last edited by ramina2000; 2015-10-02 at 01:39 PM.

  8. #8
    Administrator Ken Puls's Avatar
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    Hi Ramina,

    Honeslty, I've never built a solution in VS to make that work. The easiest way would probably be to inject a test in the beginning of the code to check the addin's creation date vs the one you have on the network. If it's older, then prompt the user to update. But that still means that you're going to need to update all the existing addins in the wild with that code...
    Ken Puls, FCPA, FCMA, MS MVP (Excel)

    Master your data with Power Query: Purchase your copy of my book M is for Data Monkey today!

    Main Site: http://www.excelguru.ca -||- Blog: http://www.excelguru.ca/blog -||- Forums: http://www.excelguru.ca/forums
    Check out the Excelguru Facebook Fan Page -||- Follow Me on Twitter

    If you've been given VBA code (a macro) for your solution, but don't know where to put it, CLICK HERE.

  9. #9
    Neophyte Mountainkiddo's Avatar
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    Thank-you very much for being so thorough in this description. I recently ran into the problem described in: Remove badly set up add-ins if necessary.

    Thankfully you covered all the necessary detail to get me out of the conundrum. What was happening is on startup Excel was looking for the xla file in the users local app data folder which is where it resided originally. I moved it to the network and deleted the local copy, causing Excel to get very confused. Even though it found the xla file on the network and ran those scripts, it would throw an error message on startup that it couldn't find the xla file locally. Well no kidding since I had deleted that one.

    I thought it was a registry problem but couldn't get the sequence correct until finding your article! Thank-you for saving me from a bunch more headaches!!
    Last edited by Mountainkiddo; 2016-06-30 at 08:29 PM. Reason: bolded the subheading reference

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