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Gray Matter

Gray Knowlton's blog on Microsoft Office

Resurfacing

Resurfacing

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There's no doubt that Microsoft offers perhaps the best benefits package in this industry, particularly for those people with families. One of those benefits related to child birth is an extended paternity leave which goes well above and beyond what is minimally required within FMLA. After the birth of our second child, I was fortunate to have the opportunity to take 4 weeks away from work to be with my family. After a lengthy, grueling stretch of launch planning, Open XML activity, developer readiness, trade shows, etc., the break was well timed. It didn't take me long to stop checking my email, but I did think about how much I appreciated the benefit every day.

  

The family time for me was a great reminder of why I expend the time and effort I do at work, but also great for sharpening focus on what is most important in life. I return renewed, energized and grateful to my employer.

So now we buckle down and get to the business of educating developers on the improvements in Office 2010. Many of you have seen the teaser trailer, some of the basic introductory content for Office 2010, and are probably paying close attention to the Office Web Applications. Some of you are testing pre-release products.

I wanted to take a minute to tip you off on areas that may be of interest if you are a Developer looking at Office 2010 for what's new.

A primary learning opportunity is the SharePoint Conference, coming up in October in Las Vegas. Despite the name, the new capability for developers in Office 2010 will be prominently on display, and many of us will be there to share details about those investments with you. I would recommend if you are attending to seek out John Durant, who is not only well-versed in the past present and future of Office development, but also (not coincidentally) responsible for much of what you'll see at the show. He's been working very hard to put together the complete picture for the client side. His most recent post, "Why VBA Still Makes Sense" ... makes a lot of sense. I'm looking forward to seeing a lot more of John's posts on Office development.

 

Another area worth investigating at the SharePoint conference are the sessions on the Open XML SDK, Server-side document processing and conversion, and generally the concept of using documents as a data source. A long-standing tenet of the transition to XML-based document format for the core authoring applications has been the ability to mine & re-use the content contained within them, or perhaps to generate and process those documents outside the context of an authoring application. We'll have a lot to say about this topic area at the show.

As many of you have also seen, Office 2010 will offer a native 64-bit client version. This has implications for developers. Part of our mission at SPC is to discuss how the 64-bit transition will take place, and to discuss the tools & techniques available to you for making the transition.

For Access developers (and emerging developers using Access), we'll have plenty to share as well. In fact, there is quite a bit of detail for developers of virtually every office Application. The InfoPath team will be there in force, we'll have plenty to share about the future of InfoPath as well.

•    Publishing Access solutions to SharePoint
•    How to program the Office Backstage view
•    How to leverage the Ribbon UI in custom solutions
•    Access as RAD tracking application tool
•    Overview of all developer investments in Office 2010
•    Visual Studio 2010 Office development tools improvements
•    Open XML-based solution building
•    Excel Services and REST APIs

If you are an Office developer, and you have $ to attend only one show, I recommend you find your way to Vegas and visit us in the booth.

Comments
  • I just came across your blog and post.  I applaud you for taking advantage of the paternity leave from your employer!  I so wished this was available back when my children were born.  It makes me smile when I read about fathers who are able to leverage this benefit for their family.  Congratulations on realizing and capitalizing on such an important benefit!  You are a much better employee because of it too.  Kudo's to you.  I know your post is really more about the technology "stuff", but for me it was the personal "stuff" that caught my attention.  Smiles for a great day!

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