Archive for April, 2010

Excel DDE

Monday, 26th April, 2010

Just recently we have been having some fun with DDE at work.
For those of you young enough to not know what DDE is – well done.
DDE (Dynamic data Exchange) is a 1980’s/1990’s technology for enabling disparate systems to pass data between themselves. As with most Microsoft technology of that era they favoured ease, and getting the job done over security. Hence they now discourage its use.

Of course that doesn’t stop most of the market data providers using it.

Anyway, long story short, I wrote a server in VB6 so I could play with it in Excel and I wrote about it here.

I had a quick look around and it didn’t seem that obvious how to write one with C#, anyone got a link?

It seems that if you have a bad enough Excel crash you can hang the whole DDE messaging process, well somebody can, in our case we suspect IE.

Anyone else doing working with DDE?

Anyone actually developing a DDE server app?



XLL news

Thursday, 22nd April, 2010

I just got a note that the next version of ManagedXLL has been released.

A few of us were begining to wonder if ManagedXLL was still going, so its great to hear they are. Maybe I’ll get an evaluation copy one day…

This ‘tools to create xlls easily’ marketplaces is really getting quite busy.

And I have been busy in this area too, doing lots of stuff

  • with ExcelDNA (you can now pack everything you need into a single xll file for simple deployment),
  • with Add-in Express (xlls, but also really simple COM add-ins) and
  • with XLL+ (some neat tools for me, and some ultra fast UDFs, an ultra fast command add-in (way faster, more stable and less memory leaky than the VSTO one I did a few months back), the latest version has logging and performance monitoring and can do enum style arguments in the function wizard (and auto .chm generation -love that).

With all these great XLL tools there really is no excuse for writing crappy dog slow VBA UDFs. Most of them will happily work with, and convert it into something that is actually usable from Excel cells.

What xll stuff are you doing?



Office 2010 RTM’s

Tuesday, 20th April, 2010

Office 2010 went gold on Friday.

You can get your hot sweaty hands on it some time in May or June.

I have been using the RC1 for quite a while and I quite like it.

In fact one of the things keeping me off this blog has been the technical review of an Excel 2010 book I have been doing recently.

I certainly prefer¬†2010 to 2007 because the interface is not so jarring. Not sure if it will replace Excel classique as my fave. The nicer UI (than 2007)¬†+ Multi Threading + VSTO runtimes might just swing it, We’ll see.

What about you? what do you think of 2010 so far?



Office Web apps

Saturday, 10th April, 2010

Anyone know how to get this bag of hammers working with skydrive?

I am pointing my Win XP 2010RC install at my skydrive account and all I get is Download, never Edit or View.

Its a full 2010 install on a VPC, I’m using a .xlsx, I am struggling to find any grown up info about how this is meant to work. There is the either the childish vacuous MS user focused fluff, or the full gory Sharepoint install instructions. I just want to know how to use the cloud based web apps to edit a file ‘in the cloud’.

Is the Web apps program actually active? does it work with the RC? Is it currently US only?

Any ideas?



More pause excuses

Friday, 9th April, 2010

Sorry Its been quiet here the last couple of weeks.

I have been here:

The only thing missing in the pic is my apres ski pastis on the table.

Back to skool monday :(

Hope you have had a good Easter break if you managed to get one.