MS does a VBA to Silverlight

Anyone following this?

and now this?

Expect lots of uncertainty, no clear roadmap and a general feeling of unease. And a gradual migration away.

I sure am glad I never bothered investing time and effort in Silverlight (or as we call it fake flash). But I do have some sympathy for those that did.

Whats next for the death of a thousand silences?

I foresee lots more rationalisation, which puts some marginal techs in a dangerous place. When I say marginal, I mean for people who read IT news sites like Computer Geekly to learn what they should focus on rather than listening to their business folks. Jargon Keyword heavy Web techs = safe, Office dev = at risk.

What MS tech do you see on the endangered list?



13 Responses to “MS does a VBA to Silverlight”

  1. fastexcel Says:

    Yeah, great to see someone else getting shafted (VSTO anyone?)
    If Office goes Javascript/html5 alongside VBA it could be good
    – you can develop an app for Metro, Desktop AND web (Office 365 and Sharepoint for starters) without triplicating the codebase
    – it performs no worse than VBA
    – XLLS still work (hopefully in a wider set of environments)
    – Javascript UDFs

    Well, I always was an optimist …

    Mind you Javascript should be easy after all this C++/XLL stuff I have been wading through.

    Gonna be interesting to find out …

  2. Simon Says:

    Yeah I’d put VSTO on the endangered/life support list, but I havent seen anything better on the MS horizon. They should have joined ExcelDNA as a skunkworks project, or bought XLL+
    We had javascript in O2003 and earlier via some scripting thingy, I remember doing some moderately cool stuff with it way back. I might dig it out and post it if its back in fashion.

  3. Govert Says:

    Still, VBA still works perfectly in Office (including 64-bit Office) ten years after it was supposedly ‘killed’, now nearly twenty years after it was introduced in Excel.

    Microsoft has a phenomenal track record of maintaining compatibility. Excel-DNA add-ins built with .NET add-ins will work under Excel ’95 on Windows 98!

  4. Simon Says:

    The Excel Team have a phenomenal track record on backwards compatibility. Other teams not so much, Windows used to, less now, Access never really did, VS never did a great job, but Excel is the shining light of continued consistent compatibility (ignoring any recent UI changes or course)

  5. fastexcel Says:

    Presumably .NET is/will be ‘stabilised’ ?

  6. DickM Says:

    I think an interesting thing is how :

    1. in the last year MS has pretty much told their Integration Partners around the world that they are going to put them out of business with “The Cloud” thru Office 365. and
    2. Now they seem to be throwing all the people who invested their time and money in becoming skilled in .NET and SilverLight over the last decade down there as well (?) … Hmmmm.

    I’m glad my skills are wrapped up in business process, relational database design and spreadsheet modelling and reporting because it really doesn’t matter to me which language I use to automate my stuff – as long as it works (which may turn out to be an issue BTW :-) ). We’ll see I guess.


  7. Marcus from London Says:

    I’ve mentioned previously that for the work I’m involved in, Excel is more and more becoming just a convenient reporting medium. Most grunt work is being done on a server, UDFs are courtesy of ExcelDNA (thanks Govert) and XLA add-ins provide the GUI (although I was looking at Add-In Express to replace this).

    However, as this is all IB related, we’re talking about people who live and breathe in Excel. So I can’t see Office Dev going away in a hurry. It’s more a question of what piece it plays in the solution puzzle.

  8. Simon Says:

    No silverlight then Marcus?

  9. Marcus from London Says:

    Nope, no Silverlight. Although I have been making an investment in WPF/XAML.

  10. Marcus from London Says:

    Putting things in context though, VBA still isn’t actually dead even though it was pulled off life-support ages ago.

    While Silverlight may not have become as deeply entrenched as VBA (hence it may die a quicker death) .Net is very much entrenched.

    Beyond which, at least in the IB sector, platform change can be slow. I’m in an organisation which is currently migrating away from Win XP and Office 2002 to Win 7/ Office 2007 – due to be completed by the end of 2012.

    If MS did indeed pull the plug on .Net in Win 8, I’d say I’ve got a decade up my sleeve.

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