Eugene Starostin

Add-in Express for Office – Generation 2010 roadmap

We started Generation 2010 in November, 2009 and even had time to release Add-in Express 2010 for Internet Explorer. As for “Office”, for quite a long time there have been more questions than answers. And, quite naturally, we’ve been dependent not only on the plans of Microsoft but Embarcadero’s schedule as well. Just a little while ago (at last!) we managed to get enough information from both partners to build an official roadmap for Add-in Express for Office, Generation 2010 after all.

Note. A mandatory stipulation follows just in case, well… de bene esse. The time line and content of the releases may be changed without prior notice :-)

Add-in Express for Office
Generation 2010 releases
.net VSTO VCL
Beta 1
The beta will include:
March 2010 April 2010 March 2010
  • Complete support for Visual Studio 2010
+ +  
  • Complete support for Delphi Prism 2010
+ +  
  • Complete support for MS Office 2010 including improved Ribbon UI, new “ribbonized” applications (such as Visio, InfoPath), Outlook Explorer Ribbon UI, Outlook solution modules, new Office context menus
(x86, x64) (x86, x64) (x86)
Delphi doesn’t have an x64-compiler :-(
  • New msi-based web-enabled deployment for Office add-ons
+    
Beta 2
The release will include:
April 2010 April 2010 April 2010
  • All features included in beta 1, bug-fixes and some minor improvements
+ + +
  • Improved selective version-neutrality
    (e.g. Office 2003+ or 2007+)
+    
Release 2010
The release will include:
June 2010 June 2010 June 2010
  • All features included in betas 1 and 2, bug-fixes and some minor improvements
+ + +
  • New Office UI designers (Office 2000 – 2010)
+ +  
  • New Outlook regions designer (Office 2000 – 2010)
+ +  
  • New Office task panes designer (Office 2000 – 2010)
+ +  

You can find more details about beta 1 of Add-in Express for Office in a later post.

Last updated on 5-March-2010.

24 Comments

  • https://secure.gravatar.com/avatar/3c0aac2191718ef0309dbc034d9b9961?s=32&d=https%3A%2F%2Fsecure.gravatar.com%2Favatar%2Fad516503a11cd5ca435acc9bb6523536%3Fs%3D32&r=G David Heffernan says:

    Please don’t drop support for VCL just because Embarcadero haven’t got x64 yet. They will get there in time and anyway, in the meantime the vast majority of users will still be on x86 Office.

  • https://secure.gravatar.com/avatar/359eb842254a7b7d7498cfb16dc2a4c8?s=32&d=https%3A%2F%2Fsecure.gravatar.com%2Favatar%2Fad516503a11cd5ca435acc9bb6523536%3Fs%3D32&r=G Eugene Starostin says:

    David,

    We have no plans to stop supporting VCL as long as I remain a Delphi aficionado :-) Let’s hope Embarcadero will not drop supporting it.

    In addition, last year I noticed a continued trend of our customers migrating from VCL to .NET. Another trend is that quite recently we have also decided to port our add-ins from Add-in Express VCL to .NET. Unexpected news, isn’t it? :-) You know, there is already a high demand for Office 2010 and x64 compatibility. We get such requests every other day. So, do not miss this market trend.

    A conclusion: considering the above, our plans with regard to VCL are quite modest, but I guarantee a long life for Add-in Express VCL :-)

  • https://secure.gravatar.com/avatar/13c44ef2d9d79dcca761a584be868def?s=32&d=https%3A%2F%2Fsecure.gravatar.com%2Favatar%2Fad516503a11cd5ca435acc9bb6523536%3Fs%3D32&r=G Oliver Giesen says:

    Whatever your plans and views on this, I really think you should remove that comment from the VCL column in the roadmap as I think it is very hurtful to both the Delphi community and the product itself. It is inevitable that people read this as “we’re going to abandon VCL (or at least put it on the backburner which is just as bad) and so should you”. This is not the way to put pressure on Embarcadero for raising the priority on the 64bit compiler. Your comment makes it sound like you already believe this to be a lost case… :(

    Native 64bit Delphi might be late (and boy, it is!) but I still firmly believe it is coming.

    Reading that sidenote in the roadmap certainly sent a shiver down my spine… we’ve built a business on ADX.VCL and so far had absolutely no plans to abandon native-code Delphi because we believe it to be the superior environment for what we are doing… but now you are *forcing* us to seriously consider doing just that…

  • https://secure.gravatar.com/avatar/359eb842254a7b7d7498cfb16dc2a4c8?s=32&d=https%3A%2F%2Fsecure.gravatar.com%2Favatar%2Fad516503a11cd5ca435acc9bb6523536%3Fs%3D32&r=G Eugene Starostin says:

    Oliver, thank you for your comments. I never wanted to send a shiver down your spine, absolutely! :-) Besides that, I don’t think that a few thousands of Delphi+Office developers may have any impact on Embarcadero’s plans. As long as the 64-compiler perspective remains misty, I will be giving the alarm to our Delphi customers. I just don’t want one day to find ourselves and them (and you!) at the dead end, having no perspectives at all.

    However, regardless of what we may discuss here, I believe each of us will get the first real kick when some day one of our end-users opens a box with Office 2010 x64, installs it and wants to get your add-in (they got used to your add-in because it was the best for previous Office, agree?) to work for their new Office. May I ask you – what are you going to do in such circumstances?

  • https://secure.gravatar.com/avatar/a74aa39bedc712a3b22b7d62034e9782?s=32&d=https%3A%2F%2Fsecure.gravatar.com%2Favatar%2Fad516503a11cd5ca435acc9bb6523536%3Fs%3D32&r=G David Intersimone "David I" says:

    >I don’t think that a few thousands of Delphi+Office developers may have any impact on Embarcadero’s plans.

    We care about all of our developers and the team is working both on cross platform Delphi and C++Builder support and also on the next generation compiler. The new compiler will give us a a modern front end / back end architecture. The new front end will preserve the Delphi (and C++) language support we currently have and allow us to add new language capabilities much easier than with the current 10+ year old compiler architecture. The new back end will allow us to get to 64-bit chips and also to other chips. Building a new compiler from scratch takes a little time, but we will get it done for all of our customers. Stay tuned to the Embarcadero Developer Network for an update to our public roadmap that is currently in executive review inside Embarcadero.
    Sincerely,
    David Intersimone “David I”
    VP, Developer Relations and Chief Evangelist
    Embarcadeo Technologies

  • https://secure.gravatar.com/avatar/13c44ef2d9d79dcca761a584be868def?s=32&d=https%3A%2F%2Fsecure.gravatar.com%2Favatar%2Fad516503a11cd5ca435acc9bb6523536%3Fs%3D32&r=G Oliver Giesen says:

    Eugene,

    I’m all for alarming the Delphi community about the real and imminent need for a 64bit compiler. I just don’t think the roadmap of a product that should be complementing Delphi is a very good place to do so, especially not using the wording you chose.

    So far many Delphi developers appear to dismiss 64bit as something that’s not so important to them because they don’t deal with large numbers or because their apps don’t need that much memory. The topic of compatibility with host processes is seldom raised. When talking to people at conferences and user groups I’m always amazed at how many people are still genuinely shocked at this realization. That is also the only explanation I could come up with for why not more people vote for 64bit support on UserVoice and QC.

    > May I ask you – what are you going to do in such circumstances?

    Yes, I know, I know… It just seems like such a stupid reason to abandon an otherwise perfectly great tool… :-/

    >I don’t think that a few thousands of Delphi+Office developers may have any impact on Embarcadero’s plans.

    Ah, veiled russian cynicism, how I missed thee! ;)

  • https://secure.gravatar.com/avatar/359eb842254a7b7d7498cfb16dc2a4c8?s=32&d=https%3A%2F%2Fsecure.gravatar.com%2Favatar%2Fad516503a11cd5ca435acc9bb6523536%3Fs%3D32&r=G Eugene Starostin says:

    Thank you for your comments. Special thanks to David for dispelling the mist a bit.

    Oliver,

    > Ah, veiled russian cynicism, how I missed thee! ;)

    You missed it because it wasn’t cynicism at all. I was sure (and your words about not so many people interested in the 64-compiler are just one more confirmation) that we would hardly be able to affect Embarcadero’s plans. But then came David… the legendary David I… and spoiled that all :-) Who has invited him to this place, I wonder? ;-)

    However, Gentlemen!

    The fact is that my alarm for our Delphi customers is still actual and will remain in full force for everybody who will want to support Office 2010 x64 from its launch. So, let’s stay tuned for Embarcadero’s roadmap.

  • https://secure.gravatar.com/avatar/13c44ef2d9d79dcca761a584be868def?s=32&d=https%3A%2F%2Fsecure.gravatar.com%2Favatar%2Fad516503a11cd5ca435acc9bb6523536%3Fs%3D32&r=G Oliver Giesen says:

    > The fact is that my alarm for our Delphi customers is still actual and will remain in full force for everybody who will want to support Office 2010 x64 from its launch.

    I guess that’s indeed sad but true…

    However, if I was able to produce 64bit versions of our addins before the end of the year that would still be good enough for me personally. Keeping fingers crossed…

    > So, let’s stay tuned for Embarcadero’s roadmap.

    Oh, I am, I so am! ;)

  • https://secure.gravatar.com/avatar/2d533b8c652a7685036440c4d62b5d65?s=32&d=https%3A%2F%2Fsecure.gravatar.com%2Favatar%2Fad516503a11cd5ca435acc9bb6523536%3Fs%3D32&r=G Bernd Heinsohn says:

    Honestly, I don’t believe a single word from that guy with the long beard or from any embarcadero roadmap…

    This thing has been changed so often that it doesn’t even make sense to talk about it.

  • https://secure.gravatar.com/avatar/359eb842254a7b7d7498cfb16dc2a4c8?s=32&d=https%3A%2F%2Fsecure.gravatar.com%2Favatar%2Fad516503a11cd5ca435acc9bb6523536%3Fs%3D32&r=G Eugene Starostin says:

    Bernd,

    Let’s follow Oliver’s advice and keep our fingers crossed. May be this time they’ll manage to get something of it :-)

  • https://secure.gravatar.com/avatar/2d533b8c652a7685036440c4d62b5d65?s=32&d=https%3A%2F%2Fsecure.gravatar.com%2Favatar%2Fad516503a11cd5ca435acc9bb6523536%3Fs%3D32&r=G Bernd Heinsohn says:

    Yes, you are right but the truth is that embarcadero gives a shit about customer needs.

    They know it’s a lot of work to get the compiler, RTL and VCL moved to X64 due to the masses of raw assembler code used within the product.

    Moving to x64 would render all that code non-working cause on the x64 platform x64 you have a differerent register set and different parameter passing conventions. The impact on existing code would be much bigger than the small issues you have seen with the unicode transition. If they don’t get rid off the assembler code they will additionally have to use two different RTLs and VCLs – One for x86 and one for x64…

    Don’t expect that to happen within the near future… I guess it will need at least 1-2 years, maybe even longer !!

    In the meantime they will try to kepp the sales going by producing the mac / linux version because they cannot attract windows developers with their current portfolio.

    BTW: I don’t believe the above comment has been written by David I…

    If you look at the signature you will find the misspelled “Embarcadeo Technologies”.

    I really doubt that David would allow such spelling error to happen ;)

  • https://secure.gravatar.com/avatar/359eb842254a7b7d7498cfb16dc2a4c8?s=32&d=https%3A%2F%2Fsecure.gravatar.com%2Favatar%2Fad516503a11cd5ca435acc9bb6523536%3Fs%3D32&r=G Eugene Starostin says:

    They know it’s a lot of work to get the compiler, RTL and VCL moved to X64 due to the masses of raw assembler code used within the product.

    Yea, it looks like I’ve already read something like this on Delphi Hater’s blog :(

    In the meantime they will try to kepp the sales going by producing the mac / linux version because they cannot attract windows developers with their current portfolio.

    Cannot but fully agree…

    BTW: I don’t believe the above comment has been written by David I…

    Nobody knows who it was written by (at least his ip looks real :)

  • https://secure.gravatar.com/avatar/13c44ef2d9d79dcca761a584be868def?s=32&d=https%3A%2F%2Fsecure.gravatar.com%2Favatar%2Fad516503a11cd5ca435acc9bb6523536%3Fs%3D32&r=G Oliver Giesen says:

    Regarding the legitimacy of David’s posting here:

    1. The content matches what has been said (by him and others) at various live events I visited. Also see this EDN article from Nick Hodges about the compiler work: http://edn.embarcadero.com/article/39174 (that article still promised a 64bit preview compiler for mid-2009…)

    2. Eugene might not have been that far off the mark with his comment to my second post. While I did not actively “invite” David here I did mention this discussion to another Embarcadero employee…

  • https://secure.gravatar.com/avatar/359eb842254a7b7d7498cfb16dc2a4c8?s=32&d=https%3A%2F%2Fsecure.gravatar.com%2Favatar%2Fad516503a11cd5ca435acc9bb6523536%3Fs%3D32&r=G Eugene Starostin says:

    Oliver,

    I also heard a similar description of their new compiler architecture in late 2008 from somebody at CodeGear (don’t remember who it was).

    BTW. I was thinking it over for a while and caught myself at the thought that I liked Delphi Prism… exceptionally liked… But every time I recall the number of posts in Prism newsgroups :-(

  • https://secure.gravatar.com/avatar/13c44ef2d9d79dcca761a584be868def?s=32&d=https%3A%2F%2Fsecure.gravatar.com%2Favatar%2Fad516503a11cd5ca435acc9bb6523536%3Fs%3D32&r=G Oliver Giesen says:

    Eugene,

    Dmitry recently announced that there will soon be a 64bit-version of Redemption which he produces using FreePascal. I haven’t looked at Lazarus or FreePascal myself yet but do you think it would be possible to use that as a temp solution for producing 64bit ADX-based addins until Embarcadero get their stuff together? Surely not the designtime stuff but maybe the projects can at least be made to compile?

  • https://secure.gravatar.com/avatar/359eb842254a7b7d7498cfb16dc2a4c8?s=32&d=https%3A%2F%2Fsecure.gravatar.com%2Favatar%2Fad516503a11cd5ca435acc9bb6523536%3Fs%3D32&r=G Eugene Starostin says:

    Oliver,

    We could definitely port our Add-in Express to FreePascal, but… hardly any of our customers would agree to automate Office in a low-level C-style. You do not suggest that we create FreePascal-wrappers over all Office apps, do you? :-)

  • https://secure.gravatar.com/avatar/13c44ef2d9d79dcca761a584be868def?s=32&d=https%3A%2F%2Fsecure.gravatar.com%2Favatar%2Fad516503a11cd5ca435acc9bb6523536%3Fs%3D32&r=G Oliver Giesen says:

    No, I think you misunderstood me. I was more thinking about adding a couple of ifdef’s here and there (understatement anyone? ;) ) so you could *compile* ADX-based projects with the 64bit FreePascal-compiler but still do the development using the 32bit Delphi IDE. As far as I understood FreePascal is pretty much on par with Delphi’s compiler (or even better in some areas). No sign of low-level C-style development as far as I can tell (unless you just wrote that to refer to the comparative lack of sophisticated designtime tools)

    As I wrote, I have no first-hand experience with FreePascal/Lazarus at all so far so I don’t know how complete/compatible their RTL/VCL-replacement is. I keep hearing that they’re coming pretty close though and if it’s good enough for Dmitry to let him produce both 32bit (in Delphi) and 64bit (in FreePascal) versions of Redemption from a single code base (I very much doubt he started from scratch for the 64bit version) that must be pretty good already.

    I was just asking whether you (or anyone else) had already tried or considered this.

  • https://secure.gravatar.com/avatar/359eb842254a7b7d7498cfb16dc2a4c8?s=32&d=https%3A%2F%2Fsecure.gravatar.com%2Favatar%2Fad516503a11cd5ca435acc9bb6523536%3Fs%3D32&r=G Eugene Starostin says:

    Oliver,

    Have a look at this post (see the last post).

  • https://secure.gravatar.com/avatar/13c44ef2d9d79dcca761a584be868def?s=32&d=https%3A%2F%2Fsecure.gravatar.com%2Favatar%2Fad516503a11cd5ca435acc9bb6523536%3Fs%3D32&r=G Oliver Giesen says:

    Eugene,

    yuck! OK, point taken. I see what you mean now. No compiler-internal support for IDispatch is bad news indeed.
    I had repressed how much of the COM-plexities of OLE Delphi is hiding from us…

    Renders Dmitry’s effort all the more herculean, I guess…

  • https://secure.gravatar.com/avatar/491362e1150c585328c52583576abeaa?s=32&d=https%3A%2F%2Fsecure.gravatar.com%2Favatar%2Fad516503a11cd5ca435acc9bb6523536%3Fs%3D32&r=G Aaron says:

    Hi,

    Now that Microsoft has announced RTM in May will you be bringing forward the plans you currently have in place for 2010 releases? Also, will premium customers have access to early beta’s or code which can be used to verify current applications will run on 2010 as expected (obviously without support from you guys!)?

    http://blogs.msdn.com/sharepoint/archive/2010/03/05/sharepoint-2010-office-2010-launch.aspx

    Thanks,

    Aaron.

  • https://secure.gravatar.com/avatar/359eb842254a7b7d7498cfb16dc2a4c8?s=32&d=https%3A%2F%2Fsecure.gravatar.com%2Favatar%2Fad516503a11cd5ca435acc9bb6523536%3Fs%3D32&r=G Eugene Starostin says:

    Aaron,

    > Now that Microsoft has announced RTM in May will you be bringing forward the plans you currently have in place for 2010 releases?

    Yes, of course.

    > Also, will premium customers have access to early beta’s or code which can be used to verify current applications will run on 2010 as expected (obviously without support from you guys!)?

    Yes, of course. Beta 1, beta 2 and builds at your request will be available for all our premium and professional subscribers.

  • https://secure.gravatar.com/avatar/491362e1150c585328c52583576abeaa?s=32&d=https%3A%2F%2Fsecure.gravatar.com%2Favatar%2Fad516503a11cd5ca435acc9bb6523536%3Fs%3D32&r=G Aaron says:

    Eugene,

    That is all good news. I’m a bit unclear on where the bits we really need to test as soon as possible some into the schedule. We make use of AddinExpress.OL.ADXOlFormsManager and in particular ADXOlFormsCollectionItems to render some custom panes in Outlook for aour application. This is actually the only functionality that does not work fine right now in Outlook 2010. Where does that fit into the release schedule? Will it be available in the Beta 1 or Beta 2 or does that fall into “New Outlook regions designer” which is scheduled for the final release?

    Thanks.

  • https://secure.gravatar.com/avatar/359eb842254a7b7d7498cfb16dc2a4c8?s=32&d=https%3A%2F%2Fsecure.gravatar.com%2Favatar%2Fad516503a11cd5ca435acc9bb6523536%3Fs%3D32&r=G Eugene Starostin says:

    Aaron,

    We will publish our regions (ADXOlFormsManager) redesigned for Office 2010 in beta 1. In general, beta 1 will include complete functionality compatible with all Office 2010 features. Have a look at http://www.add-in-express.com/creating-addins-blog/2010/03/05/visual-studio-2010-office2010/

  • https://secure.gravatar.com/avatar/491362e1150c585328c52583576abeaa?s=32&d=https%3A%2F%2Fsecure.gravatar.com%2Favatar%2Fad516503a11cd5ca435acc9bb6523536%3Fs%3D32&r=G Aaron says:

    Eugene,

    That’s excellent news!

    Thanks!

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