Future of COM Add-ins

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Future of COM Add-ins
Will Microsoft release a new version of the PIA's? 
Fred Balkenende

Posts: 22
Joined: 2007-07-05

Soon, Microsoft will release Office 2019, and it seems to be the last 'perpetual' desktop version. This raises a few questions, which you might know a little bit more about:

Will Microsoft continue developing the desktop version for Office 365?

Will Microsoft release PIA's for Office 2019? They did not for Office 2016, resulting in not being able to work with the new chart types introduced in that version (Waterfall, Sunburst etc.). In case they do not, it seems like we are stuck to using the 2013 PIA's forever. Does that mean COM development is dead and that we should start porting our add-in to an Office 365 add-in?

Thanks in advance!

Posted 19 Sep, 2018 08:23:27 Top
Andrei Smolin

Add-in Express team

Posts: 16753
Joined: 2006-05-11
Hello Fred,

We cannot know answers to your questions: Microsoft never shares their plans with us.

My understanding is this. There are many, many users of desktop Office versions. These users rely on the basic functionality of the Office applications as well as on their customizability model. Just imagine the VBA code written for Excel, Access, Visio, Outlook, etc. Leaving these users without that code means loosing an income associated with them. That means, the object models (they are COM-based) will be available until they switch to using another products. Just look how many features they introduced recently.

There's a misunderstanding that Office 365 is some other Office. Office 365 is a subscription service: you can buy an Office 365 subscription to install Office products on desktop or mobile devices. Note that these products have different lists of features: a mobile Office cannot contain all the features that the desktop Office provides. That is, there's no porting. You can only talk about adapting. Our attempts to adapt some of our commercial add-ins to web versions of applications ended with this: adapted add-ins are given out for free because their features cannot compare with features that a full-scale COM add-in can provide.

Fred Balkenende writes:
Will Microsoft release PIA's for Office 2019?

Strictly speaking, PIAs aren't required as you can use late binding.

Regards from Belarus (GMT+3),

Andrei Smolin
Add-in Express Team Leader
Posted 19 Sep, 2018 10:17:35 Top