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October 7, 2004

"Excel 2003 Programming: A Developer's Notebook": The New Excel--It's All About Teamwork

Sebastopol, CA--On the surface, it doesn't appear as if much in Excel 2003 has changed. There are a handful of new objects and the user interface is largely the same. But beyond a superficial glance, you can see that there are fundamental shifts implied by the new features: Lists, XML, web services, .NET, and InfoPath build a framework for entirely new ways to exchange data with Excel. In fact, that's much of what Excel 2003 is all about--solving problems that deal with teamwork--collecting and sharing data, programming across applications, and maintaining security.

Teamwork? It's not necessarily the first thing one thinks of when Excel is mentioned. But then, Excel has never just been about processing and analyzing data. It's also about presenting and sharing data--making data usable and accessible to everyone who needs it. As author Jeff Webb relates in Excel 2003 Programming: A Developer's Notebook (O'Reilly, US $29.95), "You've probably seen Microsoft's TV spots where the office workers are cheering, sliding down the hall on their knees, and otherwise celebrating their fantastic achievements. The message I get from that is not what Microsoft Office can do; it's what the team can do together." Webb adds, "You may or may not like those ads, but their point is valid: Office 2003 isn't really about features, it's about cooperation. This book is an Excel programmer's guide to that way of thinking."

Excel 2003 Programming: A Developer's Notebook introduces intermediate to advanced Excel VBA programmers to the newest programming features of Excel 2003--focusing just on what's new--so they can get up to speed quickly. As with all of the Developer's Notebooks, this guide is light on theory and long on practical application, taking readers directly to the topics they'll want to master through a series of hands-on projects. With dozens of practical labs, programmers can decide for themselves which new aspects of Excel will be useful or not in their work.

The book shows users and programmers alike how to share spreadsheets with SharePoint, work with lists and XML data, create secure Excel applications, use Visual Studio Tools for Office, consume Web Services, and collect data with Infopath. Each chapter is organized into a collection of labs, each of which addresses a specific programming problem. Readers can follow along to complete the lab on their own, or jump ahead and use the samples the author has included.

The new Developer's Notebook series from O'Reilly covers important new tools for software developers. Emphasizing example over explanation and practice over theory, they focus on learning by doing--readers get the goods straight from the masters, in an informal and code-intensive style that suits developers. This no-fluff, lab-style guide is the perfect solution for anyone who's been curious about Excel 2003 but hasn't known where to dive in.

Additional Resources:

Excel 2003 Programming: A Developer's Notebook
Jeff Webb
ISBN 0-596-00767-1, 293 pages, $29.95 US, $43.95 CA
order@oreilly.com
1-800-998-9938; 1-707-827-7000

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