Wednesday 20 January 2010

Office 2010: The next application compatibility game...

I am trying to be a little ahead of the curve on this one.

Office 2010 is obviously coming (duh - the date in the name kinda gives it away) and I am currently planning NOT to completely disregard the application compatibility issues of integrating applications into later versions of Microsoft Office. I also plan NOT to say, "What are you worried about? It should be simple".

This is called experience...

I have just started reviewing the Microsoft Office 2010 compatibility documents recently updated (December 2009) by Microsoft and it looks like there are going to be few compatibility "Gotcha's".

First, the documents are located here:

Application compatibility assessment and remediation guide for Office 2010

And, I highly recommend the changes section detailing what has been changed and what features have been removed in the journey from Office 2007 to Office 2010 which can be found here;

Also, the Office 2010 Compatibility Microsoft blog ("Gray Matter" is an excellent resource for the Office compatibility tools. This blog can be found here:

As an example, here is a list of the features and functionality that has been removed from Word 2010:

  • Person Name removal of smart tag: The Person Name (Outlook E-mail Contacts) smart tag will be removed and replaced with functionality that uses the Global Address List (GAL) through Microsoft Office Communicator. In Word the functionality will be replaced by the “additional actions” functionality described earlier in this article, but in Excel the functionality will be completely removed. The 2007 Office system will be the last version that supports this functionality.

  • AutoSummary: AutoSummary is the feature that lists the Title, Subject, Author, Keywords, and Comments. This feature was available from the Tools menu. In Word 2010, this feature is no longer used. If you insert an abstract into the document, that is not AutoSummary data and will remain. However, if the document was in a summary view when it is saved, it will not be after you open it.

  • Microsoft Office Document Imaging (MODI): MODI provided a common document imaging and scanning solution for Office. It was also the basis of the Fax feature for Office. When MODI was installed, it was the default handler for .tif, .tiff, and .mdi files. In Office 2010, MODI is fully deprecated. This change also affects the setup tree, which no longer shows the MODI Help, OCR, or Indexing Service Filter nodes on the Tools menu. The Internet Fax feature in Office 2010 uses the Windows Fax printer driver to generate a fixed file format (TIF). MODI and all its components are deprecated for 64-bit Office 2010.

  • Research and Reference pane: The Research and Reference pane is removed from Windows Internet Explorer 7. Therefore, the shortcut ALT+Click in Microsoft Word 2010 no longer takes users to that pane. The Research and Reference feature brought up a research pane to search all Intranet sites and portals.

  • Mail Merge by using a Works database: Users cannot perform a mail merge in Microsoft Word 2010 or Microsoft Publisher 2010 by using a Microsoft Works database, because of a change in the object model. This primarily affects users who have configured a recurring mail merge that reads content from a Works database. We recommend that you use Works to export the data and then create a new data source for performing the mail merge operation.

  • Search Libraries button: The Search Libraries button is removed from the Insert Citations menu (on the References Tab).

  • WLL (Word Add-in Libraries): WLL files are deprecated for both 32-bit and 64-bit Office 2010. A WLL is an add-in for Microsoft Word that you can build with any compiler that supports building DLLs.

I can definitely see the MODI and WLL deprecations having an impact on Application Integration and compatibility.

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