Well, it has been a while and I have neglected this page for quite some time – but for good reason.
I have been very busy writing a set of tools and documents for Microsoft Office 2010 Resource Kit around Application Compatibility Assessment and Remediation. Over the years, while working as an Escalation Engineer in the Microsoft Office Premier Support organization, I have learned that Office itself is easy to install: Run setup.exe. It is trying to get everything that interacts with Office to work that is the hard part. As Microsoft Office has become a development platform for all sorts of line of business applications, add-ins and complex templates with macros, it has become harder and harder to manage a "simple" or "easy" deployment of Office. Getting everything to play well is hard and for a long time Microsoft really has not provided a great deal of support and documentation around how to resolve these issues.
In 2008 a co-worker and I sat down and devised a tool called Microsoft Office System Add-in Scanner or MOSAS. MOSAS was an attempt to assist customers in one of the hardest problems with deploying Office. Assessing their environment for add-ins that interact with Office. This tool along with Office Migration Planning Manager (OMPM) was really all Microsoft had in the way of an “Office tool bag” for Office 2007. But this tool was so well received that it is now getting formally included in the Resource Kit, albeit with some considerable upgrades.
MOSAS is now the Office Environmental Assessment Tool (OEAT). You can get it here (if you are part of the Office 2010 Beta):
I updated the tool – with the help/sponsorship of many others – to help customers deploy Office 2010 much faster. Here is what it does:
- Scans computers in your environment for add-ins and applications that interact with Office.
- Also collects information about your computer systems (RAM, Office and Windows installs, Service Pack Levels, Antivirus state, and disk space).
- Compiles the scans from all the computers in your organization and provides you with a summary and detailed report of everything at was found.
- The plan – still in the works – is that by the time Office 2010 releases, vendors will have had an opportunity through this site to provide Application Compatibility information about their applications and add-ins that interact with Office. OEAT (in future updates) will use this information to give you a GREEN/YELLOW status on all your discovered applications and add-ins from your scans. From there you can determine what your best remediation options are.
For more detailed information about this tool, check out Gray Knowltons blog.
But, this is just one tool. There are two others I have been working hard on as well (more information to come):
- Microsoft Office Visual Basic for Application Code Compatibility Inspector – scans and comments known compatibility issues with your VBA code.
- Microsoft Office Visual Studio Tools for Office Code Compatibility Inspector – scans and comments known compatibility with your C# and VB.NET VSTO solutions.
Additionally, there will be an extensive guide – available as a green book from TechNet called: The Microsoft Office 2010 Application Compatibility and Remediation Guide. This guide will cover the process of how to use all these tools (and others) to asses your environment, process and remediate any issues found and get you prepared for a successful deployment of Office 2010. Keep an eye out for each of these tools and the guide in coming months as they will be placed on the beta site.
Now, there are several folks to thank (gobs), but here are TWO names of those that have really driven the project, given advice, support and generally helped make these tools a reality:
- Michael Kiselman – Senior Product Manager (the project lead). Michael is passionate about this project and really GETS the need for these tools and guide. He has made all the contacts with MSDN, TechNet, Sales, Marketing, Office Development, Office Support Program Management and many more to bring everyone together around a common strategy for Office 2010 Application Compatibility.
- Joe Giunta – Senior Consultant (Migrate, LLC) – Joe is a former Microsoft Senior Consultant, now working for Microsoft through a vendor. Joe helped me originally design and implement this tool and is probably most responsible for its broad adoption throughout Microsoft Services. As a vendor he helps me part time (while helping driving the TAP program the rest of the time). He assist with Specification review, documentation technical review, and sheer brain power.
Thank you guys!