Professional Excel Development: The Definitive Guide to Developing Applications Using Microsoft Excel, VBA, and .

Professional Excel Development: The Definitive Guide to Developing Applications Using Microsoft Excel, VBA, and .
Rob Bovey, Dennis Wallentin, Stephen Bullen, John Green
16 May 2009
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“As Excel applications become more complex and the Windows development platform more powerful, Excel developers need books like this to help them evolve their solutions to the next level of sophistication. Professional Excel Development is a book for developers who want to build powerful, state-of-the-art Excel applications using the latest Microsoft technologies.

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  1. Editorial Reviews
  2. Customer Reviews

Customer Reviews

Stellan Rosengren said
This is the only book I have found for taking your development skills to the next level after reading all the "how to"-books about Excel VBA. There are a lot of them, some very good. Read them first and practise! Then, if you want to improve your design and make use of your VBA skills to create something really useful for your clients, this book can give you all the inspiration you need.
But it is not the book for you if you are new to Excel VBA.

G. R. Ness said
I can't recommend this book highly enough. There is a wealth of advice on best practice for both Excel and VBA, which has not only prompted me to change the way I design new projects, but to revise old projects also. There are also a huge number of examples, including an application developed throughout the course of the book, which demonstrate applications for all the techniques discussed. Definitely not for the beginner, but there's loads of stuff here for intermediate to advanced developers. I think I'll be using this as a desktop reference for a long time to come...

Mike said
This book of advanced Excel development was recommended to me by a co-worker whose project I inherited that used the concepts in the book based on the "Petras Template" example. It's classy and polished VBA programming and sure, you can brag about the concepts to the techies interviewing you during your next job hunt.

But, be careful.

The book introduces us to the concept of add-ins and templates. So, there you are showing off your project to your manager or users. But, what do they click on? The add-in or the template? What are all those true/false cells over there? How can the user save the workbook? What heppens if you forget to hide the columns that use cell logic. Hmmm. These questions and others will be asked of your typically non-technical users who have NO idea what goes on behind the scenes. If they open up the template and screw around with the code or re-name the add-in, you'll have chaos.

To be fair, there's tons of advanced concepts to learn here and no doubt you'll benefit from them. But, remember, as a developer, your first goal is to produce a robust application. However, you may have click a couple of functions to get all tabs in your template to show. If you don't do that, you can't see them! Oh, and don't forget to save your add-in.xla or all your changes won't take effect.

Not for beginners or dummies, but for VERY careful developers!

G. Atem said
When you search the web and most of the books around, you can find solution to your problems most of the time, but you are rarely sure it was the best way to do it and how it would fit to the rest of your code. The authors of this book are not afraid to tell what they suppose to be the best for you, along with full featured versions of code illustrating each chapter.

I found it easy to take the code from a sufficiently leveled chapter and adapt it to get just the application that I needed, knowing it would be fast, clean and complete at the same time, although I didn't understand all the details at first. Now, the book serves as a widely findable documentation for the packages that I make. Highly recommendable.

Ilia Asafiev said
When picking up this book, I was an advanced Excel user. Having discovered most of its features by trial-and-error, and coming from a fairly solid programming background, I understood well the interaction between the underlying object model and the sheets appearing on the screen to end users. I have also crafted many sophisticated worksheet formulas, and explored just about every suggestion of literature such as "Excel Hacks" and "Advanced Excel Report Development".

Professional Excel Development offers ideas and tools necessary for designing full-fledged, robust Excel-based applications. It does not spend time explaining how various features work, but rather goes into detail on how to put these features to best use.

Here is what I picked up from this book, together with the authors' Excel 2003 VBA reference:
* ways to leverage Excel's built-in features to avoid excessive coding
* advanced design techniques for using Excel as a WYSIWYG interface designer
* techniques for creating custom menu bars and programming their behavior
* various means of interacting with the user and simplifying their sessions by providing guidance as to which steps need to be taken
* restricting the Excel environment to take on the appearance of a product condusive of the goal stated in previous bullet
* using VBA in conjunction with the Excel object model to create powerful object-oriented structures for spreadsheet-based applications
* programming Excel-based solutions in an executable to provide a more standalone application
* using Windows API calls to increase robustness of the application

One key feature of this book is its consistent approach. The authors maintain a consistent structure, using the same application throughout the book for their "practical example" to demonstrate new features made available through the material in each chapter. Also, the "best practices" approach provides a level of consistency that is generally desired of anywhat sophisticated applications. Useable modules are provided on the accompanying CD, ready to be used in readers' own applications.

In the beginning, the authors explain the audiences for which this book may or may not be intended. They separate these into users, power users, VBA developers, Excel developers, and professional developers. The latter three categories of users will benefit the most from this book, each in his/her own way. VBA developers will learn how to use built-in features (I think this is where I started); Excel developers will learn how to incorporate Excel-based solutions into larger applications; Professional developers will be exposed to a great variety of "best practices", optimization techniques, and various other means for developing consistency in Excel applications.

If you do not fall into the latter three categories, you might not pick up much from this book. It is not useless to you, however; you can still find many worksheet/userform design techniques, and get an introduction to the kind of power VBA-based programming can offer. Nonetheless, you may be well-advised to start off with something simpler, such as John Walkenbach's Excel Power Programming (as alluded to by the authors of this book), simply because the present book assumes a good degree of knowledge and leaves much for the reader to figure out from the fully-functional examples provided - thereby covering the ground that it does.

Overall, this book makes for a wonderful reference to the various under-the-hood features of Excel. Even if you've already encountered many of the techniques described, and could technically discover them further on your own, it is useful to have them readily available in a single collection. Very few items are left out; application design, object-oriented programming techniques, database applications, debugging techniques, Office automation, and external interop are all covered here. Professional Excel Development is a solid reference to be consulted for years to come.

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