Office 2007

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As you can read in my previous post I received a request from Yogita Manghnani to share my experiences. This is the second post concerning options I struggle with in TFS. Almost all people where I introduce TFS come up with the same question "Can I relate my Work Items?" and I always have to reply "Yes you can, but there is no hierarchy." Personally I think relationship between Work Items is the base of good project, especially if it contains a hierarchy. Hierarchy is in all projects and most tools which contain project management i.e. Look at MS Project. Of course you can almost use TFS without this notion and use Areas and Iterations, but it is harder to manage your projects if you can’t relate your Work Items with a true relationship.

Loïc Baumann created the tool for relating all your Work Items in TFS. After installing the MSI and configuring your Web Server and Work Items you're able to relate as you can see in this screen dump. Every Work Item Type can have its own icon which is pretty handy.

 WICreator

What is this all about? There are two simple answers to this question:

- WICreator is a standalone application that let a Team System user to create Work Items in a hierarchical way. You also have the ability to send existing one to a “Recycle Bin” to get rid of them (useful as you can’t delete Work Items).

- WINetwork is a web service triggered by the TFS Alert System when a Work Item has a field change.
The main purpose of WINetwork is to analyze the changes regarding to their environment, and then respond by modifying fields of surrounding Work Items. (E.g. when a child Work Item turned to Active, then WINetwork will turn the parent from Proposed to Activate)

Work Item Creator and WINetwork are both available in codeplex: http://www.codeplex.com/wicreator

Customize Work Items
Before you use those tools you need to some customization of the Work Item Types. To enable the hierarchy you have to add custom fields in your Work Item Types definition. Use the Process Templates Editor from Imaginet Resources or the one shipped with the latest Team System Power Tools.

Add the following three fields:

NameTypeRefNameNameDescription
ParentWIintegerCegedim.ParentWI0Relation between child and parent
FirstChildWIintegerCegedim.FirstChildWI0First child to display beneath a parent
NextWIintegerCegedim.NextWI0Order of Work Item, Relation between siblings

Summary
What a nice tool. I could only dream of such a solution, but Loïc managed to build one. It will cost you some time to setup, even with the document and the use of Team System Power Tools, but when you finally manage to do so you can easily see how your Work Item is related in your project. One of the downsides is, it doesn't integrate in Team Explorer (VSTS) even I like his Click Once thought and the other is, the hierarchy can't be related to MS Project or Excel yet. Furthermore it would be nice if there was a relation between the hours of all items and the ability to only start a new work item if previous work items are finished. So it's up to us TFS lovers or MSFT'ers to support Loïc. For the record it's only downloaded 17 times. Shame on you TFS gurus out there.

 

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This week I received an email from Yogita Manghnani, a Program Manager in the TFS Office Integration team who requested me to share my experiences with TFS. Since the beginning of TFS I'm one of those people who really adore TFS, but unfortunately not everything is implemented the way I like it. Two options I constantly struggle with are comparing Office files and the hierarchy of Work Items.

In this blog post I will discuss how I resolved my problem with comparing Office files. Still it isn't the best solution; my hope is on Microsoft to solve this problem completely. In one of my latest blogs I talked about using TFS for other IT related projects. We are using TFS to setup training material which consist of slide decks in PowerPoint, practicum description in Word and depending on the training examples and solutions in Visual Studio .NET. The best thing Source Control can do when you try to compare two Office files is displaying a message "Binary files differ". I know Microsoft is targeting on SharePoint for Office files and I'm a great admirer of SharePoint, but since I want to branch and compare the documents it isn't suitable for me and I hoped Source Control could do better.

So it's up to me to find a proper solution. I haven't check out what the possibilities are to extend Source Control so I first setup VS.NET to use another program to see the differences between Office files.

In Tools menu select Options

Within the tree follow this exact path

Source Control -> Visual Studio Team Foundation Server -> Configure User Tools ...

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As you can see I wanted to let Word or PowerPoint decide what the differences are, but this is not possible. These two programs doesn't support the proper command-line switches. To check all command-line switches of the preferred Office tools, click these links:

Document-Comparison-Thumb2We're now in the stage of testing Diff Doc to this job. 'Diff Doc' is a powerful yet easy to use folder/file compare and remediation utility. You can use it to compare files of all types including MS Word/Excel/PowerPoint, PDF, RTF, Text, HTML, XML, WordPerfect and more.

When comparing to PowerPoint files it will result in the following screen dumps. 

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And as you can see I'm now able to show if my branched Office files differs from the original. After this simple differ check I still want to use Word and PowerPoint to do the real compare and merge to both files. Within Word 2003 / 2007 it isn't a problem at all. Word supplies a great feature to see all differences, not only text, but also styles. Besides this it has a perfect interface to merge the two files.

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PowerPoint 2007 on the other hand, has removed its feature to 'Compare and Merge Presentations', as you can see in the picture below. Who is responsible for such an act? I wonder how and when this is decided. Somebody had to say something like this. "You know what, since nobody complained about we forgot the 'Compare and Merge Presentations' feature in the 2007 beta phase, we'll just leave it out. And if we’re trying to release Office 2010 we'll mark it as a new feature again. This is a win/win situation. We got less to program now and add it as an additional feature in Office 2010." And all people of the Microsoft Office Team replied "You're the man".

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So we're back to PowerPoint 2003 again which still contain this feature. To support 2007 File Formats in Office 2003 you'll need the Microsoft Office Compatibility Pack for Word, Excel, and PowerPoint 2007 File Formats. See http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?familyid=941b3470-3ae9-4aee-8f43-c6bb74cd1466. After installing this Pack which becomes almost a must for every old-fashioned Office user, we can compare PowerPoint Decks which we created in PowerPoint 2007.

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Summary
What have you done Microsoft? How could you remove the astonishing compare function on PowerPoint files? You're absolutely not the man. Furthermore why doesn't Office give us the opportunity to compare two files using a command-line options. Please VSTS Team and Office Team talk to each other. Make your customers happier than they now are and please people respond if you've found another solution, I keep myself recommended.

 

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Christmas do come early this year. The SharePoint team in Japan has just finished working on the next version of their popular team productivity application template, GroupBoard Workspace 2007. This is the first of the “Fantastic 40” Application Templates for Windows SharePoint Services 3.0 early next year

Overview
The GroupBoard Workspace template creates a space for a group or team to connect and share information in a collaborative environment, improving team efficiency and productivity. The template helps track team member whereabouts and status, and includes a built-in timecard list and organization chart. Meetings can be scheduled with attendees, and meeting rooms and other resources can be reserved. It also enables members to share phone messages and circulate memos.

Check out the following pics for some detailed info.

 
Portal


Time card

 
Scheduler

Summary
I repeat my first sentence by claiming Christmas do come early this year. I can't hardly wait till the other 39 Application Templates will be released.

 

 


What is the Microsoft Office Multi-Language Pack 2007?
The Microsoft Office Multi-Language Pack 2007 is an add-in product that can change the entire user experience of Office 2007 desktop applications by enabling each desktop to support many languages.. This includes Menus/User Interface, Help, Dictionary, Thesaurus, and Spell Checker. In addition to enhancing the user experience, a user can elect to use individual aspects of the pack, such as spell checker to proof a document in a language other than the default language set on their computer.


Obtain and install a Language Pack
When a copy of Microsoft Office is installed on a computer, it includes at least a Single Language Pack. However, many people and companies need to use more than one language. You can get Language Packs in the following ways:


Single Language Pack
A Single Language Pack enables the interface of some or all programs to support a specific language.


Multi-Language Pack
The Multi-Language Pack enables the interface of each program to support all available languages for that program. Essentially, the Multi-Language Pack is a set of all the available Single Language Packs bundled and sold together.


Mixed-Language Product
A Mixed-Language program or suite of Microsoft Office is sold as one language, but it contains programs in two or more languages. For example, Ukrainian Office contains some programs in Ukrainian, some in Russian, and some in English.


Multi-Language Product
In a Multi-Language program or suite of Microsoft Office, some programs are offered in more than one language.


What languages are available?
The MLP will include tools for the following languages:


Arabic, Brazilian Portuguese, Bulgarian, Croatian, Czech, Danish, Dutch, English, Estonian, Finnish, French, German, Greek, Hebrew, Hindi,   Hungarian, Italian, Japanese, Kazakh, Korean, Latvian, Lithuanian, Norwegian, Polish, Portuguese, Romanian, Russian, Serbian Latin, Simplified Chinese, Slovak, Slovenian, Spanish, Swedish, Thai, Traditional Chinese (HK), Traditional Chinese (Taiwan), Turkish, Ukrainian.


How to use the Language Pack.
This pack consists of 3 CDs. The first two CDs include all the Single Language Packs (SLP), each of which contain proofing tools (spell-checker, grammar checker, hyphenator, thesaurus…) as well as the localized user interface (UI) and localized Help for a given language.  The third disc will contain all the proofing tools by themselves.



Startup screen of the NL Office Language Pack


If a user just wants to add one or two proofing tools (say, they want to use a Russian or an Dutch speller, which is not part of the default English version of Office), they will be able to download the SLPs for those additional languages in which they are interested. But if someone is deploying many proofing tools languages and does not want the associated UI or are concerned about disc space, they will be able to purchase the boxed MLP and use the third disc. Enterprise customers that purchase the multilingual license will have access to any of these deployment methods.


 
Deselect all options if you only want to apply Proofing Tools for a certain language


Summary
This flexibility is designed to respond to demand from users. MS has regularly seen on newsgroups that many individual users are interested in adding one or two languages to their own configuration. Being able to directly download and purchase a single set of linguistic tools (a speller, a thesaurus and a grammar checker, for instance) for a given additional language will meet many users’ needs. You can change the language of the user interface or Help using the Microsoft Office 2007 Language Settings. Furthermore MS is still claiming Office 2003 Proofing Tools will not work with Office 2007. What a laugh 😉

 


Technorati tags:

Windows Vista and Office 2007 will be available through MSDN Subscriber downloads within 7 days of release to manufacture (RTM). MSDN Subscriptions is committed to making new content available to our subscribers as soon as is practical.

Microsoft yesterday announced the completion of the 2007 Microsoft® Office system code and confirmed its release to manufacturing (RTM). Here is the official announcement.

For the new Office site go here.

So let's hope Vista will be RTM'ed soon. So everybody can reinstall their system.

84 Comments

An update of this blog is available. In the new blog I explain how to use the Microsoft Office Multi-Language Pack 2007 and how to install extra Proofig Tools for Office 2007.


I'm working with Office 2007 now. Who isn't? Unfortunately Microsoft only released German, French and Chinese language packs. But proofing tools for other languages aren't available yet. When you have installed Office 2003 and you upgraded to Office 2007 Beta 2 you're proofing tools are automatically recognized and added to your new Office Product. Luckily you can install the Office 2003 tools afterwards as well. Just follow the steps and you're Office will be upgraded.


Step 1 Install Office 2003 (Custom Install)
Select only Proofing Tools and deselect all other options


Step 2 Install the additional Proofing Tools of your language
Select only your Language and deselect all other options



Update: Step 2b Deinstall Office 2003 (Tip of Suomi)
Go to Add/Remove programs and remove Office 2003 from the list


Step 3 Open a Office 2007 Product
This product will automatically integrate the Office 2003 Proofing Tools


 


Step 4 Select your Language options
Check your settings if the language is added



Step 5 Update your machine
This is the worst step, cause your brand new machine will have several Office 2003 updates, including SP2 and all kinds of updates for Word, Excel, e.t.c.
Update: Thanks to Suomi (step 2b), this will only update Proofing Tools, without any other updates for Office 2003 (e.g. the 110MB SP2)



Update: Step 6 Update OCR in documents (Tip of Ho)
Move the *.LNG files from /Program Files/Common Files/Microsoft Shared/MODI/11.0 to .../MODI/12.0.


Summary
Microsoft isn't able to deliver the correct Proofing Tools for Office right now. I hope they have solved this problem in the Office 2007 RTM. They don't have to deliver brand new proofing tools. If only they deliver the old ones but not recognized as a Office 2003 product.


Update:


Will there be an PTK for Office 2007
There will indeed be a Proofing Tools Kit (PTK), but it will not be marketed as it was in Office 2003. The 2007 PTK will actually be part of the Multi-Language Pack (MLP). This pack consists of 3 CDs. The first two CDs include all the Single Language Packs (SLP), each of which contain proofing tools (spell-checker, grammar checker, hyphenator, thesaurus…) as well as the localized user interface (UI) and localized Help for a given language.  The third disc will contain all the proofing tools by themselves.


If a user just wants to add one or two proofing tools (say, they want to use a Russian or an Dutch speller, which is not part of the default English version of Office), they will be able to download the SLPs for those additional languages in which they are interested. But if someone is deploying many proofing tools languages and does not want the associated UI or are concerned about disc space, they will be able to purchase the boxed MLP and use the third disc. Enterprise customers that purchase the multilingual license will have access to any of these deployment methods.

This flexibility is designed to respond to demand from users. We have regularly seen on newsgroups that many individual users are interested in adding one or two languages to their own configuration. Being able to directly download and purchase a single set of linguistic tools (a speller, a thesaurus and a grammar checker, for instance) for a given additional language will meet many users’ needs.

What is the Microsoft Office Multi-Language Pack 2007?
The Microsoft Office Multi-Language Pack 2007 is an add-in product that can change the entire user experience of Office 2007 desktop applications by enabling each desktop to support many languages.. This includes Menus/User Interface, Help, Dictionary, Thesaurus, and Spell Checker. In addition to enhancing the user experience, a user can elect to use individual aspects of the pack, such as spell checker to proof a document in a language other than the default language set on their computer.

What languages are available?
The MLP will include tools for the following languages:


Arabic, Brazilian Portuguese, Bulgarian, Croatian, Czech, Danish, Dutch, English, Estonian, Finnish, French, German, Greek, Hebrew, Hindi,   Hungarian, Italian, Japanese, Kazakh, Korean, Latvian, Lithuanian, Norwegian, Polish, Portuguese, Romanian, Russian, Serbian Latin, Simplified Chinese, Slovak, Slovenian, Spanish, Swedish, Thai, Traditional Chinese (HK), Traditional Chinese (Taiwan), Turkish, Ukrainian.


-- Thierry Fontenelle (Program Manager) & Jay Waltmunson (Program Manager) --

Vista
When exactly the introduction of Windows Vista takes place in the Netherlands, is still a riddle. In Canada the launching will be November 23th. On the Canadian Msdn-website Microsoft announces a large event where Windows Vista, Office 2007, and Exchange server 2007 are launched. The introduction takes place in the Canadian Edmonton.

It's the first time that Microsoft mentions a concrete date when Vista are provided. So far Microsoft have only said that manufacturers and business customers can have Vista in November. For consumers the software is provided in January 2007. The introduction of the operating system Windows Vista has been postponed several times. According to the information on Canadian Msdn-website, Vista is now really tied to a schedule.  

Office 2007 Beta
Microsoft has announced that the Office 2007 beta will end soon. You can read this on activewin.com. Let me summarize the key points:

  • 10/25 the Office Preview site will be closed down. You will not be able to download Beta2TR after 10/25. All other information currently found on the Office Preview site will be migrated to the Office Online website.
  • 10/28 - Technical support gets a new home Beginning October 28, support for Office 2007 products will transition from the Beta support newsgroups staffed by Office employees to the in-market product support provided by Microsoft Customer Service and Support.
  • 10/30 - BetaPlace website and support newsgroups (http://beta.microsoft.com) close down.
  • 10/31 - SharePoint team sites decommissioned The team site that you have been using at [name].spbeta.iponet.net will be shut down on October 31. If you have any important files or information stored on your team site, you need to store a local copy, as all data on your site will be destroyed when the site is decommissioned.

Some other important information include:

There will be no new releases beyond B2TR. The B2TR build is set to expire on March 15, 2007 for all client products and May 31, 2007 for all server products. You may upgrade/migrate server products from Beta2TR to the retail release. However, all Beta version client applications (Office Professional, Visio, SharePoint Designer, etc.) will need to be uninstalled before you install retail versions on your machine.

1 Comment

Several people are complaining it's impossible to install another Office 2007 product on your machine when you've already updated the previous to B2TR. In a few screenshots I'll show you otherwise. In this example I'm using Project Professional 2007 as the second product to install. Of course I slipstreamed my product, so it will automatically upgrades the Beta 2 to B2TR. For a complete reference about slipstreaming watch the screencast on the Dean's Office. This screencast is based on WSS, but is pretty much the same for all other products.


When you try to install Project for the first time with the default settings, an GraphicsFiltersCDRFilesIntl_1033 error will occur. The screens below shows you an exact dump of the error.



Error GraphicsFiltersCDRFilesIntl_1033


To get rid of the error you have to disable all Converters and Filters. These are already updated by B2TR of your first Office product and other Office Beta 2 product isn't able to discover these updates. To disable this option you have to select Customize in the startup screen.



Disable Converters and Filters


When you have disabled the Converters and Filters option and slipstreamed your product, it will automatically update it and installs it successfully.



Successfully installed product


Summary
Microsoft isn't able right now to discover it's own updates. I hope this 'feature' is resolved in Office 2007 RTM.