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Professional Excel Development: The Definitive Guide to Developing Applications Using Microsoft Excel and VBA Paperback – February 11, 2005

ISBN-13: 978-0321262509 ISBN-10: 0321262506 Edition: 1st

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Editorial Reviews

From the Back Cover

Finally, there's a book that treats Excel as the powerful development platform it really is, and covers every facet of developing commercial-quality Excel applications.

This is not a book for beginners. Writing for professional developers and true Excel experts, the authors share insider's knowledge they've acquired building Excel applications for many of the world's largest companies—including Microsoft. Professional Excel Development demonstrates how to get the utmost from Excel, addressing everything from application architectures through worksheet and userform design, charting, debugging, error handling and optimizing performance. Along the way, the authors offer best practices for every type of Excel development, from building add-ins through interacting with XML Web services. Coverage includes

  • Building add-ins to provide new Excel functions

  • Designing effective worksheets, userforms and other user interface elements

  • Leveraging Excel's powerful data analysis features

  • Creating sophisticated custom charts

  • Handling errors, debugging applications and optimizing performance

  • Using class modules and interfaces to create custom objects

  • Understanding Windows API calls: when to use them, and how to modify them

  • Adding worksheet functions with

  • C-based XLLs

  • Programming with databases

  • Controlling external applications from Excel

  • Integrating with Visual Basic 6, VB.NET and Visual Studio Tools for Office

  • Using XML to import and export data and communicate with Web services

  • Providing help, securing, packaging and distributing

The accompanying CD-ROM contains the book's sample timesheet application at every stage of construction, with detailed code comments. It also includes many examples of the concepts introduced in each chapter and a collection of the authors' Excel development utilities.

© Copyright Pearson Education. All rights reserved.

About the Author

Stephen Bullen is founder of Office Automation Ltd., a specialist in Excel, Access and Visual Basic development that serves many of the world's largest businesses. Rob Bovey is president of Application Professionals, a software developer specializing in Microsoft Office, Visual Basic and SQL Server applications. He has developed several add-ins shipped by Microsoft with Excel. John Green is founder of Execuplan Consulting, a specialist in Excel and Access business application development. The authors have each held Microsoft's coveted Excel MVP status for eight consecutive years, and are coauthors of Excel 2000/Excel 2002 VBA Programmer's Reference (Wrox Press).

© Copyright Pearson Education. All rights reserved.


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 936 pages
  • Publisher: Addison-Wesley Professional; 1 edition (February 11, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0321262506
  • ISBN-13: 978-0321262509
  • Product Dimensions: 7 x 2 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (30 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #307,545 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

4.9 out of 5 stars
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In spite of being an advanced book, difficult concepts are explained clearly and in a very simple way.
Jose Felix Guzman Cobian
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.
Stellan Rosengren
Applying the things I learned from this book has enabled me to turn my amateur VBA projects into professional quality applications.
Garry Sansom

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

185 of 191 people found the following review helpful By R. Lodato on April 13, 2005
Format: Paperback
Over the years, I've read a number of books on Excel programming. Each one seemed much like the previous one, generally talking about writing macros and creating data-entry forms. Professional Excel Development takes the concept quite a bit farther. Rather than giving you the same old tired lessons, this book goes into detail on exactly how to build professional level applications. It even explains how to make your Excel-based application look as though Excel had nothing to do with it. Suffice it to say, this ain't your daddy's Excel book.

The authors, Stephen Bullen, Rob Bovey, and John Green, show a level of sophistication well beyond the norm. They'd rather teach you the proper way to program instead of teaching you how to use Excel. In fact, the first thing they do is distinguish five different levels of usage: Excel users, Excel power users, VBA developers, Excel developers, and professional Excel developers. The book is written for the highest level, so expect a lot of depth. The entire structure of the book builds around a time-entry application that is developed from a simple spreadsheet to a full-blown, production quality program. A CD-ROM is also included with all of the source code and multiple examples that are scattered throughout the book.

Reading Professional Excel Development is not something to be taken lightly. The authors have done a fine job putting together a cohesive methodology for using Excel as an application development platform. I know of no other book that covers this platform in such depth. At times I found myself lost in the details, but I suspect a "professional Excel developer" (which I am not) would be delighted in the depth of description and copious examples provided.
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74 of 75 people found the following review helpful By Eric Green on January 12, 2006
Format: Paperback
Even if this book was not as well-written and insightful as it is, there is simply no other VBA book that comes close, in content and quality, on building professional-grade Excel applications. If that is your field, you have a lot to lose by not getting it. (I've stalked several large bookstores here in New York City and Amazon, of course.)


This book is a goldmine of application-design wisdom for developers seeking to write professional, VBA applications that stand the test of time. Even for none-professionals, like myself, the book contains a plethora of VBA "best practices" that can be put to immediate use. The authors are clearly sharing with you years of personal, professional experience, and top-notch acumen.

Because I am not the most attentive reader, the first thing I find myself looking at is how well-written a book is (a quality which makes me a Walkenbach fan). I am impressed by how "thorough", "well put", and "to the point" most sentences in this book are - from the first to last word!


> Imagine building almost bullet-proof applications. The user never sees an ugly VBA error message, and, if an error occurs, the developer usually knows very quickly what the cause is. I do this now...courtesy of the book's excellent chapter 12 on Error Handling and a thorough chapter on Debugging (Chapter 16).

> Chapter 17 - Optimizing VBA Performance (and a little digression on creative thinking) is a must read. This alone is worth the book price!

> Imagine a progress-bar display that you can easily "plug in" to any VBA program you write. Now you can...this book shows you how, in Chapter 11.

> Do you understand how to use API functions, and which ones are most useful for Excel.
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66 of 67 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on August 31, 2005
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
If you cherished the Walkenbach's book for years and were longing for the advanced part to follow some day, you are there. So what if it is by different author.

Once I got the book and browsed through for couple of hours I already was eager to share my excitement. But... decided to do some more reading to make sure that the quality holds throughout the book. And I am still impressed immensely. This is an outstanding book

Buy the book even just for Chapter 20. Combining Excel and Visual Basic 6.

The rumors about the death of VB6 are highly exaggerated. Even if you believe otherwise, the techniques described for using VB forms in VBA will give you a good grasp how to achieve the same thing with other languages.

Basically, if you are a developer and were looking for a book to let you outgrow the limitations of VBA, this is THE BOOK.

If you are a power user and would like to stay in confines of Excel and VBA, then most probably Walkenbach's book will be sufficient, although reading this book will give you an incentive to do more.
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42 of 44 people found the following review helpful By XL-Dennis on March 6, 2005
Format: Paperback
The book is targeting power users and professional developers and if You consider Yourself to be in this group then this book is for you.

It's a well written book, with a high technical level and with a good structure.

But as with every book it has its strong parts as well as weak parts. Weak parts in terms of that some chapters are overviews only and do not give any depth on the subjects they cover.

The chapters that cover best practice are all excellent. Here the authors share all their experience & knowledge by discussion application structures, structure for notation, advanced techniques for userforms and toolbars, error handling, debugging and many other things. The chapters also cover well how to create and use add-ins and so called user defined functions (UDFs).

The chapters that deal with VB 6.0 & Excel are all excellent too. A welcome contribution is that this book leverages many of the good techniques we use in MS VB 6.0 into Excel, especially when it comes to userforms.

The book covers in a nice way how to create & use classes, create & use ActiveX DLL and front-loaders for Excel in MS VB 6.0.

A whole chapter is devoted to Visual Tools for Office System (VSTO) but point also out all the present shortcomings of VSTO.

As with every book nowadays this book also includes a chapter about XML which is well written and with a high technically level. However the chapter is rather short which tend to compress the content.

If the above is what You're looking for then this book is a must have.
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