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Professional Excel Development: The Definitive Guide to Developing Applications Using Microsoft Excel, VBA, and .NET (2nd Edition) Paperback – May 16, 2009

ISBN-13: 978-0321508799 ISBN-10: 0321508793 Edition: 2nd

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Professional Excel Development: The Definitive Guide to Developing Applications Using Microsoft Excel, VBA, and .NET (2nd Edition) + Excel 2010 Power Programming with VBA + 101 Ready-To-Use Excel Macros
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 1176 pages
  • Publisher: Addison-Wesley Professional; 2nd edition (May 16, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0321508793
  • ISBN-13: 978-0321508799
  • Product Dimensions: 7.1 x 2.7 x 9.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (26 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #205,634 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From the Back Cover

“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 Developmentis a book for developers who want to build powerful, state-of-the-art Excel applications using the latest Microsoft technologies.”

-Gabhan Berry, Program Manager, Excel Programmability, Microsoft


“The first edition ofProfessional Excel Developmentis my most-consulted and most-recommended book on Office development. The second edition expands both the depth and range. It shines because it takes every issue one step further than you expect. The book relies on the authors' current, real-world experience to cover not only how a feature works, but also the practical implications of using it in professional work.”

-Shauna Kelly, Director, Thendara Green


“This book illustrates techniques that will result in well-designed, robust, and maintainable Excel-based applications. The authors' advice comes from decades of solid experience of designing and building applications. The practicality of the methods is well illustrated by the example timesheet application that is developed step-by-step through the book. Every serious Excel developer should read this and learn from it. I did.”

-Bill Manville, Application Developer, Bill Manville Associates


The Start-to-Finish Guide to Building State-of-the-Art Solutions with Excel 2007


In this book, four world-class Microsoft® Excel developers offer start-to-finish guidance for building powerful, robust, and secure applications with Excel. The authors—three of whom have been honored by Microsoft as Excel Most Valuable Professionals (MVPs)—show how to consistently make the right design decisions and make the most of Excel's most powerful new features. Using their techniques,you can reduce development costs, time to market, and hassle—andbuild more effective, successful solutions.


Fully updated for Excel 2007, this book starts where other books on Excel programming leave off. Through a hands-on case study project, you'll discover best practices for planning, architecting, and building Excel applications that are robust, secure, easy to maintain, and highly usable. If you're a working developer, no other book on Excel programming offers you this much depth, insight, or value.


•    Design worksheets that will be more useful and reliable

•    Leverage built-in and application-specific add-ins

•    Construct applications that behave like independent Windows programs

•    Make the most of the new Ribbon user interface

•    Create cross-version applications that work with legacy versions of Excel

•    Utilize XML within Excel applications

•    Understand and use Windows API calls

•    Master VBA error handling, debugging, and performance optimization

•    Develop applications based on data stored in Access, SQL Server, and other databases

•    Build powerful visualization solutions with Excel charting engine

•    Learn how to work with VB.NET and leverage its IDE

•    Automate Microsoft Excel with VB.NET

•    Create managed COM add-ins for Microsoft Excel with VB.NET

•    Develop Excel solutions with Visual Studio Tools for Office (VSTO)

•    Integrate Excel with Web Services

•    Deploy applications more securely and efficiently

About the Author

Rob Bovey, President of Application Professionals, has developed several Excel add-ins shipped by Microsoft. He coauthored the Microsoft Excel 97 Developers Kit and Excel 2007 VBA Programmer’s Reference.

Dennis Wallentin has developed Excel solutions since the 1980s through his firm, XL-Dennis, based in Östersund, Sweden.

Stephen Bullen, coauthor of The Excel 2007 VBA Programmer’s Reference, owns Office Automation, Ltd., based in Essex, Ireland.

John Green owns Execuplan Consulting, a Sydney, Australia-based consultancy specializing in Excel and Access development.

Bovey, Bullen, and Green hold Microsoft’s prestigious Most Valuable Professional (MVP) honor.


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Customer Reviews

Great for intermediate and advanced developers.
J. Lotz
There are plenty of code examples in the book that helps understand the concepts being presented.
Anyway, I typed in their code, and it didn't work.
Greg J. Lovern

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

40 of 41 people found the following review helpful By Greg J. Lovern on March 20, 2011
Format: Paperback
The back of this book says that it is "Fully updated for Excel 2007". However, I have been disappointed to find that's not true.

First, the section on Excel "dictator" apps does not go into the requirements for Excel 2007, except to mention that you'll need to look at the chapter on the ribbon. But that isn't why I'm writing this review.

I wanted to position a form next to a worksheet cell, and on pages 400-402, they say that trying to do that using the cell's Top and Left properties is "extremely difficult", and then say that "Fortunately, there is an easier workaround, which is to use the window that Excel uses for editing embedded charts."

Their workaround code uses Windows APIs. That's no problem, but it's interesting that with a solution apparently available that would probably work on both Windows and Mac (using the cell's Top and Left properties), they show only an easier solution that works only for Windows. No mention of Mac there.

Anyway, I typed in their code, and it didn't work. I carefully checked every character and didn't see any differences. On a hunch, I closed the workbook and opened it in Excel 2003. This time it worked correctly.

I had originally tried it in Excel 2010 (32-bit), and this book was published in 2009, so I tried it in Excel 2007. It still didn't work.

So I started Spy++, hoping that the special window was just renamed in Excel 2007/2010 and/or in a different place in the window hierarchy, which would be easy to work around. No such luck. Using Spy++, I found the special window in Excel 2003, and then looked for it in Excel 2007. The special window they use is not created in Excel 2007 anywhere in the window hierarchy, and in fact no additional window is created at all by those steps.
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32 of 33 people found the following review helpful By Michael T. Ellis on March 25, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Every once in a while a technical book comes along which strikes the perfect balance between "technical detail", "practical application", and "vision". I am, like many people who buy self-help style technical books (as opposed to full out college textbooks), a self declared power-user. Power users are folks who need to get stuff down; not much time for parsing minute details and theoretical concepts. We look for ways to make our day-to-day business tasks more automated. If you're self employed like me, you're very business existence depends on automation.

This book is special for 3 reasons:

1) Practicality of advanced topics:
As a power-user, when was the last time you found yourself seriously looking at c programming, ADO, and SQL? The authors give us real life uses for these sorts of things, in a very focused manner. You walk away with an excellent understanding of why and when to use these things (notice I didn't say thorough understanding. The authors wisely admit that's someone else job, and point you in the right direction), based on what you're trying to accomplish.

2) Relevance of good programming practices:
Most books on programming teach "good programming practice" as if you are going to be working in an enterprise environment, with a team of engineers and professors. That's fine but in reality power-users work under deadlines and completely alone. No one cares how well you comment your code. As long as the thing works, when you want it too, then you've programmed enough. The authors explain a concept called "Interfacing" in a way that makes "good programming" a very practical time investment. I know "Interfacing" is not a new concept (as none of the topics in this book are). Its all in how the authors connect the dots.
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19 of 19 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on May 19, 2010
Format: Paperback
I teach Excel and am a VBA developer. I laughed as I read chapter 3, titled "General Application Development Best Practices", because I found myself thinking, wow, if I had read this book 15 years ago I could have saved myself tons of grief! It is one of the BEST summaries of "good vba practices" that I've ever seen. For beginning developers, reading chapter 3 alone is worth the cost of the book. After developing for 15 years, I follow almost all of the practices that were covered in that chapter - and can't agree more with the importance of them. I haven't finished going through this book yet but my enthusiasm for the book wouldn't be diminished even if I hated the rest of it.
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17 of 22 people found the following review helpful By Charles on January 15, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I've worked with Excel VBA before and needed book to get to the next level. So I was hoping this book would help me improve on my VBA weaknesses.

Upon the first glance, the lengthy chapters and code snippets gave me the impression that I would come away with some new techniques. And after a week's time with the book, I have to say I'm fairly disappointed that I've not learned much in each chapter.

Despite it's lengthy chapters and companion CD with the examples and concepts-I was just frustrated by the lack of emphasis on what each exercise/concept's key points. For example, after reading chapter 5, I check the corresponding concept/application files in companion CD--but seriously it was not helpful. And the XLA file included there, how come it's not mentioned in the book? Why can't you provide an exercise section/appendix that ties in your concept/application files to the chapter. I felt there was no effort made here in tying the material together.

You need to relate to a novice/intermediate reader better and take them through the learning process.

I felt the authors are experienced, but their book does a poor job in translating the expertise for me.
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