The users installed version of Excel

With every new release of Excel, the issue of compatibility rears its head. As I write this, Excel 2003 is just about ready to be released —yet many large corporations are still using Excel 97, and some use even earlier versions.

Unfortunately, there is no guarantee that an application developed for, say Excel 97, will work perfectly with later versions of Excel. If you need your application to work with a variety of Excel versions, the best approach is to work with the lowest version — and then test it thoroughly with all other versions.

Things get even more complicated when you consider Excel's "sub-versions." Microsoft distributes service releases (SRs) to correct problems. For example, users might have the original Excel 2000, Excel 2000 with SR-1, or Excel 2000 with SR-2.

And it gets even more complicated with Excel 2003. Microsoft sells several different editions of Office. Many of the new features in Excel are available only in the Professional version.

I discuss compatibility issues in Chapter 26.

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