Client Requirements

VSTO solutions require that a number of components be installed on the client machine. You may not have thought a lot about this. The code just works on your development machine because VSTO installs and checks for all the required software when you install VSTO on your machine. Let's take a look at what is required and how to install it.

• Microsoft Office System 2003 Professional SP1 or later. Office 2003 Pro Service Pack 1 or later is required. Many users may have only Office 2003 Standard Edition, so pay special attention to the edition of Office they are using. You may also install a stand-alone version of Word, Excel, or Outlook.

• Primary interop assemblies. The PIAs enable managed code (your VSTO assembly) to communicate or interoperate with unmanaged code (the Office object model). The PIAs come on the Office CD but are not installed by default. If the PIAs have not been installed, you can rerun your Office setup and choose the Add or Remove Features option to install the Office PIAs. Another option is to install the redistributable version of the Office PIAs. This is a Microsoft Installer (MSI) package that you can freely download. This option has the advantage of not requiring you to rerun the Office setup, something that may be difficult to do in an enterprise environment.

• .NET Framework 2.0. VSTO solutions are managed code solutions, and they require that .NET Framework 2.0 be installed on the client machine, and it must be installed before the Office PIAs are installed. Often, this is the reason that the Office PIAs are not installed with the Office installation even though the administrator has done a full install.

• VSTO 2005 Runtime. The VSTO runtime component must be installed on all end-user computers that will run VSTO solutions.

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