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XLL Plus for Visual Studio 2005 and Visual Studio 2008 - Summary

by Planatech Solutions - Product Type: Add-In / Application / Wizard

Summary

XLL Plus for Visual Studio 2005 and Visual Studio 2008 by Planatech Solutions

URLs: xll-plus-visual-studio-2005-visual-studio-2008, xll plus visual studio 2005 visual studio 2008, xllplusvisualstudio2005visualstudio2008, planatech

Create Excel add-ins using C/C++. XLL+ is a toolkit to aid C/C++ programmers in the construction of Excel add-in libraries. XLL+ contains tools and C++ class libraries that make it very easy and safe to produce high-performance Excel add-ins. The XLL+ class library wraps the Microsoft Excel SDK with simple, intuitive C++ classes, and the Wizards create all the code for you. The user needs very little knowledge of Excel or the SDK. Add-ins produced with XLL+ contain no Visual Basic code; they are authored entirely in C and C++.

About XLL+

XLL+ is a toolkit to aid C/C++ programmers in the construction of Excel add-in libraries. If you write add-ins for Excel in C++, then you should be using XLL+. The toolkit helps you with all aspects of creating and maintaining an Excel add-in.

Why use it?

Many programmers who write add-in functions for Excel prefer to do so completely in C or C++ rather than in Visual Basic, for any number of good reasons, including speed, stability and skills. The Microsoft Excel SDK is the only means of doing this without writing Visual Basic code.

XLL+ provides a set of development tools that let the programmer instantly make use of the Excel SDK. The XLL+ toolkit hides the complexity of the SDK environment and allows programmers and designers to concentrate on their core skills, whether these be in financial modeling, in communications, in engineering or elsewhere.

The XLL+ AppWizard generates a DevStudio project containing all the source code for the framework of an XLL add-in. All the programmer needs to do is write the add-in functions themselves.

The XLL+ Function Wizard generates code to register add-in functions with Excel correctly, and to translate data from Excel data structures into standard variables and STL containers.

A class library wraps the Microsoft Excel SDK with simple, intuitive C++ classes. These let you pass data back and forth without needing to learn about the SDK data structures. They also invisibly manage all the memory issues associated with sharing data with Excel.

Users of XLL+ can produce a functioning Excel add-in library in seconds, and start to add useful functions in minutes.

Features:

AppWizard

The AppWizard builds a complete project under Microsoft Developer Studio. The user can decide whether to include various optional features, such as MFC (Microsoft Foundation Classes) integration and version information. The project is immediately ready to compile, link and run. All source files contain helpful comments and are ClassWizard compatible.

All functions required by Excel are added by the wizard. Build the new project and it will immediately be recognized by Excel as an add-in. The user can start writing add-in functions right away.

Function Wizard

The Function Wizard is a Developer Studio add-in, fully integrated into DevStudio. You can use it to specify an Excel add-in function's signature and help texts. It will write the skeletons of functions for you and make sure that they are properly registered and described to Excel. Later, if you add to or change the function's arguments, you can use the Function Wizard to keep the registration details in sync.

Arguments can be specified to be single cells, 1- or 2-dimensional arrays or free-form. You can also specify that all arguments contain certain data types, such as integers, strings etc. The Function Wizard will generate blocks of code that check all the function's inputs for consistency, and extract them into useful variables, such as STL collections.

The Function Wizard supports a full round-trip. If you change the signature of a function, only the wizard-generated code will be changed. Any code you have added to the skeleton yourself will be unaffected.

If your function contains more than 30 arguments, and is therefore too complex for Excel, you can use the Function Wizard to allow individual arguments to be grouped into arrays, and to generate code to split them up again at run-time.

On-line help is available from the Function Wizard, and several chapters of the User Guide are devoted to learning about its effective use.

Class Library

The class library contains a set of C++ objects which hide the complexity of Excel's data interface. In particular, the classes manage all memory issues. A set of virtual functions is provided so that the programmer can write event handlers for the opening, closing or registration of the add-in library.

MFC Support

Libraries can be built using the MFC build, so that they will be fully integrated with the Microsoft Foundation Classes, which makes it easy to use MFC windows and other classes from within your add-in.

COM Integration

You can implement virtual functions to trap most Excel application events, such as files opening and closing, user input, calculation etc. You don't need to write any COM code: the XLL+ framework handles all the work.

On-line Help

XLL+ on-line help is fully integrated into DevStudio, and appears within MSDN. As well as a full reference to all classes and functions, the on-line help also contains a User Guide and a Tutorial. There is also example code for all important methods.

Sample Code

Sample projects are provided to show you how to use all the features of Excel and XLL+. Walkthroughs take you quickly through the standard features of Excel add-ins. There are also smaller sample functions to illustrate all XLL+ methods and classes.

What's New in XLL Plus 7

XLL+ 7 contains some exciting new features and enhancements, including:

64-bit Support - XLL+ now creates both 32-bit and 64-bit builds of XLL add-ins, so that you can now provide your add-ins to users of Excel 2010 64-bit edition. Also, all the XLL+ redistributable run-time servers are provided in both 32-bit and 64-bit formats.

Office Ribbon - XLL+ 7 provides full support for the Office Ribbon, managing all the COM interface issues, and routing the ribbon messages and events to a C++ event-handler function in your code.

Queued asynchonous functions - XLL+ now supports the new Excel 2010 asynchronous execution feature. This can greatly improve the efficiency of thread-safe functions that contend for a shared resource (such as a database or a data feed).

Whats new in XLL+ V6.3

XLL+ 6.3 contains some exciting new features, including:

Hidden regions

Almost all of the generated code is now surrounded by #pragma region blocks. This means that almost all of the implementation code for each add-in can be hidden, and you need only see the code that is interesting - the function signature and your own code.

XLL Wrapper Libraries

Sometimes it is useful to be able to call your Excel add-in functions from other environments, such as command-line programs or interactive applications, written in C++, Java, C# or Visual Basic. The Xll Wrapper toolkit contains tools, a runtime library, samples and documentation to help with the development of COM modules and .NET assemblies that wrap Excel XLL add-ins. The add-in functions in the library are available as COM and .NET methods to client programs that use the wrapper modules. The wrapper objects can be used by clients written in any development environment that supports COM or .NET, including C++, Java, C#, Visual Basic and VBA.

Asynchronous functions

Planatech considerably improved the performance and scalability of the asynchronous function model. You can now place thousands of asynchronous functions in a spreadsheet without degrading performance. They have also added a new sample application which demonstrates how to integrate a data feed into an Excel add-in for high-performance real-time data add-in, written in C++, and which supports array real-time values as well as scalar values.

Portuguese language support

Help files can now be generated in any of three languages: English, French and now Portuguese.

Value Lists

The Value List Editor is now easier to use. You can copy and paste data to and from the dialog, so it's easy to edit lists in source code or in Excel, and paste them into the Value List Editor.

Whats new in XLL+ V6.2.4

Support added for Windows 7 (32-bit and 64-bit)

Support added for Windows Vista 64-bit

What’s new in XLL+ V6.0

Excel 2007 Support - XLL+ 6.0 supports the new features of Excel 2007, including:

Thread-safe functions

Huge worksheets

30 arguments per function

Unicode strings

XLL Add-ins window - The XLL Add-ins window is a ToolWindow that lives inside Visual Studio, and lets you directly view and edit all of your add-in functions. You can use the Add-ins window to navigate around your source code, and you can use it with the Visual Studio Properties window to make changes directly to your add-in functions without needing to pop up the XLL+ Function Wizard. You can select multiple functions, and make changes to them all at the same time.

Extensibility - XLL+ 6.0 offers a variety of new extensibility features to make the code generated by the XLL+ tools fit ever more closely with your existing code-base.

Extended types - XLL+ has always been able to transform Excel inputs to standard C and C++ types, such as double, int, std::string etc.With XLL+ 6.0, Planatech have introduced extended types, which let you specify your own value types, such as date classes, currency codes or enumerated values, and have them appear in the Function Wizard along with the standard built-in types. The Function Wizard generates all the code necessary to transform the Excel inputs to the extended type, as well as validating the input and generating appropriate error messages if input validation fails.

Function extensions - With XLL+ 6, you can author your own function extensions, which will be inserted into the generated code for a function by the XLL+ Function Wizard whenever you select them.

Typical uses of function extensions include:

Writing usage information to a log.

Selectively allowing only certain classes of user to access certain add-in functions.

Standard handling for exceptions generated by calls to your existing libraries.

Serializing all arguments and passing the function call to a grid computing network.

See Function extensions in the User Guide for more information.

Container classes - Earlier versions of XLL+ offered limited container support. 1-dimensional inputs were placed into std::vector, and 2-dimensional inputs were delivered to ple::imtx matrix classes.With XLL+ version 6, you can specify the container type for any or all of your vector and matrix inputs. So if you are writing XLL add-ins which call libraries of existing functions, you can deliver the Excel inputs directly into the container type expected by the libraries.

Object handles - With XLL+ 6, you can return objects to Excel, and represent them as handles, without any coding. Handles can be passed as arguments to add-in functions, and the XLL+ Function Wizard will generate code to convert each handle to the object it represents.

Asynchronous functions - If a function takes a very long time to complete, Excel is locked and unusable in the meantime. It is sometimes useful to run the function asynchronously, in a separate thread, so that Excel remains available while the function completes. While the calculation is continuing, the target cell will display “#WAIT!”, and when it is complete, the result will automatically be updated to display the result. In the past, this kind of functionality took a lot of effort to create, and incurred a high maintenance cost because of the complexity of the code. With XLL+ 6, the XLL+ Function Wizard lets you create an asynchronous version of a function with no coding.

Languages other than English - Error messages returned by the XLL+ run-time can now be delivered in languages other than English. For more information on this and other language improvements, see Languages other than English in the User Guide.

Formula Wizard Preview - The new Formula Wizard Preview lets you see exactly how your function will look in the Excel Formula Wizard. You don't need to start up Excel to see if your names and descriptions will fit in the Wizard.

Favorites - You can create a repository of "Favorite arguments" so that standard arguments to functions can be easily reused in new add-in functions. You can share the repository between team members so that all functions have standardized names, descriptions and signatures.

Integrated CHM Help - The new Help Generator builds full-featured compiled help files for your add-ins, and lets you add your own HTML content that will be inserted into the compiled help. The help topics will automatically be available from the Excel Formula Wizard, when the user clicks on "Help for this function".

New features in V5.0:

Support for Visual Studio 2005

Run functions in a background thread and update Excel using RTD

XLL Host module allows you to run your XLL within COM or .NET applications, on machines without Excel

New features in V4.3.1:

International and localization support

COM wrapper generator, so that XLLs can be used by free-standing VB and C# applications

Toolbar class

New samples

What's New in V4.2

Visual Studio .NET support (.NET and Universal Editions) - wizards, help and class libraries are fully integrated into Microsoft Visual Studio.NET, as well as Visual Studio 6

New user interface classes - the XLL+ class library now supports user-defined menus and native Excel dialogs

Optional arguments - you can now use the wizard to specify arguments as optional, and provide default values for missing arguments

Help Generator - the new help module will generate an HLP help project and the code to connect it to your XLL, so that users of your XLLs can access on-line help in Excel

Better STL integration - the class library now contains faster and more powerful methods for reading and writing data of any type to and from STL collection classes

Event handling - it is now very simple to register functions to be called for any Excel application event, such as opening and closing workbooks, recalculating worksheets and so on

New walkthroughs - a selection of walkthroughs to take you through various features of XLL+ has been added

More examples - dozens of new examples, from fragments of code to complete projects, have been provided

Create Excel add-ins using C/C++.

Pricing: XLL Plus V7.0.4 for Visual Studio 2005 and for Visual Studio 2008 1 Developer License, XLL Plus V7.0.4 for Visual Studio 2005 and for Visual Studio 2008 1 Developer License Upgrade from XLL Plus V4.2 to V6.x

Evals & Downloads: Read the XLL Plus Help file, Read the Planatech XLL Plus License Server Overview, Read the XLL Plus End User License Agreement, Download the XLL Plus V7.0.4 for Visual Studio 2005 evaluation on to your computer - Expires after 30 days, Download the XLL Plus V7.0.4 for Visual Studio 2008 evaluation on to your computer - Expires after 30 days

Operating System for Deployment: Windows 7, Windows Vista, Windows XP, Windows 2000

Architecture of Product: 32Bit, 64Bit

Product Type: Add-In, Application

Application Type: Wizard

Compatible Containers: Microsoft Visual Studio 2008, Microsoft Visual Studio 2005, Microsoft Visual Basic 2008, Microsoft Visual Basic 2005, Microsoft Visual C++ 2008, Microsoft Visual C++ 2005, Microsoft Visual C# 2008, Microsoft Visual C# 2005, Microsoft Office 2007, Microsoft Office 2003, Microsoft Office XP, Microsoft Office 2000, Microsoft Office 97, .NET Framework 3.5, .NET Framework 3.0, .NET Framework 2.0

Product Class: Component Development Tools, .NET Development Tool

Keywords: xll addin excel plus cplanatech quant modelling c .NET Create Excel add-ins C/CXLLtoolkit construction Excel add-in libraries. XLLhigh-performance, wraps the Microsoft Excel SDK, Wizards

Planatech Solutions

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Part numbers: PC-512429-530773 512429-530773 PC-512429-530777 512429-530777

Mfr. Part No: XLP70F-704

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