Microsoft Office Tutorials and References
In Depth Information
Other Development Issues
Why is there no runtime version of Excel?
When you distribute your application, you need to be sure that each end user has a licensed
copy of the appropriate version of Excel. Distributing a copy of Excel along with your application
is illegal. Why, you might ask, doesn’t Microsoft provide a runtime version of Excel? A runtime
version is an executable program that can load files but not create them. With a runtime version,
the end user wouldn’t need a copy of Excel to run your application. (This is common with
database programs.)
I’ve never seen a clear or convincing reason why Microsoft doesn’t have a runtime version of
Excel, and no other spreadsheet manufacturer offers a runtime version of its product, either. The
most likely reason is that spreadsheet vendors fear that doing so would reduce sales of the
software. Or, it may be that developing a runtime version would require a tremendous amount of
programming that would just never pay off.
On a related note . . . Microsoft does offer an Excel file viewer. This product lets you view Excel
files if you don’t own a copy of Excel. Macros, however, won’t execute. You can get a copy of this
free file viewer from the Microsoft Web site ( ).
Updating the application when necessary
After you distribute your application, you’re finished with it, right? You can sit back, enjoy
yourself, and try to forget about the problems that you encountered (and solved) during the course
of developing your application. In rare cases, yes, you may be finished. More often, however, the
users of your application won’t be completely satisfied. Sure, your application adheres to all the
original specifications, but things change. Seeing an application working often causes the user to
think of other things that the application could be doing. I’m talking updates.
When you need to update or revise your application, you’ll appreciate that you designed it well in the
first place and that you fully documented your efforts. If not, well . . . we learn from our experiences.
Other Development Issues
You need to keep several other issues in mind when developing an application — especially if you
don’t know exactly who will be using the application. If you’re developing an application that will
have widespread use (a shareware application, for example), you have no way of knowing how
the application will be used, what type of system it will run on, or what other software will be
running concurrently.
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