Friday, August 25, 2006

Microsoft Backtrack on Office 2007 Ribbon Bar

Further to my post of July 26, Microsoft has modified the Office 2007 GUI after complaints from beta testers that the replacement Ribbon menu system took up too much space on screen.  In the next technical refresh of the Office 2007 BETA, users can set the ribbon to automatically minimize whenever it is not being used. Source: ZDNet Australia

Personally, my view is that the Ribbon is another Edsel - giving away my age ;)

Btw, I have been trying to get info from MS about how the Ribbon paradigm effects the implementation of legacy library databases and custom CommandBars, as they have published very little on this topic. After some email traffic the following was extracted from an un-named member of the Access team (my emphasis):

You can use Access 2003 or earlier to create custom command bars and menus in MDB files and those can be used in [Access 2007] add-ins.  If you want to use an ACCDB format add-in or if you don't want to use Access 2003's visual designer for command bars and menus, you will have to create them programmatically.

The add-ins command bars will appear on a separate add-ins tab in the Ribbon.  If you want to have a custom ribbon instead of using the old style command bars, you will probably have to develop either a COM add-in or a managed add-in. There is [aad: "a bit of "] documentation on building add-ins for the ribbon.  You can find some of that documentation here: said, ribbon add-ins and Access menu add-ins don't work all that well together.  This ISV would probably want to convert their Access menu add-in into a managed add-in or a COM add-in if they want to use the ribbon.

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