Announcing the Office 2010 Application Compatibility Program


Update: If you would like to sign up for the beta program for the tools, please email the following alias.

Update: Read more details about the tools in these two subsequent posts:

Hello, my name is Michael Kiselman, I am a technical product manager driving Office 2010 application compatibility program on Office developer marketing team. I’d like to share our exciting news about application compatibility we’re unveiling today at the SharePoint Conference.


With the great value Office 2010 brings for end users, IT Professionals and Developers, we are also investing heavily in making deployment of the new version of Office easier. As part of our focus on deployment, we have renewed priority on helping ensure applications and Add-ins for existing installations of Office continue to work without hangs, crashed or performance degradation when interfacing with Office 2010.

IT departments charged with upgrading Office take special care to find the add-ins, macros and other 3d party applications users have installed to ensure they will not cause problems after the upgrade is complete. Developers (professional and non-professional dealing with macros and scripts in Office applications), on the other hand, spend time testing and migrating their code to work seamlessly in Office 2010. And then, there is a task of migrating Pre Office 2007 binary documents to the latest Open XML format based files.

Today we are announcing the Office 2010 Compatibility Program to help address these areas. The compatibility program will provide tools for environment assessment, code scanning and remediation assistance, and an update to the document conversion tools introduced with Office 2007. The tools, guidance and services we are delivering will be the most comprehensive we have provided to date for a new release of Office.

The Application Compatibility program will be delivered in the form of tools, guidance and programs.

Office Environment Assessment Tool (OEAT) and Code Compatibility Inspector are new tools that will be made available to assess the current state of desktop installations, and to scan code for potential issues. We will also update the Office Migration Planning Manager for Office 2010. Comprehensive guidance in a form of an Application Compatibility Analysis and remediation guide will be offered as well on TechNet and MSDN.


Figure 1: Office Environment Assessment Tool

We can share a little about the new tools we are building to give you an idea of where we’ll provide help.

Office Environment Assessment Tool:

· Discovers currently installed applications

· Discovers Add-ins currently in use by Office clients

· Discovers Programs that are not registered as Add-ins but still interact with Office programs

· Environmental assessment (potential upgrade issues)

· Add-in compatibility assessment – relates information about the program’s compatibility with Office 2010 from the TechNet site.

Code Compatibility Inspector:

· Scans Visual Basic for Applications (VBA) Solutions for potential issues

· Scans Visual Studio Office projects for potential issues

· Performs a simple text search (likely candidate search) for known properties and methods in the Office Object Model that changed

· Provides the option to comment/mark those areas in the code where text search has identified a possible OM match

· Summary of total lines of code scanned as well as total lines identified as potential candidates for OM changes

· A detailed report, with module name, line number, and links to remediation for each issue found with possibly a red/yellow flag for impact guidance

· Scans and optionally updates Declare statements for 64-bit compatibility


Figure 2: Inspecting VBA projects with the Code Compatibility Inspector


Want to get involved?

The beta of the tools and the draft of the Assessment and Remediation Guide will be available for customers and partners on download center by early December. We will update this blog when they become available.

These tools and guidance will be available to our customers and partners through a variety of services like Desktop Deployment Planning Services for partners or a Deployment Optimization of Windows and Office MCS Offers. The tools and guidance will be available in virtually all of our deployment planning activities, look for them to land in a program near you.

Along with the tools, guidance and programs, we will also launch a partner program to provide an opportunity for Microsoft partners to pledge the compatibility of their products with Office 2010 and enlist the product on the upcoming Office 2010 Application Compatibility Center on TechNet. Some of you may have noticed the re-designed Office developer center on MSDN, we’ll continue to add to that with our compatibility activities.