Stephen Bullen, Rob Bovey, John Green, "Professional Excel Development: Definitive Guide to Developing Applications Using Microsoft Excel and VBA"
Addison-Wesley Professional | 2005-02-11 | ISBN: 0321262506 | 936 pages | CHM | 21.8 MB
|“||A great how-to book for serious Excel users|
When picking up this book, I was an advanced Excel user. Having discovered most of its features by trial-and-error, and coming from a fairly solid programming background, I understood well the interaction between the underlying object model and the sheets appearing on the screen to end users. I have also crafted many sophisticated worksheet formulas, and explored just about every suggestion of literature such as "Excel Hacks" and "Advanced Excel Report Development".
Professional Excel Development offers ideas and tools necessary for designing full-fledged, robust Excel-based applications. It does not spend time explaining how various features work, but rather goes into detail on how to put these features to best use.
Here is what I picked up from this book, together with the authors' Excel 2003 VBA reference:
* ways to leverage Excel's built-in features to avoid excessive coding
* advanced design techniques for using Excel as a WYSIWYG interface designer
* techniques for creating custom menu bars and programming their behavior
* various means of interacting with the user and simplifying their sessions by providing guidance as to which steps need to be taken
* restricting the Excel environment to take on the appearance of a product condusive of the goal stated in previous bullet
* using VBA in conjunction with the Excel object model to create powerful object-oriented structures for spreadsheet-based applications
* programming Excel-based solutions in an executable to provide a more standalone application
* using Windows API calls to increase robustness of the application
One key feature of this book is its consistent approach. The authors maintain a consistent structure, using the same application throughout the book for their "practical example" to demonstrate new features made available through the material in each chapter. Also, the "best practices" approach provides a level of consistency that is generally desired of anywhat sophisticated applications. Useable modules are provided on the accompanying CD, ready to be used in readers' own applications.
In the beginning, the authors explain the audiences for which this book may or may not be intended. They separate these into users, power users, VBA developers, Excel developers, and professional developers. The latter three categories of users will benefit the most from this book, each in his/her own way. VBA developers will learn how to use built-in features (I think this is where I started); Excel developers will learn how to incorporate Excel-based solutions into larger applications; Professional developers will be exposed to a great variety of "best practices", optimization techniques, and various other means for developing consistency in Excel applications.
If you do not fall into the latter three categories, you might not pick up much from this book. It is not useless to you, however; you can still find many worksheet/userform design techniques, and get an introduction to the kind of power VBA-based programming can offer. Nonetheless, you may be well-advised to start off with something simpler, such as John Walkenbach's Excel Power Programming (as alluded to by the authors of this book), simply because the present book assumes a good degree of knowledge and leaves much for the reader to figure out from the fully-functional examples provided - thereby covering the ground that it does.
Overall, this book makes for a wonderful reference to the various under-the-hood features of Excel. Even if you've already encountered many of the techniques described, and could technically discover them further on your own, it is useful to have them readily available in a single collection. Very few items are left out; application design, object-oriented programming techniques, database applications, debugging techniques, Office automation, and external interop are all covered here. Professional Excel Development is a solid reference to be consulted for years to come.