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Professional Excel Development: The Definitive Guide to Developing Applications Using Microsoft Excel and VBA Paperback – Feb 1 2005


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 936 pages
  • Publisher: Addison-Wesley Professional; 1 edition (Feb. 1 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0321262506
  • ISBN-13: 978-0321262509
  • Product Dimensions: 23.4 x 17.4 x 4.4 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 Kg
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #366,250 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents


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Microsoft Excel is much, much more than just a spreadsheet. Read the first page
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index
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Format: Paperback
I have been doing Excel/VBA development for a long time, but I still learned a lot while reading this book - and I will definitely be incorporating some of the best practices. Money more than well spent.
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Format: Paperback
I have been programming Excel for over 3 years now putting together some pretty complex sheets and VBA code. This book makes you think differently on you spreadsheet construction to the way you program VBA. I found the chapters on Visual Basic 6 the most interesting.
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Format: Paperback
In this excellent resource for intermediate to advanced Excel users, every chapter has practical ideas that will help you design robust applications more quickly and consistently. The 'Best Practices' and 'Worksheet Design' chapters have valuable tips for setting up your workbooks, even if you won't use programming. Advanced users can add to their programming skills, by applying the book's techniques for using API calls, creating add-ins, building custom charts, and many more features.
You can work through the book's exercises, using the CD's sample files, to build the sample application. Or skim through the book, and use it as a reference for its advanced topics. Either way, the book will pay for itself many times over.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 30 reviews
184 of 190 people found the following review helpful
A remarkable book on creating complete Excel-based apps April 13 2005
By R. Lodato - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
Over the years, I've read a number of books on Excel programming. Each one seemed much like the previous one, generally talking about writing macros and creating data-entry forms. Professional Excel Development takes the concept quite a bit farther. Rather than giving you the same old tired lessons, this book goes into detail on exactly how to build professional level applications. It even explains how to make your Excel-based application look as though Excel had nothing to do with it. Suffice it to say, this ain't your daddy's Excel book.

The authors, Stephen Bullen, Rob Bovey, and John Green, show a level of sophistication well beyond the norm. They'd rather teach you the proper way to program instead of teaching you how to use Excel. In fact, the first thing they do is distinguish five different levels of usage: Excel users, Excel power users, VBA developers, Excel developers, and professional Excel developers. The book is written for the highest level, so expect a lot of depth. The entire structure of the book builds around a time-entry application that is developed from a simple spreadsheet to a full-blown, production quality program. A CD-ROM is also included with all of the source code and multiple examples that are scattered throughout the book.

Reading Professional Excel Development is not something to be taken lightly. The authors have done a fine job putting together a cohesive methodology for using Excel as an application development platform. I know of no other book that covers this platform in such depth. At times I found myself lost in the details, but I suspect a "professional Excel developer" (which I am not) would be delighted in the depth of description and copious examples provided.

Professional Excel Development is an extremely well-written book that covers the use of Excel to a depth few authors have dared to tread. The text gives you the tools to build applications that are much more than automated spreadsheets. Almost any program your imagination can devise can be created using the techniques given, which is a testimony to the power of Excel. Bash Microsoft if you want, but they do sometimes come up with a winner, and Professional Excel Development allows you to take full advantage of its capabilities. I highly recommend this book.
72 of 73 people found the following review helpful
Wisdom Packed into Every Page! Brilliantly Written Jan. 12 2006
By Eric Green - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
Even if this book was not as well-written and insightful as it is, there is simply no other VBA book that comes close, in content and quality, on building professional-grade Excel applications. If that is your field, you have a lot to lose by not getting it. (I've stalked several large bookstores here in New York City and Amazon, of course.)

THE BOOK:

This book is a goldmine of application-design wisdom for developers seeking to write professional, VBA applications that stand the test of time. Even for none-professionals, like myself, the book contains a plethora of VBA "best practices" that can be put to immediate use. The authors are clearly sharing with you years of personal, professional experience, and top-notch acumen.

Because I am not the most attentive reader, the first thing I find myself looking at is how well-written a book is (a quality which makes me a Walkenbach fan). I am impressed by how "thorough", "well put", and "to the point" most sentences in this book are - from the first to last word!

A FEW HIGHLIGHTS FOR ME:

> Imagine building almost bullet-proof applications. The user never sees an ugly VBA error message, and, if an error occurs, the developer usually knows very quickly what the cause is. I do this now...courtesy of the book's excellent chapter 12 on Error Handling and a thorough chapter on Debugging (Chapter 16).

> Chapter 17 - Optimizing VBA Performance (and a little digression on creative thinking) is a must read. This alone is worth the book price!

> Imagine a progress-bar display that you can easily "plug in" to any VBA program you write. Now you can...this book shows you how, in Chapter 11.

> Do you understand how to use API functions, and which ones are most useful for Excel. Read Chapter 9. I first found this chapter online (informit.com), which led me to this book, in the first place. Knowing API, will allow you to tap into the entire windows operating system from VBA.

> Do you really understand classes...do you understand Interfaces and how you can put them to use in VBA?

Chapter 7 on Classes is worth a solid read. (Even if you've read chapter 5 & 6, in Ken Getz's VBA Developer's handbook). Chapter 11, demonstrates the usefulness of Interfaces, with two great examples (Sorting and Progress-Display).

> What if you wish to write code in .Net, C, (or VB6) yet still work with EXCEL or connect with your VBA code? This book shines on this topic with three chapters (20 - 22). I have not yet seen a discussion as thorough in another VBA book. (If I've missed one, please add me to your Amazon buddy list and email me. Thanks.)

> If you are not a database expert but want a good overview of using Excel to work with Databases, I suggest your read Chapter 13.

> How do "you" currently go about building your Application's Menubars and ToolBars? Most books recommend a table-driven system of some sort or another, which is what I was using, and, indeed, this book does, too...but wait until you see the authors' version in Chapter 8. In fact, I made the painful decision to give up my habit of doing things after spending time with this chapter, and the authors' wisdom is paying off!

As a reviewer from California put it, "Finally, The sequel to Walkenbach for developers is here!", and another from New Delhi, "Every line that I have read so far has a meaning. The book is written in a simple fluent language and brings out the point very clearly. It will take me to the next level of programming."

I could not agree more!

ACCESSORIES:

As you would expect, all code examples for the book (and more) are found on an accompanying CD. The excellent commenting of code, aids learning.

I do have one peeve: The book is not available in searchable PDF format. To be fair to the authors...if they did...your grandmother would probably have it by now ;-) (For a fee you can download chapters in html from [...])

I also use two, must-have, VBA Add-Ins produced by Stephen Bullen and Rob Bovey respectively, free of charge from their respective websites.

Stephen Bullen's Auto-Indenter: with a simple "right click", your VBA code is automatically indented at all the right places (with options to suit your personal preferences). Think of how much time you spend tabbing and moving lines about!

Rob Bovey's code-cleaner: which cleans up your VBA file and shrinks its size significantly. (It also gets rid of a mysterious VBA error, the name of which escapes me now).
66 of 67 people found the following review helpful
Finally! The sequel to Walkenbach for developers is here! Aug. 31 2005
By Roberto Pippalada - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
If you cherished the Walkenbach's book for years and were longing for the advanced part to follow some day, you are there. So what if it is by different author.

Once I got the book and browsed through for couple of hours I already was eager to share my excitement. But... decided to do some more reading to make sure that the quality holds throughout the book. And I am still impressed immensely. This is an outstanding book

Buy the book even just for Chapter 20. Combining Excel and Visual Basic 6.

The rumors about the death of VB6 are highly exaggerated. Even if you believe otherwise, the techniques described for using VB forms in VBA will give you a good grasp how to achieve the same thing with other languages.

Basically, if you are a developer and were looking for a book to let you outgrow the limitations of VBA, this is THE BOOK.

If you are a power user and would like to stay in confines of Excel and VBA, then most probably Walkenbach's book will be sufficient, although reading this book will give you an incentive to do more.
42 of 44 people found the following review helpful
Review of Professionel Excel Development March 6 2005
By XL-Dennis - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
The book is targeting power users and professional developers and if You consider Yourself to be in this group then this book is for you.

It's a well written book, with a high technical level and with a good structure.

But as with every book it has its strong parts as well as weak parts. Weak parts in terms of that some chapters are overviews only and do not give any depth on the subjects they cover.

The chapters that cover best practice are all excellent. Here the authors share all their experience & knowledge by discussion application structures, structure for notation, advanced techniques for userforms and toolbars, error handling, debugging and many other things. The chapters also cover well how to create and use add-ins and so called user defined functions (UDFs).

The chapters that deal with VB 6.0 & Excel are all excellent too. A welcome contribution is that this book leverages many of the good techniques we use in MS VB 6.0 into Excel, especially when it comes to userforms.

The book covers in a nice way how to create & use classes, create & use ActiveX DLL and front-loaders for Excel in MS VB 6.0.

A whole chapter is devoted to Visual Tools for Office System (VSTO) but point also out all the present shortcomings of VSTO.

As with every book nowadays this book also includes a chapter about XML which is well written and with a high technically level. However the chapter is rather short which tend to compress the content.

If the above is what You're looking for then this book is a must have.

The following chapters provide overviews of the subjects:

Worksheet Design

Programming with Database

Data Manipulation techniques

Windows API

Creating XLLs with C#

If You're looking to get more then an introduction or compressed picture on these subject then there exist other books that will give You more.

The book uses an example, PETRAS Timesheet, to exemplify the subject that is covered in each chapter. Some readers will appreciate it very much while other (like me) will skip it. Anyway, PETRAS timesheet is also well worked out like the rest of the book.

In order to work through both the PETRAS Timesheet case and all the examples the book is given You need to have access to the following softwares:

MS Office 2003 Professional (minimum requirement for the VSTO-chapter)

MS Visual Basic 6.0 (no longer available for sale from Microsoft)

Visual Studio.NET (C#)

VSTO (Separate tool that require Visual Studio.NET)

Kind regards,

Dennis Wallentin aka XL-Dennis
29 of 29 people found the following review helpful
Looking to take your Excel to the next level? BUY THIS BOOK!!!! March 9 2006
By Mr. Shane Mcgrath - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
I've been working with Excel for years...

This is by far the BEST EXCEL DEVELOPMENT BOOK I've ever seen. It paid for itself many, many times over in the theory, and code tricks I've learned from it.

BEWARE BEGINNERS....if you're unfamiliar with Excel or VBA development, this isn't the book for you...start with Excel 2003 Power Programming by John Walkenbach.

If you're looking to take your spreadsheets to the next level, BUY THIS BOOK...IT RULES

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