Office Extensions is a proprietary platform that ensures fast and easy management of various plugins in MS Office. In technical terms, this means that MS Office only needs to load one VSTO add-in, and this add-in thus handles multiple Office Extensions optimized for the Alloy Framework at the same time, i.e. CorporateTables, CorporateCharts etc.
This technology ensures optimized load times, ease of installation for IT and ease of configuration for SkabelonDesign.
Office Extensions is a VSTO add-in. VSTO Add-ins consist of an assembly that is associated with a Microsoft Office application. Typically, the VSTO Add-in runs when the associated application is started, although users can also load VSTO Add-ins after the application is already running.
In this case it means we have a unique VSTO add-in for PowerPoint, Word, Excel and Outlook. Each of these run on the same core, and enables us to load and configure multiple plugins AKA Office Extensions.
Supported OS/Office version
The following Operating Systems and MS Office versions are supported:
- Windows 7/8.1/10
- Microsoft Office 2010/2013/2016/on-premise 365
The installation of Alloy can be achieved in many ways, and it can be adapted to most infrastructures. The software consists basically of three things:
- Files (DLL’s, config files etc)
- Registry keys (for enabling, and configuring OfficeExtensions in MS Office)
- Security certificate (the software is digitally signed and to ensure proper trust in MS Office, the certificate must be installed prior to installation)
Installation can be handled as a single-deployment EXE, MSI, manually using other means of file/registry handling or via FileUpdater (more about this in the following section). The installation targets (by default) %ProgramData% and the Current User registry (HKCU). The certificate is deployed automatically by the EXE and is manually added to the certificate store in case of an MSI installation.
Installation can also be handled by FileUpdater, a SkabelonDesign developed deployment solution that is designed specifically for deploying MS Office addins and templates. FileUpdater is a seperate installation that can keep Office Extensions up to date by synchronizing with a pre-defined repository (UNC, FTP, HTTP, Azure, SharePoint).
To ensure full functionality of all Office Extensions running in Alloy, the following prerequisites must be for met for Office 2010 and Windows 7-8.1:
- .NET 4.5.2 or later:
- Visual Studio 2010 Tools for Office Runtime 10.0.5x or later:
Note: If you are using Windows 10 and Office 2016/365 (on-premise or click-to-run) the above pre-requsites are already met.
Certificate AKA Security
SkabelonDesign cares a great deal about security. This is why all our software is digitally signed with a state of the art code signing certificate. This certificate adheres to the latest standards in terms of security which means it uses SHA-256 encryption.
This higher level of encryption is also the reason why our software as a minimum requires .NET 4.5.2 and Visual Studio 2010 Tools for Office Runtime 10.0.5x.
When software is delivered by SkabelonDesign we also provide our client-side certificate that allows our software to be authenticated in your environment.
Updates for Alloy is voluntary and occurs biannually. Updates are provided in the same form as the original deployment.
Before installation please make sure that all prerequisites are met. If any issues should arise during installation or usage of the software, please contact our support at: