Farewell, dsoframer

I know, it is long overdue. Microsoft discontinued it a decade ago. And Office is not meant to be embedded. I even advised people to not use it in new development almost a decade ago. Then why I keep using it for so long?

Because customers don’t want changes. I work in the medical field, where some of the clients still use telnet to interface with their medical software that are probably older than I am. Once you get people hooked to a UI it is hard to change that. The fact that Microsoft discontinues dsoframer means nothing to them – once I use it, I own it. It is like Microsoft having to release an Office update for the old equation editor made by MathType 16 years ago. So I have been doing patchwork as much as I can to keep dsoframer alive.

It might be a blessing in disguise that Office 2016 finally broke dsoframer on Windows 10 in a way that I can’t fix. The control just keep calculates the scrolling sizes wrong. I have to work on a solution for customers who can accept a side-by-side UI instead of embedding Office. Shortly after I published the update Microsoft dropped the bomb that the MSI edition of Office is being discontinued, I have to say that I am lucky to have some doctors finally start accepting the side by side UI. Maybe the rest will also get use to it now there’s no alternative.

Some issues I encountered over the years

The click-to-run edition of Office dropped the registry entries required by dsoframer to function .

.Net Programmability support is not a default install option of Office

Adobe Acrobat Reader shipped with dsoframer too, and uninstall either the reader or my app breaks the remaining one. Note to self: GuidGen on samples.

Does not open document if Office is running

Various drawing issues.

I supported embedding Word longer than the Outlook team, I am really not proud of that.


3 responses to “Farewell, dsoframer”

  1. Thx for posting, I had DsoFramer (coming with some other VB app) registering broken on some but not all PCs and from reading your experience I could find it was only those clients where I had installed Adobe Acrobat Pro 2017 recently. BTW: the new Acrobat Reader DC did not cause any problems here.

    1. report to adobe or the vb app and hope one of them change their ActiveX Ids from Microsoft’s.

  2. I just tested it. dsoframer.ocx is working properly with Office 2016 without a problem. I use VB.NET and C#.

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