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Does AMO support custom tasks?

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Super Contributor
Posts: 386

Does AMO support custom tasks?

Hi,

I didn't know whether to post here or Integration with Microsoft Office...

This is sort of related to https://communities.sas.com/thread/49642.  I'm considering whether to use a custom task to overcome what I perceive are shortcomings in the SAS Prompt Manager and the built-in prompt types.

1) I thought I read somewhere that AMO supported custom tasks.  However, I don't see where they would be called.  In EG, we have Tools --> Add-In --> Pick your custom task.  I don't see the equivalent in AMO.

2) Does anyone have any custom tasks examples that populate .Net Form or WPF objects using SAS data, in particular Text Entry, Text Label, List Box, Combo Box, and Data Table?  (This is regardless of whether AMO supports custom tasks).

3) Does anyone have any Excel VBA examples that populate Excel Form or ActiveX controls using SAS data, esp. using a User Form to build a Where clause, then using VBA and AMO to pass the user selections to a stored process.

Thanks,

Scott

Community Manager
Posts: 2,887

Re: Does AMO support custom tasks?

Scott,

Yes, AMO supports custom tasks.  You can learn all about how to create them via my book, Creating Custom Tasks for SAS Enterprise Guide using Microsoft .NET. Even though "SAS Add-In for Microsoft Office" isn't in the book title, the book covers it.  (It's just that we can make book titles only so long....)

You can add tasks to AMO in a couple of ways.  The method that I recommend is what I call "drop-in deployment", where you place a custom task DLL in a designated folder, and AMO automatically detects it and adds it to the menu.  You can also use the RegAddin.exe tool, which works similar to the Tools->Add-In Manager menu in EG.  These methods are described in the free chapter of my book.

Your scenario -- creating a more flexible, dynamic prompting experience -- is one of the most popular use cases for custom tasks.  This page shows more about custom tasks and what they can do, including library of examples (with source code).

Finally, don't forget to check out the free webinar, Introduction to Custom Tasks for SAS Enterprise Guide. Again, no "AMO" in the title, but many of the example tasks and concepts also apply to AMO.

Chris

Super Contributor
Posts: 386

Re: Does AMO support custom tasks?

Hi Chris.

I ordered your book about two hours before your reply Smiley Happy  I like my computer books to be hard copy, so it will be a couple weeks before I get it.

Although I miss SAS/AF sometimes (and we don't have it licensed), I guess .Net + the SAS API's is the "new SAS/AF", so to speak.  I'm sure SAS/AF was confusing for me too until i learned it.  So I'll just have to learn applications development with the new (ish) tools available.

Are there any issues or "gotchas" with using Visual Studio Express vs. the full edition?

Thanks for clarifying that AMO supports custom tasks.

Scott

Community Manager
Posts: 2,887

Re: Does AMO support custom tasks?

Scott,

Thanks for ordering the book - I hope that it's helpful.  Keep me posted.

Yes, there are differences with the Express edition.  The main disadvantage of the Express edition is that you cannot debug applications that you didn't build.  Since a custom task is an add-in to an app (such as EG or AMO running in Office), it's not an application that you can view in the debugger.  If you create custom tasks as a real enterprise where you have to support them and stay productive as a developer, the professional edition of Visual Studio is a must, in my opinion.  You can use the Express edition to experiment and dabble to see what it's like.

Chris

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