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OpenOffice.org Calc adds support for Excel VBA

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As an Excel user, you may have looked at OpenOffice.org and found that it doesn't support Visual Basic for Applications (VBA), the Microsoft Office macro language. If you've spent years building hundreds of Excel macros, the fear of losing them all could keep you locked in to Office. If so, it's time to look again; Novell has taken OpenOffice.org's source code and create a version of its own that supports Excel VBA.

Novell's Noel Power is the developer in charge of introducing Excel VBA interoperability into OpenOffice.org Calc. He says that the interoperability is achieved by:

* allowing Excel VBA macros to run natively within OpenOffice.org;
* providing a compatibility object model;
* continuously improving the compatibility model by identifying and implementing the most useful and widely used APIs;
* extending the symbols available to ooo-basic to include the compatibility API; and
* modifying the core ooo-basic runtime to handle Excel VBA syntax.

Noel says, "Novell is pushing this to the wider community. The source code is freely available from the OpenOffice.org Hackers Pages, and instructions on how to build it are on the OpenOffice.org build page. Additionally, we are pleased to say that we are also shipping the VBA interoperability feature with Novell's branded OpenOffice.org versions for Windows.

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