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Microsoft Office 2003 Editions: Overview of Developer TechnologiesSeptember 2004


.NET-based with PIAs or Vertigo Managed Smart Document Wrapper


Information Bridge Framework

2004 +

.NET-based with declarative programming; requires infrastructure investment

Better for less document interaction, focus on exposing business system data/functionality, committed to multiple solutions

ISmartDocument interface. As mentioned previously, a smart document solution needs a document with an underlying XML structure. Then, you can use the COM-based ISmartDocument interface to build the automation that drives the solution. The code you write manipulates the document directly, presents information in the task pane and interacts with server-side processes, such as retrieving data, routing the document or its contents to a business system to complete the solution.

You can create a DLL to implement the ISmartDocument interface using COM-based or .NET-based technologies and thereby use your language of choice. For implementations using the .NET Framework, Office 2003 Editions includes a PIA to simplify the task of creating .NET-based code that interacts with the COM-based ISmartDocument interface.

To connect the Word or Excel document template that a user accesses to all the supporting files (such as DLL, XSD or XSL) associated with a smart document solution, you must create an XML file called a manifest. The manifest file identifies all the solution components, their versions and how they should be installed for the solution to work (such as on the server, on the client, in a particular directory). You place the solution files with the manifest file on a trusted server. When the user opens this type of smart document, the manifest technology in Office 2003 Editions checks the document’s internal metadata, specified as custom document properties when you create the solution, to locate the assigned manifest. It inspects the manifest to ensure that the entire solution is available, operational and secure, and that any new files are downloaded as needed. This dramatically simplifies deployment and maintenance for you because the document or template and the code that drives the solution exist independently of each other. You can version and update them separately.

Implementing the ISmartDocument interface with code for the .NET Framework can be a challenge due to the difficulty of getting all the references, code requirements and security issues set up correctly. Although a number of examples are provided through MSDN, a very usable option is to use a “wrapper” interface such as that built by Vertigo Software, called the Managed Smart Documents Wrapper. It provides an abstraction of the ISmartDocument interface that makes it easier for you to build and deploy a smart document solution using .NET-based technologies now and then migrate your code to "Visual Studio Tools for Office version 2005 (beta)" when the final version is available.

"Visual Studio Tools for Office version 2005 (beta)." Amongst many uses, these tools improve how you can implement smart document solutions by providing .NET-based events off

© 2006 Microsoft Corporation. All rights reserved. Page 14 By using or providing feedback on these materials, you agree to the attached license agreement.

To comment on this paper or request more documentation on these developer features, contact us at O12Devdx@microsoft.com. We look forward to hearing from you.

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