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Microsoft Office 2003 Editions: Overview of Developer TechnologiesSeptember 2004

Recommend using XML. Using the XML file formats for Word and Excel, you can pull information from a business system and transform it using XSLT into a rich document. With this technique, you can pull separate data sets and apply appropriate formatting to each data set before putting them together into one full document. BizTalk server is recommended for complex XML manipulation and aggregation scenarios.

Note   There is a limitation to doing this using Excel, because the Excel XML file format does not support all Excel features, such as charts and images.

Recommend "Visual Studio Tools for Office version 2005 (beta)". With "Visual Studio Tools for Office version 2005 (beta)", you can create a document or template with an associated data cache that you can bind to displayed data locations in the document. "Visual Studio Tools for Office version 2005 (beta)" provides a lightweight object model with which you can replace the data in this cache, thereby creating a report customized to a specific date, or customer, etc. This allows an organization to have a server-side process to populate periodic, customized reports that does not require Office 2003 to be installed on the server. Note that the end user of the report needs Office 2003 Professional Edition and the .NET Framework installed to open the newly populated report.

Place custom UI elements on a document

When using Word, Excel

Recommend "Visual Studio Tools for Office version 2005 (beta)". It gives you the greatest power and control for using managed user controls and binding them to data sources, if needed.

When using InfoPath, PowerPoint

Recommend ActiveX. Use standard ActiveX controls.

Build a custom task pane to display content

There are several approaches that you can take to build custom task panes. As to the specific options available, it depends on what you want to accomplish. The following are two common scenarios for using the task pane. Between them, they incorporate all of the technologies available for customizing the task pane.

Task pane scenario 1.

Choose the solution technique below according to the applications in use in the scenario, the UI

© 2006 Microsoft Corporation. All rights reserved. Page 37 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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