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Microsoft Office 2003 Editions: Overview of Developer TechnologiesSeptember 2004

drop-down lists, InfoPath is still a better choice.

If the form should allow the user to have significant freedom in formatting information, such as creating their own tables or inserting images using the full range of accepted Word features, then consider Word as InfoPath doesn’t provide the same level of flexibility.

You can use InfoPath to capture information that is used to generate or pre-populate a Word document or Excel spreadsheet. InfoPath forms are also easy to integrate with SharePoint form libraries to allow teams to share captured information.

Build a solution that can work offline

Recommend Smart Client Offline Application Block. Writing solutions that use client-side code has an advantage over Web applications in that they can be made to work offline. As a base level of functionality, Office programs allow users to save their intermediate work in a variety of file formats offline. The challenge for developers comes when secondary data sources need to be accessed offline, or when you need to submit data to a business process while offline.

To download the Smart Client Offline Application Block: http://msdn.microsoft.com/library/en-us/dnpag/html/offline.asp

For more information about occasionally connected smart clients, see Chapter 4 — Occasionally Connected Smart Clients: http://msdn.microsoft.com/library/en-us/dnpag/html/SCAG-CH04.asp

Using Word, Excel

Recommend "Visual Studio Tools for Office version 2005 (beta)". If you are building a document-specific solution around Word or Excel and you need to access a finite set of data through the solution interface, use "Visual Studio Tools for Office version 2005 (beta)". It provides an in-document data cache into which you can place any data. For example, you could use this with an Excel spreadsheet to hold additional data for analysis rather than storing the data in a hidden worksheet. This technique is not feasible for very large data sets since the data in the cache adds onto the size of the document file.

Build custom Excel worksheet functions

If using COM, build Automation Add-ins.

If using .NET, build managed COM Add-ins and add

© 2006 Microsoft Corporation. All rights reserved. Page 40 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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