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developerWorks: RTF on the Server

Dec 31, 2002, 08:00 (2 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Cameron Laird)

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"Several readers asked that Server clinic treat Microsoft Word documents the same way: describe how to manage them programmatically.

"It's important to do so. Few office workers get the point of automation, despite the large investments Microsoft and others have made in scripting, 'active documents,' and related technologies. 'Civilians' are largely habituated to routines of typing in data that come from computer print-outs. I see plenty of workplaces where it's unusual even to question such practices.

"On the other side, many of the system programmers with the expertise to help end-users integrate complex work-flows don't regard Microsoft Word formats as feasible targets for server-side programming. Commercial document management packages are available, but only for costs in the range of $20,000 and up.

"In fact, there's plenty you can do with Word documents on a Linux or other UNIX server, at a modest cost. Consider the possibilities.."

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