Business documents using Word Automation Services and Open XML (SPC349)

Having already seen some of the great sessions Scot Hillier gave in the past, I decided to attend his session on Open XML and Word Automation.

Scot gave us a very interesting look inside a project he did for a company, generating all kinds of documents from several data sources. Generating documents like resumes, company pitches and bid documents, etc.

Scot demonstrated how to create documents from a external database using BCS to get to the data. Using content controls (in MS Word) and Open XML.

Manipulating the XML of a Word document can be a major hassle because of the complexity of the XML, but Scot showed us a tool that takes away the complexity:

Powertools contains a class called DocumentBuilder that helps you manipulating the Word document.

Next, Scot gave a demo how to compose a new document from several other documents. And he also showed how to ‘shred’ a document, i.e. taking little snippets like paragraphs and saving them as separate documents. All done with Open XML and DocumentBuilder.

Last but not least we got a demo on Word Automation Services showing how to create services for i.e. converting Word documents to PDF’s.

Very good session, good technical info and well presented, as always, by Scot Hillier.

One thought on “Business documents using Word Automation Services and Open XML (SPC349)

  1. Nico de Jong

    Open XML is very cool – I’am working on/with QorusDocs by

    It merges SP list data (and sql, and webservice stuff) into Word documents.
    It can be done ad hoc or with help of their merge server.

    They have a Word add in that smoothes out the whole building of templates, let’s end users build them and does all the versioning et cetere in SharePoint to fully utilise what SP has to offer.

    I see a lot of 3rd party apps that I would not mention as a comment on a blogpost – this though I do – and it is the first time I think.




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