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: http://powertools.codeplex.com/
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.