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API Access to Office 365 or Web Apps (skydrive ?) - streamed location from web not desktop RRS feed

  • Question

  • Hi,

    Creating cloud apps that have word processor (or other office product) integration provides a bit of a challenge at present.

    I like, own and understand MS Word....people in general like Word...companies have templates in Word to import and....we have also hit some problems in other editors (Web or otherwise) with regards to supporting full legal numbering(multi levels), banners down side of pages and certain interesting table structures !

    The problem then comes as to how you present a Word document and allow editing.

    • MS Word is on Desktop. We have created a Web API to programmatically create word documents, merge in templates for headers and footers etc....and then deliver the completed document to the Browser. This works very nicely and having taken away the 'injection method' to push into Word on desktop, has removed many of the usual support issues. However....the moment we deliver the document, we have lost control of the content. Users need to be able to make changes and then the saved content to be reflected back to the API, Webserver or other. We need to store this in Cloud App.
    • As a pure Cloud App we dont want taskbar tools to copy files to cloud and we don't ideally want plugins for Word on desktop (although that seems to work) - both put a requirement on the local PC which won’t be there on a friends laptop or in that Hotel in Egypt!
    • We have looked at webdav delivering a streamed doc, so location stays in cloud....this works on IE (activex) and with Firefox (Plugs in) but not on Chrome and....this doesnt work at all as a concept the moment you pick up an iPad!!
    • If we turn to Web Based editors, we lose Word on the desktop which is a big loss in most customers minds as takeup at this stage on Office 365 is virtually non-existent. And...we hit the limitations of other products which dont seem 100% compatible...

    My perfect solution would be to launch a Word Web App programmatically, be able to control the save back to my location (local to my server ideally but if not in Microsoft Cloud / SharePoint, not too worried as long as commercially safe and viable). However...I dont want to have to try and convert all our customers to Office 365 (that will have to be organic as too much of a barrier to sales for our product) and If I create a single account behind the scenes I am sure that would break terms and conditions of Office 365 or Live Web apps ? ...would likely be a security concern as well in terms of shared customer data in single account!

    I totally buy into Cloud and Office365(I moved our Group at work to this), personal SkyDrive but am also trying to be pragmatic with current positioning of our mutual customers. In the interest of fairness, I also use Google Docs for collaborative working but again it’s not word, has its own functionality limitations and the APIs are again limited.

    Any ideas ?

    Thanks very much

    Ed.

    Monday, May 14, 2012 1:49 PM

Answers

  • Hello Ed,

    Your product/service sounds like a winner. Ideally what would be perfect from the end-user's viewpoint would be to have your composed document come with a document-level add-in that customizes the Word 2010 backstage with the save and saveas buttons hidden, and a new custom Save button that returns the edited document to your web site, be it cloud or sharepoint. The end-user will edit the document then click on save.  For a Word 2007 user the Fluent Ribbon would need to be customized in a similar fashion. If the end-user still uses Office XP the add-in would need to customize the commandbarbutton OnAction method for Save and disable SaveAs. The add-in needs to query the Application.Version property in order to apply the appropriate modification.

    If you use VKB query the bing database using the argument "customize the ribbon."  The result set includes links to 50 documents. Another query arguments include "customize backstage", "VSTO sdd-in" and "document add-in"

    Other than the comments here, I can't imagine another approach to meet your design objectives. Clicking the Save button is the expected way for the end-user to save the edited document, and doesn't require the end-user to remember to click some control on your web page.


    Please remember to mark the replies as answer if they help and unmark them if the provide no help. and click "Vote as Helpful" this and other helpful posts, so other users will see your thread as useful. Chris Jensen

    • Marked as answer by Max Meng Wednesday, May 23, 2012 7:15 AM
    Wednesday, May 16, 2012 3:51 PM
  • Another thought - as an alternative to a document-level add-in built for the template for the skeleton of the composed document, the template could have a VBA module that sinks the document save event to change the behavior so that it saves to the destination you choose.

    Please remember to mark the replies as answer if they help and unmark them if the provide no help. and click "Vote as Helpful" this and other helpful posts, so other users will see your thread as useful. Chris Jensen

    • Marked as answer by Max Meng Wednesday, May 23, 2012 7:15 AM
    Thursday, May 17, 2012 5:15 PM

All replies

  • Hi Ed,

    This is a quick note to let you know that I am trying to involve someone familiar with this topic to look at this issue.


    Max Meng

    TechNet Community Support

    Tuesday, May 15, 2012 8:50 AM
  • Hello Ed,

    Your product/service sounds like a winner. Ideally what would be perfect from the end-user's viewpoint would be to have your composed document come with a document-level add-in that customizes the Word 2010 backstage with the save and saveas buttons hidden, and a new custom Save button that returns the edited document to your web site, be it cloud or sharepoint. The end-user will edit the document then click on save.  For a Word 2007 user the Fluent Ribbon would need to be customized in a similar fashion. If the end-user still uses Office XP the add-in would need to customize the commandbarbutton OnAction method for Save and disable SaveAs. The add-in needs to query the Application.Version property in order to apply the appropriate modification.

    If you use VKB query the bing database using the argument "customize the ribbon."  The result set includes links to 50 documents. Another query arguments include "customize backstage", "VSTO sdd-in" and "document add-in"

    Other than the comments here, I can't imagine another approach to meet your design objectives. Clicking the Save button is the expected way for the end-user to save the edited document, and doesn't require the end-user to remember to click some control on your web page.


    Please remember to mark the replies as answer if they help and unmark them if the provide no help. and click "Vote as Helpful" this and other helpful posts, so other users will see your thread as useful. Chris Jensen

    • Marked as answer by Max Meng Wednesday, May 23, 2012 7:15 AM
    Wednesday, May 16, 2012 3:51 PM
  • Another thought - as an alternative to a document-level add-in built for the template for the skeleton of the composed document, the template could have a VBA module that sinks the document save event to change the behavior so that it saves to the destination you choose.

    Please remember to mark the replies as answer if they help and unmark them if the provide no help. and click "Vote as Helpful" this and other helpful posts, so other users will see your thread as useful. Chris Jensen

    • Marked as answer by Max Meng Wednesday, May 23, 2012 7:15 AM
    Thursday, May 17, 2012 5:15 PM