Ryan Ackley

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If you've ever written software to be used by business managers, you will no doubt have received requests for interoperability with the Microsoft Office Applications. "Get me the report in Excel; HTML doesn't cut it and I need to run my own analysis on it"; "Can you index the zillion word documents I have so that the whole organization can search on them?"; "I have all this data in Excel; do I have to enter it again on this Web page?".... These are things we commonly hear as application developers, which is not surprising given the ubiquity of MS Office. Does this mean you're forced to tie your application to Windows to interface with the COM APIs of Excel or Word? Apart from the fact that you don't want your language or platform decision to be constrained by a lack of choice, it's also important to note that these APIs can be unstable because they're automating a ... (more)