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Where are Microsoft headed with Office templates in Open XML SDK? RRS feed

  • Question

  • Hi

    I have since a year back being forced to move my interop applications for Office document management in Windows server from Microsoft Office applications to Open XML SDK, as I'm sure is true for many other developers.

    This has been a tough task, since no knowledge in Office object model has come to use in Open XML SDK.

    One of the greatest disappointments is the lack of support for Office regular templates.

    I have large companies as customers and one of the most important part in their management of documents, is the ability to control formats, building blocks and so on through templates.

    Are Microsoft working with a fix to Open XML SDK to provide a way to create 100 % correct documents, spreadsheets and presentations from a template, or are the templates about to be obsolete?


    Best Regards Peter Karlström Midrange AB, Sweden


    Monday, July 1, 2013 7:45 AM

Answers

  • Hi Ajay

    OK.

    I really hope they will pick up this thread then, and give me and all other developers an answer to this very important question regarding the future for MS Office.


    Best Regards Peter Karlström Midrange AB, Sweden

    Thursday, July 18, 2013 11:57 AM

All replies

  • Hi Peter,

    Thank you for posting in the MSDN Forum.

    I'm trying to involve some senior engineers into this issue and it will take some time. Your patience will be greatly appreciated.

    Sorry for any inconvenience and have a nice day!

    Best regards,


    Quist Zhang [MSFT]
    MSDN Community Support | Feedback to us
    Develop and promote your apps in Windows Store
    Please remember to mark the replies as answers if they help and unmark them if they provide no help.

    Wednesday, July 3, 2013 2:25 AM
    Moderator
  • Hi Peter

    I believe the way to use the scenario you describe would be to create a new document from the template, then use that as the "template" for any new documents that should be attached to the template. That would save you having to change the document type and the result should what you're looking for.


    Cindy Meister, VSTO/Word MVP, my blog

    Wednesday, July 3, 2013 1:12 PM
    Moderator
  • Hi Cindy

    Thank you for your reply.

    I'm afraid your solution wouldn't work.

    The webbased document managment system at my customers (in which my webservice is a part), holds the Office templates (dotx, xltx, potx) as well as the merging documents and other customproperties.
    These templates are also separately "rolled out" to every client which uses my VSTO-Add ins on a regular basis.

    That way we hope to hold together and control document formats from the managment system to the clients.

    The only way I know (this far) to create a docx-document from a dotx-template is to use MS Word,
    and since all parts her are webbased applications, thats not the way my customer wants to go.

    Also, your suggestion was discussed a hole lot with the cusomer before we decided to leave the VSTO-based service in favor of the Open XML SDK-variant I'm now trying to work properly.


    Best Regards Peter Karlström Midrange AB, Sweden

    Wednesday, July 3, 2013 2:24 PM
  • If you're providing the templates, then it should be possible for you to create a new document from each template before you roll them out, including the docx as well as the dotx?

    Cindy Meister, VSTO/Word MVP, my blog

    Wednesday, July 3, 2013 3:33 PM
    Moderator
  • Sorry Cindy, but the problem is a bit more complicated.

    My customer is trying to have halfready documents in the content management system, in order to provide allready designed and formated documents for all sorts of users, like internal clients, extranet-users which have no Office Add Ins of ours and so on.

    Every part of this system is separated like this:

    Server 1:

    • Holds the webbased Content management system which targets the users
    • Administration functions which handles templates, mergefiles and metadata
    • Doesn't have Office installed

    Server 2:

    • Holds my webservice
    • Doesn't have Office installed

    Internal Clients:

    • Have access to Content management system on Server 1 through Internet Explorer Also have  Office Add Ins installed
    • Have no access to Server 2

    External clients:

    • Have access to Content management system on Server 1 through Internet Explorer They have no Office Add Ins of ours installed

    The rolled out templates are only used to keep formats, buildingblocks and so on in order on the internal clients.
    We can make changes in the template through Admin UI on server 1. They are rolled out by an Update service on the clients, after wich every documents with a previous connection to this template is automaticly updated.

    Hope this info makes the picture more clear.


    Best Regards Peter Karlström Midrange AB, Sweden

    Wednesday, July 3, 2013 4:03 PM
  • You can create documents and then attach them to template, as mentioned in below blog article:

    http://blogs.msdn.com/b/vsod/archive/2012/02/18/how-to-create-a-document-from-a-template-dotx-dotm-and-attach-to-it-using-open-xml-sdk.aspx

    -Ajay

    Monday, July 8, 2013 9:36 PM
  • Hi Ajay

    I have seen this article before, and the result is not prefect. There are still differences if you compare with a manually created document.
    These differences seem to mess up the documents later when you start to merge documents, add core- and custom properties, add variables and so on.

    Also, this doesn't solve the problem for Excel and Powerpoint.

    I'm more interested in why Microsoft hasn't come up with a solution how to handle real templates.
    Are they leaving the template idea completely for Office?

    This is strategically important for solutions like my customers, and for practically all companies working with Content Management for documents on this level.


    Best Regards Peter Karlström Midrange AB, Sweden

    Tuesday, July 9, 2013 7:15 AM
  • Hello Peter,

    I can't comment on the future of templates in Office Open XML. Someone from the Product group might be able to answer that.

    -Ajay

    Wednesday, July 17, 2013 3:33 PM
  • Hi Ajay

    OK.

    I really hope they will pick up this thread then, and give me and all other developers an answer to this very important question regarding the future for MS Office.


    Best Regards Peter Karlström Midrange AB, Sweden

    Thursday, July 18, 2013 11:57 AM
  • Hi Quist Zhang

    It's been a while, and I am wondering if you have got hold of an senior engineer who could bring information about this issue for me?


    Best Regards Peter Karlström Midrange AB, Sweden

    Monday, August 26, 2013 9:07 AM