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XML in Office 2003: Information Sharing with Desktop XML (Charles F. Goldfarb Definitive XML) Paperback – 29 Dec 2003

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From the Back Cover

  • Co-authors are the world-renowned inventor of markup languages and a developer of the W3C XML Schema specification
  • Detailed coverage of Office 2003 Professional XML features, plus all the XML knowledge you need to use them
  • Learn to edit your XML document with Word, analyze its data with Excel, store it with Access, and publish it to the Web with FrontPage®
  • Build dynamic custom XML forms with the remarkable new InfoPath™ 2003—structured data collection with word processing flexibility
From the Foreword by Jean Paoli, Microsoft XML Architect and co-editor of the W3C XML specification:

“XML enabled the transfer of information from server to server and server to client, even in cross-platform environments. But the desktop, where documents are created and analyzed by millions of information workers, could not easily participate. Business-critical information was locked inside data storage systems or individual documents, forcing companies to adopt inefficient and duplicative business processes.

“This is a book on re-inventing the way millions of people write and interact with documents. It succeeds in communicating the novel underlying vision of Office 2003 XML while focusing on task-oriented, hands-on skills for using the product.”

Desktop XML affects every Office 2003 Professional Edition user!

It transforms millions of desktop computers from mere word processors into rich clients for Web services, editing front-ends for XML content management systems, and portals for XML-based application integration.

And this book shows you how to benefit from it. You’ll learn exactly what XML can do for you, and you’ll master its key concepts, all in the context of the Office products you already know and use.

With 200 tested and working code and markup examples and over 150 screenshots and illustrations from the actual shipped product (not betas), you’ll see step by step how:

  • Office users can share documents more easily, without error-prone rework, re-keying, or cut-and-paste.
  • Office data from your documents can be captured for enterprise databases.
  • Office documents can be kept up-to-date with live data from Web Services and enterprise data stores.
  • Office solutions can overcome traditional limitations by using XML and Smart Documents.

BONUS XML SKILLS SECTION! All the XML expertise you’ll need, adapted for Office 2003 users from the best-selling Charles F. Goldfarb’s XML Handbook, Fifth Edition: the XML language, XML Schema, XPath, XSLT, Web services … and more!

CD-ROM INCLUDED: Provides a fully functional 60-day trial version of Microsoft InfoPath 2003.

About the Author

CHARLES F. GOLDFARB is the father of XML Technology. He invented SGML, the Standard Generalized Markup Language on which both XML and HTML are based. His XML Handbook is now in its fifth edition, with more than 100,000 copies in print.

PRISCILLA WALMSLEY is a developer of the XML Schema Recommendation on which Office 2003’s XML support is built. She is a consultant specializing in XML architecture and data management, a power user of Microsoft Office, and the author of Definitive XML Schema.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 3 reviews
18 of 20 people found the following review helpful
Using XML in Office 2003 - for technical writers 16 Feb. 2004
By B. Yelverton - Published on
Format: Paperback
In my efforts to learn and understand XML the past year and a half I have come upon a decided lack of interest for the subject among my technical writing colleagues. Single-sourcing with XML has simply been too difficult to set up. You need a DTD or schema (or EDD in FrameMaker) before your can start writing, and style sheets to present it. It seems that XML has mostly been used in web services like on-line shopping.
If tech writers are using XML, it is probably because they were already using FrameMaker with SGML earlier and have just converted their documents to the XML version. Furthermore, if you are not using FrameMaker 7.0 as an authoring tool, you had to find some other new tool, like XMLSpy, Authentic or Veredus, which have many capabilities, but seem "geeky" to a tech writer.
You can't imagine how delighted I was to see this book recommended in a newsletter, because that was the first I'd heard about the XML facilities in Office 2003. When my husband updated to Office 2003, I bought the book to see how it works. To my dismay, I discovered that the XML facilities are only in the Professional edition, so I ordered a 30-day trial version of Office 2003 from Microsoft and started reading.
One of the authors, Charles Goldfarb, has been in on XML since its conception (and birth, way back in 1998!) so he is one of the big XML gurus. Now gurus are not necessarily, by definition, good writers of introductory books. However, Goldfarb has his own series of excellent books, motivating and educating developers and users in the wonders of XML.
This introduction is well structured and well thought out. All the steps are well described and easy to follow. There are even separate XML tutorials to bring beginners up to speed without boring more advanced users. The only difficulty I found is that the book is so richly illustrated that some steps refer to a screen capture on a following page.
Part 1, Introducing Desktop XML, aims to motivate you with "The reason why" it's worth your while to get the 30-day trial version and keep on reading.
Part 2, Working with XML in Office, has you creating XML documents in Word, using external XML data in spreadsheets, exporting and importing XML in Access and creating XML websites in FrontPage. You will also discover how easy it is to import XML data, like zip codes and stock market data, from the Internet. You can download all the code for the examples from [...]
An exciting new feature is a new Microsoft product, InfoPath, which you can use to create "smart" forms. The book includes a CD with a free 60-day trial version. InfoPath can become your front end to XML-enabled databases, or any other data-based XML application. (Note: you have to open the sample InfoPath documents in Design mode, and then publish them to your own computer to be able to see them in action.)
If you have never seen XML before, there is no need to shy away. Goldfarb provides you with all you need to know in Part 3, XML Tutorials, in the back of the book. Each chapter in Part 2 lists the skills you need to understand and perform its activities, with a reference to which tutorial to read prior to the chapter. So, while more experienced readers can start right off, beginners do a tutorial or two in the back of the book before starting each new chapter.
I found working with XML in Office 2003 easy and intuitive. All the information you need is in the Task Pane on the right side of the screen. Just drag tags from the pane to your document. If you want to produce XML quickly, you can even use the built-in Word Markup Language (which catches every bit of Word's complicated style markup). Nevertheless, it is much better to learn what little you need to know to author pure XML in Word, which it does beautifully. XML is an open format that you can import into any other XML document in, say, FrameMaker, InDesign or Quark, so it is worth keeping it pure.
Of course the hard part is making the first decision to actually create a working document in XML. Other than in tutorials and class exercises, I have not gotten there yet. I figure it won't be long before I update my 30-day trial to the real version of Office 2003. It really isn't difficult to get started, because Office 2003 provides you with a number of templates with all the necessary schemas and style sheets, which you can modify for your own use. Now you have to figure out how to convince your employer that this is exactly what you need to make your documentation work more efficient and user friendly.
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
Great guide anyone with a little O2K3 experience can pick up 18 Feb. 2004
By Amazon Customer - Published on
Format: Paperback
With the XML advantages in the Office 2003 suite of applications not being glaringly obvious (at least not to me), I gave this book a whirl. I'm glad I did.

It's consistent in its organization - presenting the capabilities of Word, Excel, Access, FrontPage, and Office forms to use, manage and manipulate XML-based data - first from within the applications themselves, and then from more robust subsystems using Office's embedded Visual Basic for Applications (VBA). It shows how easy it is to manage data by building great apps with simple scripts. (Notably missing was a discussion on the applications of XML within PowerPoint, although I'm admittedly unsure if that's even an issue.)

The book's voice is very friendly and non-intimidating, using chapter around 15-30 pages at most, making for a pleasant, quick reading experience. On this note, I found the Excel chapters and those on WordML especially valuable. As far as the examples themselves, all were practical and easy to replicate locally, whether by menu or through code. There's a healthy lean towards the use of SOAP by making Web services calls for importation of data that's a great addition.

The book also has something I found that many modern programming texts don't - an easy-to-understand explanation of schemas and how to construct them. All books discussing XML obviously make mention of the use of schema, but the vast majority don't explain it well. The authors do a great job of not only explaining schema's role in an app, but also how to build it, which is something newbies will appreciate.

Still, in this day of modern distributed applications and datashaping, I also would have liked to see the VBA-based examples complemented/contrasted with .NET programming concepts and code, working against the APIs for each Office app. Also, one thing I found somewhat annoying was that the code, while complete and hearty, always referenced "in Line 25...and then in Line 30", without marking the lines of code, forcing the reader to manually count-and-mark the lines. This was a minor nuisance, but a nuisance nonetheless.

But the good in this book far outweighs the bad, and the content and examples can be picked up by any level of staffer in the workplace who's familiar with Office apps. It's a great read.
8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
Good, but could use more even level of detail 24 Feb. 2004
By Jack D. Herrington - Published on
Format: Paperback
Mr. Goldfarb is on a tear with yet another book about XML and XML technologies. In this case it's about the integration of XML into Microsoft's Office Suite for 2003. This is an impressive peice of work and it shows through in the book, which is far superior to his XML handbook, though it does suffer from similar problems. Once again the book has aggressively short chapters and has an uneven level of detail. In addition some of the chapters feel like a lift from the handbook, which is not necessarily a bad thing give that they are from the same author. And the book also has a strange organization, for instance leaving the explanation of XML standards and syntax to the last few chapters of the book.
That being said the book is still far better than the XML Handbook. And I think in large part that has to do with the fascinating topic which is Microsoft's excellent work in integrating XML into their products. This is a worthy read, especially if you are a developer looking to leverage the XML capabilities of the Office suite.
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