Document Automation API & DevKit
Ideal for integrators
Produce non–trivial documents directly
from your Web, .NET, and COM applications
Document Automation API and Devkit
Access document automation functionality directly from your .NET, COM, Web, and MS Word applications to produce powerful document–rich solutions.
XpressDox Server RESTful API
The XpressDox RESTful API exposes the full power of XpressDox document automation functionality to your apps.
With this API, you will be able to authenticate your app with your XpressDox Server (own hosted and hosted), explore folders and files, send data, assemble documents, and receive back links to completed documents.
File upload, download and delete functions are also supported.
Using the RESTful API for server–to–server communications will provide you with the most power and control, although it does require some development know–how.
This API would be used specifically where you need to develop a custom user interface to capture data and select templates, but where you would still like to have access to the features made available by the Word Add–in.
Use of this API requires Word to be installed not only for rendering the merged documents, but for some of the other pre– and post–merging functions as well.
The API and documentation are installed along with the installation of the XpressDox Word Add–in. The documentation is provided in the Word document XpressDox In Word API Specification.doc which will have been installed into the My Documents\XpressDox folder the first time Word is loaded after XpressDox has been installed.
The specification document refers to a Word template in the My Documents\XpressDox\Samples folder. This Word template contains some Word VBA macros which demonstrate the usage of some of the XpressDox–in–Word API functions as called from within a VBA macro.
XpressDox API for .NET
Typically you would use this API to embed the XpressDox document automation capability into systems such as accounting, practice management, work flow and any other system where there is a need for creating non trivial documents. The templates used can be sourced from the Windows file system, or from any other source such as a document management system.
If there is no need to render the merged documents on the machine on which the API will operate, then it is not necessary to have Word installed on that system. Word is needed in order to author templates, which in turn requires XpressDox Author, and to render the resulting merged document for printing or reading. The function of merging the template and data that XpressDox performs does not require Word.
The XpressDox API is embedded in the .NET assemblies, which are installed with the Word Add In instance of XpressDox, so no additional software is needed in order to use the API. A sample Visual Studio solution (in C#) can be downloaded, along with formal documentation on the use of the API.
XpressDox API for COM
The second XpressDox API is for use by non .NET developers and it exposes an interface to XpressDox via COM. This interface is very similar to the XpressDox Engine API for .NET, the major difference being that templates are expected to reside somewhere on the Windows file system. This does not mean that they cannot actually be stored in a document management system or database, but that they will have to be moved onto the file system before the COM API will be able to access them.
Similarly to the XpressDox API for .NET, the COM API uses assemblies that are installed along with the Word Add-in instance of XpressDox. It also needs another assembly, which is downloaded and installed along with the XpressDox API in the download process referred to above. The COM API would be used in much the same circumstances as the XpressDox API for .NET.
Using either of the two APIs, you are responsible for creating an XML data set, selecting a template, and storing the merged document created from them. It is necessary to note that much of the functionality available to the XpressDox Word Add–in is NOT available to the API user. This includes the dynamic data capture interview and all the features exposed via the Configuration user interface (e.g. Standard Folders for document and data storage, Data Sources, Standard Data Items, Configuration merging, etc.). All commands that can be coded into templates which refer to these features (i.e. all the Data Capture commands in the Command Editor, as well as Data Source commands and commands in the Advanced document and file handling section of the Command Editor) will be ignored when the template merging is handled via either of the two XpressDox Engine APIs.
However, the XpressDox Devkit, which is a new addition (and can be downloaded from the same place as the API download) will make all of the above exclusions available to the developer—try it and see.
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