Re: The dream of auto-updates

Subject: Re: The dream of auto-updates
From: "Chuck Martin" <cm -at- writeforyou -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Thu, 18 Mar 2004 10:24:07 -0800

<technical -at- theverbalist -dot- com> wrote in message news:232720 -at- techwr-l -dot- -dot- -dot-
> What I've got is a looooong document that shows the names of about 250
> business objects (for example, DogContactMethod) and then the elements of
> that transaction (<name>, <leashrattle>,<"who wants a cookie?">). Now the
name of the business object stays the
> same from release to release, but the elements associated with it are
> often added to, subtracted from, and otherwise changed (add <whistle> to
the list
> of elements, delete <name>). Currently, the method for keeping those
> updated are for my poor SME to spend hours cuttin' and pastin' relevant
> info from the DTD into a Word doc and sending them on to me to include in
> the doc. She'd like to change the way things are done, and so would
> I--poor girl works too hard as it is.
> What I can get, that might be useful, is a doc from the database guy that
> lists the business object name, and the current elements associated with
> it. However, the doc is generated from the database all in Normal style.
> Is there any way of setting up ref fields, or something else, in my doc
> to, for example, find DogContactMethod in the generated doc, and bring
> back all the elements listed underneath it? I'm working with Word 2000,
> and I've got Access, but not a clue how to use it (always like to learn
> new toys, though).

While there are probably a number of approaches, one you might consider (and
I'm not expert at it, although I've done some dabbling) is to use Word
variables. In the scenario you describe, if the doc you get from the
database guy is consistently formatted (in terms of how the data is
organized, not what styles are applied), you (or someone) should be able to
write a VBA program that reads the content from that file, parses it, then
uses that information to update the document variables.

Word's variable functions probably aren't as robust as FrameMaker (nor as
often used), but they are there, and you can define all the variables you
need for a document in addition to the standard ones that exist for every

Chuck Martin
User Assistance & Experience Engineer
twriter "at" sonic "dot" net

"I see in your eyes the same fear that would take the heart of me. The day
may come when the courage of Men fail, when we forsake our friends and
break all bonds of fellowship. But it is not this day! This day, we fight!"
- Aragorn

"All you have to decide is what to do with the time that is given you."
- Gandalf


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