Here's a question I've dealt with for the last couple of days:
How does Word communicate with MOSS when a document is accessed from a document library? And better yet – How can we imitate/change this default Office Client-Server behavior? This is especially important for Offline Application that needs to preserve the MOSS-Word connection although the file is opened from the local cache (usually file system).
So what is the big Office secret you ask? Is it WSS? Perhaps RPC or FP RPC? Could it be Web Services or plain HTTP that does the trick? And does WebDAV have a part in this too?! Common Man – TELL ME!!! Well, the answer is pretty simple but nevertheless annoying – it uses all of the above. This is usually defined by the version of Word and the particular integration functionality that is being exercised.
Anyway, if you dig this issue and want to know more – you need to be familiar with the Windows SharePoint Services RPC Protocol. This protocol can be used in Win32-based applications or in ASPX applications to make HTTP POST requests to the server. Methods in this protocol that do not modify the contents of the database can also be used in URL protocol to make HTTP GET requests. I would suggest the following links to get started on this issue. Oh, and you should know your way around CAML if you want to accomplish anything with WSS RPC.
- Complete list of all available WSS RPC Methods
- How to: Post Windows SharePoint Services RPC Methods
- Error Message Format for WSS – Sadly, you will use this link a whole bunch of times.
This is not a very simple issue but it is a very powerful one. I highly recommend going over the links once just to see what can be done using the WSS RPC protocol. You could use it in pretty much everywhere in MOSS and sometimes it can be a a great alternative when all else fails. As some smart dude once said – the blue pill will open ur mind…