One of my earliest projects involving Word began as a simple task to create internal “credit write-ups” (write-ups) for a banking institution. These write-ups involved a detailed analysis of the credit worthiness of businesses that were applying for lines of credit and term loans. The write-up contained various sections: business information, guarantor information, collateral description and evaluation, inventory description and analysis, accounts receivable information, principal information and financial statement analysis.
Procedurally, the information was typed into a Word document and passed through the various channels until “the deal” was either approved or rejected. In the case of an approval, all of the information was then retrieved from the Word document and manually entered into the backend database solution.
The project, as originally conceived, was to write a complex application to parse the Word document, extract the appropriate data and populate the database accordingly. We discussed this solution at length and recommended a “Document Assembly” approach to the business as an alternative. Unstructured Word documents were simply to difficult to parse in a reliable fashion. However, we could let the users enter the data in a very long series of conditional UserForms. The data would be collected and when complete, a document (the original write-up) would be created to memorialize the transaction and receive the appropriate signatures. Once the data was complete, it was a simple manner of transferring said data to the backend database and the need for an entire department was eliminated. The original solution was driven by VBA and designed as a Word template (you can find the original (with trade secret and proprietary data omitted) at http:///www.docbuilder.com/downloads/Sample Large Template.zip). This was in 1997.
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