Method 2

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   If you are not quite so adept as this 'databasing' and 'merge field' stuff, read on.

   We handle most linking to databasing by a bit of 'cheating.' We cheat by creating a document (called a 'bridge') that contains all of the information needed to establish a link between a document that you have created for use with Pathagoras and the external data when you are ready to 'personalize' the document. The bridge is simply a blank '.dot' or '.dotx' file. The sole purpose of this file is to serve as the portal into the external database. We call on the bridge document anytime we need to link to the database. (That's the 'cheating' part. Except for the first time we directly connect to the database as we create the bridge, we don't actually directly connect to the database again. We use the data of the bridge to do that for us.)

   The information contained in the bridge document is not anything that you have to type or generate. Pathagoras will do that for you. Pathagoras simply uses that bridge document to make all future connections to the data source.

   You then need to create or modify your source text so that it contains appropriate merge fields at appropriate locations. These merge fields are the place holders that, when the final document is 'bridged' to the data source, will contain the actual data from the data source. ('Source text' is the base language which you use to assemble document in the future.)

   When it is time to assemble a document for a client or customer, you follow standard 'Pathagorean' document assembly techniques (i.e, select a document from a DropDown List, or assemble a document from a display of available clauses via the Clause Selection screen.) After the document is assembled, you would then connect it to the data source using the 'bridge.'

   If any plain text [variables] resided in the source documents (to capture data not present in the external source), process them using Instant Database. (See 'best of both worlds' discussion at this link.)

   The process for creating the bridge template is slightly different for Word 2000-2003 and Word 2007. Each process is set out separately below.