I spent most of this week away from my comfort zone in web development and deeply immersed in the world of desktop application development. One of my main roles at work is to build and maintain an application for tracking our jobs. The details of which are unimportant at the present time.

One of the things I’ve been working on recently is ASP.NET code for automating the process of building job documents. In essence, the data exists in a SQL Server db and I want to dump it to where it goes in a Word Document. This really is not all that difficult with the use of “bookmarks” in Word. Where it becomes a problem is the setup of your IIS webserver and the execution of your ASP.NET code. I’ve tried and tried to get it working to no avail.

I’ve even tried the sample applications provided by Microsoft and they won’t run properly. I already knew how to do this in a Win32 world so I abandoned all hope of achieving this via the web and I am building a simple little tray application for generating these documents. Once I am done, I may turn it into some sort of tutorial as it really can be quite helpful to automate some of the redundant work that your employees are doing and it goes a long way to proving to people just how much time you are saving them.

As much as I enjoy coding for the web, there is something refreshing about a change of scenery. I need to come up with a short list of small desktop applications so I can work on them when I am really struggling with web work some days.