Office Research Services

In Office 2003,
Microsoft Office applications now include a Research task pane that allows users
to search for information through the Web or a corporate data source from
directly within the application. Now users can access corporate data and work
with their research information right alongside their reports, charts and other


Search results
can be pulled into the document without switching applications, and through the
use of smart tags, the data source can provide a variety of actions beyond the
typical copy/paste of HTML that a web search would do.


Here are some
neat examples:


Amazon Research Services for Microsoft Office System
allows you to search for Amazon products from within Microsoft Word or Excel
documents, and to insert product information and footnotes into documents and


Chris Kunicki
from OfficeZealot published the article

Build Your Own Research Library with Office 2003 and the Google Web Service API
on the Office section of MSDN.  This is a fun example to walk through to
see how an Office Research Service works, and allow one-click access to Google
searches from within your Office applications.


There are some
cool examples in specific industries as well.  Here are a couple of
examples in Healthcare:

Research Service
created by Gold Standard Multimedia
allows you to search their Clinical
Pharmacology Drug database to pull up all kinds of drug information, including
images and drug interactions, and insert them into Office documents.


Ovid has an Office Research Service that allows you to search across over
900 medical specialty journals, for Medical topics.


has more listings of these types of services.


Finally, there
are some great articles on how to get started building Research Services for
Office.  It is essentially defined in a WSDL with a few operations and data


Research and Reference in Microsoft Office 2003 on TechNet


Microsoft Office Developer Center - Research Services