Chapter 21. Py at Work

“Business!” cried the Ghost, wringing its hands again. “Mankind was my business…”

Charles Dickens, A Christmas Carol

The businessman’s uniform is a suit and tie. But before he can get down to business, he tosses his jacket over a chair, loosens his tie, rolls up his sleeves, and pours some coffee. Meanwhile, the business woman has already been getting work done. Maybe with a latte.

In business and government, we use all of the technologies from the earlier chapters—databases, the web, systems, and networks. Python’s productivity is making it more popular in the enterprise and with startups.

Organizations have long fought incompatible file formats, arcane network protocols, language lock-in, and the universal lack of accurate documentation. They can create faster, cheaper, stretchier applications by using with tools such as these:

  • Dynamic languages like Python

  • The web as a universal graphical user interface

  • RESTful APIs as language-independent service interfaces

  • Relational and NoSQL databases

  • “Big data” and analytics

  • Clouds for deployment and capital savings

The Microsoft Office Suite

Business is heavily dependent on Microsoft Office applications and file formats. Although they are not well known, and in some cases poorly documented, there are some Python libraries that can help. Here are some that process Microsoft Office documents:


This library creates, reads, and writes Microsoft Office Word 2007 .docx files.


This ...

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