M$ keep the file layout for ms word docs hidden. you may have noticed that other office suites that attempt to read a word document sometimes get it wrong, thats because they are doing best guess's as to how they think M$ save their word files & the M$ often change the file formats just to mess up the competition (aka sabotage releases).
QT C++ application (platform independent libraries, will run on windows, linux, unix & macs
) front end to a simple MySQL database
QT = free, MySQL = free, commerically viable, proven and more reliable that 'that other' company