well i am guessing here based on what the OP has posted so far: they like using web pages at that company.
I have seen this kind of thinking many times before Charles. for example i worked at one point on an app for a fairly large business and the app had to get data from 2 different web sites by driving websites around ( lot's of crazy code doing web posts / gets and forms) to then get them to send back comma delimited data replies that i then had to clean up and import the data into a database.
the suppliers did not have a simple way to pull a data feed any other way, they included FedEx. the data was not the normal shipping data, this had to do with cargo ships bills of lading originating in china coming to ports on the US east coast.
when i was brought in the app did not automate importing the data, humans had to follow a 25 to 30 step manual process. errors in that process did not show up for weeks.... i made it a 5 step process that reduced the errors and the time it took them.
it took 2 months to get them to ok using .net on 3 computers to run the app.
as a consultant i had to play nice and get the staff happy with the idea, in the end they loved what i was doing and all that but then the business was sold and we all moved on to other stuff.
this was a business that had probably 10,000 desktop pc's running Windows 2000 Pro in 2005-2006