If I didn't have this third party software how would I run my scripts?
I'm thinking I would need to somehow load up an indesign template file, text file (maybe Word doc) and images to the server, and here's the mysterious bit, get the script to spill the text and images into the template to create the indd file. What would this mysterious bit be? Knowledge in C++?
There's many ways to interact with IDS. Did you download the SDK?
Yes, but have only glanced over it lightly. I've got a few weeks of holidays coming up so I guess I'll be reading it more thoroughly.