If you want to read files using server-side script then you can use the FileSystemObject
on an IIS server.
If you want to read files on a server using client-side script then it's unlikely to work. You'd need to have a very low security setting on the browser and the files would need to be on a share. Another possibility is to allow WebDAV requests on the server combined with the XmlHttpRequest.
Joe (Microsoft MVP - XML