Microsoft Details Support for ODF in Office 2007 SP2


by Peter Galli on December 17, 2008 09:29pm

Microsoft has released documentation that details the implementation of the Open Document Format in Office 2007 Service Pack 2, which is available at no cost on the Document Interoperability Initiative (DII) Web site.

This, along with the soon-to-be-released Open XML notes, gives developers insight into how Microsoft is implementing file formats in Office.

The release of these notes is significant as they explain the reasons behind some of the decisions made in the implementation, thereby being open and transparent so that developers can make informed choices in their own implementations.

We know that our customers care deeply about interoperability and the ability that brings to share and exchange documents across different applications. But that requires participation, transparency and collaboration among vendors, which is already happening.

These notes help promote interoperability by providing details that others can use as reference points for their own applications, and include information about which attributes and elements are supported, as well as details about how Office functionality maps to specific constructs in the ODF specification. 

With regard to what is in the implementation notes, Doug Mahugh, a Microsoft senior program manager who specializes in Office interoperability, points out in a PressPass article that bold text is one good example, since the ODF specification supports a wider variety of "font weight," or boldness, than other formats supported by Word.

"Therefore, we sometimes adjust the font weight in a document to match the specific values that Word supports. The implementation note on this topic will help other implementers understand the coding behind that adjustment," he says.

Microsoft will also be publishing, over the next few months, implementation notes for ECMA-376 (Open XML) in Office 2007.

If you want to read more on this subject, a number of articles have appeared in the press, including at eWeek and InformationWeek, both of which are based on interviews with Doug Mahugh.

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