I used to live in Dublin (on Mount Street, just above Grafton Street)... I spent many, many days in the Oval pub just off O'Connell street, and I remember every one of those days fondly. Spending two St. Patrick's day holidays in front of the St. Patrick's day Parade in Dublin changed my perspective on the holiday somewhat. When you experience a holiday in its proper context, it really does add a perspective around what is important, and what it means to build and live in a community. When it's all said and done, there may be a lot of talk and banter, but there's no substitute for real action.
Thus, today's post is just a pulse to reset on the broad Open XML support in the industry. It really is great to see how far Open XML has come in such a short period of time. Open XML is experiencing broad uptake from users and developers alike. For end users, the compatibility pack was downloaded 20 million times in its first year of release.
You can find a list of interesting examples of Open XML support in applications
There are 160 solutions listed in Germany alone
Adobe has joined the ranks of companies offering Open XML support in its products:
There are a number of significant case studies for Open XML as well
iT-Workplace (Nottingham, England)
Software vendor iT-Workplace develops online analytical processing (OLAP) reporting solutions for developers and business users in the United Kingdom. In 2007, they released Intelligencia for Microsoft Word 2007 that embeds reporting functionality usually only available in Microsoft Office Excel and database tools into a word processing-based format. Users can simply create a wide-range of business reports using Microsoft Word 2007 skills. Based on the internationally recognized standard, Ecma Office Open XML, the front-end application sources "live" data directly from a Microsoft SQL Server database. When the database is updated, the corresponding data is modified in the Word document, and vice-versa. What's more, this dynamic data can interact with other systems easily exchanging data between office applications and enterprise business systems. Employees can improve productivity by publishing, searching, and reusing information more quickly and accurately in the application they choose, as long as it supports reading and writing XML; developers can write the information about all the data connections into the Word document itself so that when the document is reopened, data integration continues without interruption. There is no need for a separate data file because all the configuration information is written back into the Word document itself. Download PDF case study
Money Partners (United Kingdom)
United Kingdom-based Money Partners deployed X-Merge developed by Dot Net Solutions. It uses the XML file format to help employees and brokers quickly create detailed templates and forms with familiar Microsoft Office Word tools. As a result, the XML-based system is much faster, delivering an impressive throughput of hundreds of documents a minute. In addition, most of the company's business analysts who regularly use Word can now manage templates themselves without expensive development time. Download PDF case study
Florida House of Representatives (Florida, United States)
The Florida House of Representatives has benefitted from using Office Open XML file formats when they incorporated a pilot project using Microsoft Office 2007 system. Prior, they were finding that during their debate process multiple amendments to bills made by senators were creating delays to the process and errors. Office Open XML helped them complete their tasks 60% faster, with fewer errors, reduced training costs, and provided a more effective search capability solution. Download PDF case study
Skyfish, Inc. (Japan)
Skyfish, Inc., is a software application development company based in Japan and a certified member of the Microsoft Accessible Technology Vendor Program (MATvp). MATvp is aimed at those companies that design, develop, and provide support for accessible technology products that satisfy the needs of schools and corporations who have customers and users with disabilities or functional limitations. Skyfish recently added JukeDoX, a document file reader software product for the visually impaired, to their line of products. JukeDoX was built on Open XML technology and only took a half a year to develop—a much shorter development period than initially budgeted for. According to Skyfish, data can be safely written and JukeDoX has excellent interoperability due to Open XML technology. Download PDF case study
MS Technology, Inc. (Charlotte, North Carolina, USA)
MS Technology is a software development company that specializes in imaging and image-processing technology for primarily High Tech and Electronics Manufacturing customers in India and the United States. In 2006, their customers demanded a platform-independent document format and better safeguards against corrupted files in two of their products, MSTViewer and MSTJavaViewer, which give users the ability to open different file formats, save documents in different formats, and annotate documents. As of October 2007, about 12 enterprise customers in India—each with nearly 50,000 worldwide users—take advantage of support for Open XML in the MS Technology MSTViewer and MSTJavaViewer. The results have been greater time savings and cost savings, better handling of corrupted documents, decreased storage needs, and increased choice for improved customer satisfaction. The company plans to officially release its Open XML-ready products in December 2007 and also plans to use Open XML in its reporting mechanism as the company moves into the medical imaging industry. Download PDF case study
These are partners of Microsoft who offer some level of support for Open XML within their solutions. This would include SharePoint products, technologies and services, Office client related products and services and so on. If you use the search from the screen shot below (select Open XML from the technology list and leave everything else blank). You should get 100+ solutions here as well.
No matter how you look at it, Open XML is becoming an integral part of many, many products. The widespread use of Open XML underscores its importance as an international standard. Take this into consideration next time your favorite blogger or website claims otherwise. J
Chris Capossela, SVP at Microsoft (somewhere high in the altitude of my management chain) has published