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A case study in open XML document standards Rick Jelliffe. Overview of Open XML . Overview. Why Open XML? Controversy! Current status of Ecma 376 at ISO Why are standards important? What are the different standards bodies for? Introduction to Ecma 376 Adoption issues.

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Overview l.jpg

  • Why Open XML?

  • Controversy!

  • Current status of Ecma 376 at ISO

  • Why are standards important?

  • What are the different standards bodies for?

  • Introduction to Ecma 376

  • Adoption issues

Why open xml l.jpg

(Based on slides by courtesy of Microsoft)

Why Open XML?

Importance of interoperability l.jpg

Achieve industry alignment using standardized technologies.

Enable data interoperability between documents, applications and systems.

Capture and reuse information to and from many data sources.

Build intelligent applications that improve data context and quality.

Importance of Interoperability

Shared service oriented architecture

(fx http, XML, SOAP, WSDL, UDDI)


Slide5 l.jpg
Interoperability for DocumentsThe role of XML-based document formats in the Microsoft® Office system

Business Process Efficiency

Improved Data Access

Business requirements

Company standards

Customer details, Costs

Web service


intelligent receipt

Efficient capture

Validated information

Query & extract





Document Assembly

Searching &



Auto-creating a

polished document


XML structure

Data and presentation



RFP Content


Document Archival

Archived & consumed long into the future

without vendor-specific clients or applications

Xml based formats enable you to do things you couldn t before l.jpg
XML-based formats enable you to do things you couldn’t before

  • Better value from existing infrastructure

    • Information security

    • Regulatory and process compliance

    • Information integration

    • Retention, discovery and content management

    • Documents as digital assets – what are you worth?

    • Legacy documents & archives

    • Lifecycle cost vs. Implementation cost

Documents that manage themselves

Managing documents with systems

Enabling the future without sacrificing the past l.jpg
Enabling the future without sacrificing the past before

  • Understanding IT impact of XML-based formats

    • Application compatibility

    • Layout and rendering fidelity

    • Deployment & migration

    • Existing solutions / integrations

    • Storage & bandwidth

Enabling the future

Preserving Legacy

Different scenarios of xml based formats l.jpg
Different scenarios of XML-based formats before

  • Past

    • preservation and archiving

  • Present

    • fidelity versus interchange

  • Future

    • document engineering and systems integration

Claims l.jpg
Claims before

  • Open XML developed (too fast, too recently) to stop ODF adoption

  • Ecma is a second-rate “rent-a-standard” organization

  • Not open standard

  • Three month review too little time

  • Open XML contradicts other ISO standards

  • ISO officials bribed or pressured

Why i support open xml l.jpg
Why I support Open XML before

  • Document processing systems need published, stable standards

  • Plurality: spectrum of interoperability

  • Technical excellence

  • Engaging Microsoft

  • Pro-Open XML does not = anti-ODF!

  • Cross-breeding

Current status l.jpg

Ecma 376 at ISO before

Current Status

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Four Phases of Standards before

  • Development

  • Drafting

  • Ratification

  • Maintenance

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Typical: ISO Schematron before

  • Development

    • By individual

    • 5 years

  • Drafting

    • By editor appointed by ISO/IEC SC34 WG1committee

    • 2 year

  • Ratification

    • 1year

  • Maintenance

    • New version in preparation

    • 5 year ISO review

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Fast Track: ISO Open XML before

  • Development

    • By Microsoft

    • 3 years

  • Drafting

    • By editor appointed by Ecma TC45 committee

    • 1 year

  • Ratification

    • 1 year ?

  • Maintenance

    • Through Ecma ?

    • 5 year ISO review

Status at iso l.jpg
Status at ISO before

  • Administrative review: 1 month √

    • Ecma response: +1 month √

    • ISO response: +1 month √

  • Draft review: 5 months …

  • Draft ballot: 2 months

    • Collection and review

    • Ballot resolution: + 2 months

  • Final Draft review & ballot: +1 month

Technical standards l.jpg

Why are they important? before

Technical Standards

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The basis of the internet economy before

Standards for:

  • Character sets

  • Data and connection protocols

  • Web locations and resource metadata

  • Media: HTML, XML, JPEG, etc

  • Web services

  • Vocabularies

What is a technical standard l.jpg
What is a technical standard? before

  • An agreement

  • Between participating stakeholders and experts

  • With a market requirement

  • In a particular form

  • Developed with a fair process

  • With appropriate licensing and IP status

  • Suitable for public adoption

  • Periodically reviewed for maintenance or withdrawal

What are they for l.jpg
What are they for? before

  • Library of technologies

  • Niche and major markets

  • Corporate and regulatory adoption

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Win-Win before

  • ISO processes

  • Secretariat tasked to keep process in order, not to do the work of committees or usurp the votes of NBs

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Are standards laws? before

  • Contrast with technical standards for health and safety

  • Legislators may adopt voluntary standards

  • Governments may be under treaty obligations, to promote standards, but need economic proof

  • With overlapping standards, no obligation to allow all of them

  • Standard as barrier to trade ?

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Can standards overlap? before

  • ISO 8879 example?

    • Morphs into HTML at IETF the W3C

  • ISO Book 12083?

    • Replaced by OASIS Docbook


    • Morphed into XSL at W3C


    • From Adobe


    • From W3C


    • From OASIS

  • ISO Office Open XML

    • From Ecma

Technical standards bodies l.jpg

What are they do? before

Technical Standards Bodies

Bodies l.jpg
Bodies before

  • NB – national

  • ISO – international

  • IEC – electrical

  • IEEE – electronic

  • IETF – internet

  • Unicode – characters

  • W3C – web

  • OASIS – information

  • Ecma – industry

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Co-operation and Competition before

  • Example of SGML and XML

    • ISO -> W3C -> ISO

  • Example of DSDL Character Repertoire

    • W3C -> ISO

  • Example of Schematron assertions

    • ISO -> W3C

Organization l.jpg
Organization before

  • Secretariat

  • JTC1

  • SC34

  • WG1

  • National bodies

  • Liasons

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Ecma Office Open XML before

  • Specifications published by Ecma International TC-45.

  • Freely available for download and implementation

  • TC-45 is comprised of many companies, chaired by Microsoft – Apple, Toshiba, Novell, Statoil, and others

  • Microsoft offers the Open Specification Promise to alleviate IP-related concerns for the Open XML formats

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Five Parts + Schemas before

  • Introduction

  • Open Packaging Conventions

  • Primer

  • Reference

    • WordprocessingML

    • SpreadsheetML

    • DrawingML

    • Presentation ML

    • VML (legacy)

    • SharedML

  • Extensibility

  • Schemas

Very large l.jpg
Very large! before

Ecma 376 (2006):

  • 4000 normative pages

    • Detailed: 50 pages of border illustrations

    • Repetitive: type definitions

  • 2000 informativepages

    • More tutorial than normal ISO style

ODF 1.0 (2006):

  • 760 normative pages

    ODF 1.1 (2007)

    ODF 1.2 (2008)

    ODF 1.3 (2009)?

  • 0 informative pages

    Plus non-standard

    • SVG 720p

    • MathML 660

    • SMIL 530

    • Open Formula 370

    • XForms 150

    • XLink 35

    • ZIP

Slide36 l.jpg
Open XML Formats Architecture beforeModular format improves developer capabilities with minimal user impact

Office “file”

Operates identically to any other Windows desktop file. User sees and interacts with the desktop file exactly as they do with today.

Internal operation

Different types of data within each file stored as discreet, ZIP-compressed XML components

Users would not see these components unless they un-ZIP the file to view the document parts

Applications and systems could modify and extract individual parts without using Office applications

The corruption or absence of any part would not prohibit the file from being opened

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Adoption Issues before

(Slides by courtesy of Microsoft)

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Adoption in major Office suites before

  • 2007 Microsoft Office system - Default Save Format is Open XML (+ free updates for Office 2000, XP, 2003) – Dec 2006/Jan 2007

  • Open Office – Novell announcement of support of Open XML in Open Office – Novell edition

  • Corel announcement of support of Open XML - Availability mid 2007

File format compatibility ensuring free document exchange with prior office releases l.jpg

Office XP, 2003 will open, edit and save new Office formats before

Will recognize new Word, Excel and PowerPoint file format extensions

Enables users to Open XML Formats across multiple versions

Windows 2000 SP4 and later can convert between binary and Open XML Formats

Office 2007 users can change the default file format if desired

Current .doc, .xls, .ppt file formats will be supported in 2007 Office system

Default file format can be set by users during deployment or after

Advanced policy controls for enabling and disabling the use of specific formats

File Format CompatibilityEnsuring Free Document Exchange With Prior Office Releases

For more information l.jpg

www.microsoft.com/office/preview before





For more information