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Friday, March 14, 2008

Microsoft Releasing OOXML SDK

The Office Open XML (OOXML) format may not have gotten ISO's final
blessing as an open standard yet, but Microsoft is finalizing plans
to release a software development kit for it anyway. Microsoft plans
to put out the final beta of the OOXML SDK next month, and release
Version 1.0 in May, according to Doug Mahugh, a technical evangelist
at Microsoft. The final SDK beta and related information will be
available at,, and The SDK will enable developers to write applications
that can open, read, and otherwise work with OOXML documents, or port
existing applications that work with documents in older Microsoft
formats over to OOXML, Mahugh said. Moreover, the SDK will "put
Microsoft on the hook to keep your app in line with the OOXML standard"
as it changes, he said. For instance, if national members of ISO
decide at the end of this month to approve the OOXML specification --
which has been changed substantially since its failure to pass in
September 2007 -- those changes will be reflected in Version 1.0 of
the SDK, Mahugh said. And Microsoft would continue to update the SDK
to make sure that applications built with it remained compliant with
an Open XML standard as changes were made in the future, he said.
Microsoft first released a Community Technology Preview of the SDK
last June. It is targeted at developers of business intelligence,
content management and other applications in the Office and SharePoint
ecosystem. Microsoft also offers an API for packaging OOXML for
developers who need "more low-level control" over their code, Doug
Mahugh said. More Information

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