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OASIS seeks specs for office app integration

The Boston-based OASIS consortium (http://www.oasis-open.org) has formed a technical committee charged with creating an open, XML-based file format specification that officials promise will allow communication between office applications from multiple vendors.

The so-called Open Office XML Format Technical Committee includes officials from a variety of companies, including Arbortext, Boeing, Corel, Drake Certivo and Sun Microsystems. The unit is charged first with creating standardizing data for content creation and management applications, said committee Chairman Michael Brauer of Sun. Subsequent phases of the effort will look to simplify the exchange of data between different XML applications, including business processes, Web services, databases, search engines and the like.

Their work will be suitable for documents containing text, spreadsheets, charts and graphs, and will retain high-level information for editing, Brauer said.

''Our goal is to achieve consensus on an open standard that will protect content -- whether it is an 800-page airplane specification or a legal contract -- from being locked into a proprietary file format,'' Brauer said.

OASIS officials said Sun has agreed to contribute the XML file format specification utilized in the OpenOffice.org 1.0 project to the new OASIS Technical Committee under reciprocal royalty-free terms. Sun describes OpenOffice.org as an Open Source office productivity suite that can work transparently with various file formats to document sharing by users of varying office suites.

About the Author

Mike Bucken is former Editor-in-Chief of Application Development Trends magazine.

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