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Old 06-14-2005, 07:52 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Microsoft Office Open XML Formats Overview

Microsoft Office Open XML Formats Overview

By default, documents created in the next version of Microsoft Office will be based on new, XML-based file formats. Distinct from the binary-based file format that has been a mainstay of past Office versions, the new Office XML Formats are compact, robust file formats that enable better data integration between documents and back-end systems. An open, royalty-free file format specification maximizes interoperability in a heterogeneous environment, and enables any technology provider to integrate Office documents into their solutions.

The new Office XML Formats introduce a number of benefits not only for developers and the solutions they build, but also for individual users and organizations of all sizes.

Integration of Business Information with Documents
Open and Royalty-free Specification
Compact, Robust File Format
Key Benefits and Functionality

Integration of Business Information with Documents
Office XML Formats enable rapid creation of documents from disparate data sources, accelerating document assembly, data mining, and content reuse. Exchanging data between Office applications and enterprise business systems is simplified—alter information inside an Office document or create a document from scratch using standard tools and technologies; access to Office applications is not required. Employees can improve productivity by publishing, searching, and reusing information more quickly and accurately in the environment they choose.

Open and Royalty-free Specification
Office XML Formats are based on industry standard XML and ZIP technologies, support full integration by any technology provider, and are available via a royalty-free license. The Format specification will be published and made available under the same royalty-free license that exists for the Office 2003 Reference Schemas—openly offered and available for broad industry use.

Compact, Robust File Format
Smaller file sizes and improved recovery of corrupted documents enable Office users to operate efficiently and confidently and reduces the risk of lost information. Office XML Formats use ZIP and compression technologies to store documents offering potential cost savings as it reduces the disk space required to store files and decreases the bandwidth needed to transport files by e-mail, over networks, and across the Web.

Key Benefits and Functionality
• Compact file format. Documents are automatically compressed—up to 75 percent smaller in some cases.

• Improved damaged file recovery. Modular data storage enables files to be opened even if a component within the file is damaged—a chart or table, for example.

• Safer documents. Embedded code—for example, OLE objects or Microsoft Visual Basic for Applications code—is stored in a separate section within the file, so it can be easily identified for special processing. IT Administrators can block the documents that contain unwanted macros or controls, making documents safer for users when they are opened.

• Easier integration. Developers have direct access to specific contents within the file, like charts, comments, and document metadata.

• Transparency and improved information security. Documents can be shared confidentially because personally identifiable information and business sensitive information—user names, comments, tracked changes, file paths—can be easily identified and removed.

• Compatibility. By installing a simple update, users of Office 2000, Office XP, and Office 2003 Editions can open, edit, and save documents in one of the Office XML Formats.
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