In the first week of March we ran a series of Architect forums on Office Business Applications (OBA ) architecture and some options for architects on how to tap into the ever increasingly open architecture of the Microsoft Office suite. A major part of this forum was the discussion and demonstration of actual ECMA Open/XML implementations and the benefits they have produced.
The demonstrations of ECMA Open/XML implementations by Intergen (James Newton-King on Textglow) and Quantate (Brendan Jones on their Risk Management system) were performed by the actual developers who described how they used the specification to code their solutions. So much for any assertions that the ECMA Open/XML specification is too complex to implement. That is unless of course Wellington New Zealand is an international enigma in this regard (both James and Brendan are Wellingtonians). Come to think of it certain residents of our fair (allbeit often windy) city did manage to do ‘Lord of the Rings’ from the ‘specification’ and as I recall a bunch of folk said that was impossible as well.
Anyway – I digress, fact is using specifications isn’t always the most expedient way to develop solutions and in the interests of re-use and moving forward I saw some excellent material come out this week on the Open XML SDK. There is now a Roadmap and a version 2 release due in May that will assist other organisations, developers and implementations perform the same sort of functional, leveraging implementations of ECMA Open XML like those of Intergen’s Textglow and Quantates Risk management software.
Additional details are available here : http://openxmldeveloper.org/archive/2008/03/13/OpenXMLSDK.aspx