I am pretty excited about our release of the ECMA-376 Implementer Notes. These notes provide a wealth of information that are very useful to developers who are writing code that interoperates with Office. I have been working with Open XML for quite some time now and there are many days that I look back and wish that I had these notes to help aid me in my development. Here is a quick example.

In this example we will create a simple Excel spreadsheet with one workbook and three worksheets, using the Open XML Format SDK 2.0. We start with some code to create the document.

Before we go write a bunch of code to place values into cells, we can first go to the Document Interop Initiative website to learn about the restrictions that Excel places on values in cells.

We can navigate to the ECMA-376 standard outline by clicking References, then selecting the ECMA-376 1st Edition item from the menu.

We then use the left navigation to expand Part 4, Section v (Cell Value) and click on this node to see the details for this section of the standard. While on that page, we see that there is a View Notes button indicating that there are implementer notes.

We click the View Notes button to open a popup window that displays the notes that implementers have added for this section of the specification. While there, we see a note, from Microsoft, that explains that Office 2007 places value restrictions.

We expand this note, by clicking the blue "..." icon at the end of the note preview. And... voila! We see the restrictions that Excel places on the values of a cell.

This is really great!

This is just a short post to introduce the ECMA-376 Implementer Notes and show how it can help enable implementers to achieve great interoperability with Office. I hope you are having a great day!