Open XML links for 10-02-2007

Oliver Bell's "Open XML: Custom Schema Support" describes how Open XML features like OPC (Open Packaging Convention) and custom XML parts can be used to embed business data in documents. His example is based on a health care scenario, and includes a video demo that's like an art movie, complete with French subtitles. :-)

Speaking of French, if those subtitles made perfect sense to you then you might want to check out Julien Chable's take on custom XML, the "partie de l'iceberg." The extensibility mechanisms described in part 5 of the spec allow developers to customize or extend Open XML while maintaining compatibility with existing documents and implementations. This is an interesting area for innovation that hasn't been explored much yet.

Austrian blogger mszCool has some great Open XML posts and code samples that I missed over the summer. "Generating Word Documents on the Server (Part 2)" shows how to generate a document with databound content controls in a table, including the code for dynamic creation of table rows that bind to unique nodes in a custom XML part.

A new case study on discusses how Workshare, an ISV in the United Kingdom, recently added Open XML support to their Protect Enterprise product. Protect Enterprise filters email messages and attachments to determine whether they contain content or metadata that violates company policies. After implementing support for the binary Office formats and then Open XML, chief software architect Robin Glover says the complexity of the binary formats made them "far more work [to support] than we had to put into developing the Office XML version.”

Dare Obasanjo has a fun post today entitled "It Must Be a Fun Time to Work on Microsoft Office." As usual, Dare is a great example of the fact that everyone at Microsoft chants the party line and dissent is never allowed. (Which reminds me: where are the bloggers from other large technology companies who speak as freely about their employer as Microsoft bloggers do?) I suppose it won't surprise anyone to hear that I agree with Kip's comments on Dare's post about the value of a rich client. I'm looking forward to using Office Live Workspaces for cloud storage, but after spending so much time lately on airplanes and in places where a reliable or responsive internet connection isn't an option, I've become an even bigger fan of offline client software.

Jeremey Allison over at Tux Deluxe muses on the Definition of Insanity , and in the resulting conversation Rick Jelliffe tells another commenter that "the choice isn't between MS adopting ODF or adopting OOXML, the choice is whether MS should have their native format documented, IP-clear, vetted and standardized or have them completely free as a bird." Rick, per our usual agreement I'll be dropping another million-dollar check in the mail for arguing against our freedom. Thanks!