Announcing the Open XML Format SDK April CTP

We are glad to announce that the Open XML Format SDK April CTP is available!

You can download the new SDK from here:

http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?FamilyId=AD0B72FB-4A1D-4C52-BDB5-7DD7E816D046&displaylang=en

You can also find and online version of the SDK on the MSDN Library:

http://msdn2.microsoft.com/en-us/library/bb448854.aspx

Also, you can find permanent links to both the download and online version at the XML in Office Developer Portal and at the Office Open XML Formats Resource Center.

What is the Open XML Format SDK?

For those of you who are not familiar with this SDK, here's a brief intro.

The Open XML Format SDK Technology Preview simplifies the task of manipulating Open XML packages. The Open XML Application Programming Interface (API) encapsulates many common tasks that developers perform on Open XML packages, so you can perform complex operations with just a few lines of code. Using this API, you can programmatically generate and manipulate Word 2007 documents, Excel 2007 spreadsheets, and PowerPoint 2007 presentations. The programming model uses managed code, so it's safe for server-side scenarios.

The Open XML Format SDK also provides how-to articles and reference documentation that can help you get started with Open XML programming.

What's New in the Open XML Format SDK April CTP?

For those of you that have been working with the June 2007 CTP, here's a brief list of what's new with the April CTP:

Product names and editorial changes

1. The name of the SDK is "Open XML Format SDK" instead of "Microsoft SDK for Open XML Formats."

2. We changed all references of "Open XML object model" to "Open XML Application Programming Interface (API)."

API Changes

  1. Move AddNewPart<T>() from class OpenXmlPart to OpenXmlPartContainer class
  2. Add overload AddNewPart<T>() that receives a relationship Id parameter as input
  3. Support LINQ annotations on parts
  4. Move three document enumerations from namespace Microsoft.Office.DocumentFormat.OpenXml.Packaging to Microsoft.Office.DocumentFormat.OpenXml
  5. Naming changes for some objects

This release also includes support for cool C# 3.0 and VB.NET 9.0 features, such as LINQ Annotations.

If you want to see more detailed information, see What's New in the Open XML Format SDK April Technology Preview .

Future of the SDK

The Open XML API will release in two versions. Open XML API Version 1.0 is the updated version of the CTP in June 2007 and will only contain the Open XML Packaging API. Open XML API Version 2.0 will contain all of the Open XML API components, including the Open XML Packaging API with further updates. It will enforce validity of the content either in the original Open XML documents or being generated through this API. The purpose of this plan is to give out the long awaited Go-Live license of the existing Open XML Packaging API to external developers.

We need your feedback

The April 2008 CTP release has improvements based on customer feedback provided by the field and MVPs.

For the May 2008 release of the Open XML API Version 1.0, we also plan to incorporate customer feedback to improve the SDK. If you have comments about the API or documentation, please use the following two resources:

  1. MSDN Forum: Open XML Format SDK: Use the forum to ask questions and provide suggestions. The product team is monitoring and moderating this forum.
  2. MSDN Library: Open XML Format SDK (Online version) Wiki: The online version of the SDK is Wiki enabled. This allows you to add comments and report bugs you find on documentation. To leave comments, use the "Add Community Content" link located at the bottom of each topic.

Additional Resources

I recommend you monitor the following blogs for more news about the Open XML Format SDK:

More code samples: OpenXmlDeveloper.org site

You can also watch Zeyad's and Eric's interview to learn more about the future of the Open XML Format SDK.

Have fun with the April CTP!