Open XML at the Microsoft Office Developer Conference 2008

Hi there!

I am very excited to be here in San Jose, CA attending the Office Developer Conference 2008. We had a keynote this morning with Bill Gates where he showed a video with his plans for retirement and where he talked about the value proposition of the 2007 Office system as a development platform. Bill talked about many of the different products and technologies that you can use to build Office Business Applications (OBAs), including the Open XML formats!

Open XML is an open standard for word-processing documents, presentations, and spreadsheets that can be freely implemented by multiple applications on different platforms. Open XML is designed to faithfully represent existing word-processing documents, presentations, and spreadsheets that are encoded in binary formats defined by Microsoft Office applications. The reason for the need for Open XML is simple: billions of documents now exist but, unfortunately, the information in those documents is tightly coupled with the programs that created them. The purpose of the Open XML standard is to decouple documents created by Microsoft Office applications so that they can be manipulated by other applications independent of proprietary formats and without the loss of data.

You can find more detailed documentation about Open XML at the Open XML Formats Resource Center and at

If you are attending the Microsoft Office Developer Conference 2008, and want to learn more about Open XML, here's some information that you may find useful:

Open XML Conference Sessions

What's Up, DOC? Open XML Formats, OpenDocument Format, and the Revolutionary Implications of XML in Productivity Applications: Industry debate about the relative merits of Open XML Formats and OpenDocument Format highlights the significance of the productivity application market shift from binary and propriety file formats to vendor- and product-independent XML models. The competitive stakes are huge, and the related political posturing is sometimes perplexing. In this overview, Burton Group Research Director Peter O'Kelly introduces Open XML Formats, OpenDocument Format, and related World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) standards, and projects their implications for the future of productivity application-bases information management.

Track: Executive Session: EXE104 (Feb 12 – 10:45 am to noon) Presenter : Peter O'Kelly (Burton Group Research Director)

Developing document centric solutions using Open XML and VSTO "v3": The coming of the 2007 Office System introduced the Open XML File Formats, an XML based file format allowing deep integration of documents in your business processes. No longer is a document a black-box containing data, instead the document is the data. In this session you will learn about solution capabilities of Open XML, how to work with data and documents on the server and how to enable Informa tion Workers on the client side using Visual Studio Tools for Office ""v3"".

Track: Client Session: CLI304 Presenter: Wouter van Vugt

Using LINQ to XML to query and transform Open XML documents: Learn how to use the powerful .NET language-integrated query (LINQ) to process Open XML documents. See how these concepts are applied to build the Open XML Power Tools which are a set of Windows Powershell cmdlets that help you build Open XML document workflows quickly and easily.

Track: Client Session: CLI306 Presenter : Eric White (Microsoft) , Johann Granados (StaffDotNet)

Generating Enterprise Content using InfoPath 2007, SharePoint and the Microsoft SDK for Open XML Formats: Be introduced to the Microsoft SDK for Open XML formats and show how developers can use the SDK and InfoPath 2007 to generate Microsoft Office documents on the server from data stored in SharePoint form libraries.

Track: Client Session: CLI307 Presenter : John Holiday

Office Business Application that Supports Microsoft's Top Executives: Discover how Office Open XML file format allows developers to manipulate server side workbooks to provide end users with secure scorecard viewing experience in the browser and not sacrifice Microsoft Excel 2007 rich client functionality while meeting the requirement of no client side code install.

Track: Real World Session: RLW302 Presenter: Sergei Gundorov, Mike Reese

Use the Open XML SDK and LINQ to XML to Program the Open XML File Formats: Although the packaging API makes it possible to manipulate the Open XML Formats directly, it doesn't make it easy. The Open XML SDK provides a consistent and neat wrapper around the API, making it far easier to get to the parts you need. Once you get to the part, however, you're still simply working with XML content. To make this easier, LINQ to XML provides a superb tool. Both C# and Visual Basic provide support for LINQ to XML, but Visual Basic adds specific features that make the process far easier. In this session, you'll see how to use the Open XML SDK, LINQ to XML, and Visual Basic's superb support for XML handling to manipulate Open XML File Formats. Special attention will be paid to the issues involved in handling namespace resolution, a tricky issue in any situation.

Track: Client Session: CLI314 Presenter : Ken Getz

Hands On Labs

Exploring the New, Flexible XML Programmability in Microsoft® Office Word 2007: Be introduced to the concepts of the XML data store and XML binding features of Microsoft Office Word 2007. Program against a sample document while learning how to work with structured information in Office Word 2007 that is stored independently of the presentation surface. Explore the capabilities of the new data store and XML binding and allow you to gain insight on how these features enable the creation of document-based Office Word 2007 solutions.

Understanding the Structure and Solution Capabilities of the Open XML Formats: Become familiar with the new 2007 Microsoft Office programs file formats. Examine sample documents for each of the 2007 Office programs that implement the Open XML Format. Learn how to edit documents by directly manipulating files without the use of the Microsoft Office programs. Explore the new default Microsoft Office programs file formats and gain insights on the new solution possibilities they enable for creating solutions.

Open XML Booth

Ken Getz, Wouter Van Vugt, Sanjay Kumar Madhva, and I will be at the Open XML booth. If you are attending the conference, come talk to us! We are all glad to share our experiences with developing solutions with Open XML and to help you find answers related to this exciting technology. Here's our schedule:



12:30pm - 2:00pm

Wouter Van Vugt/Ken Getz

2:00pm - 3:00pm

Wouter Van Vugt/Ken Getz

3:00pm - 4:00pm

Wouter Van Vugt/Ken Getz



6:00pm - 8:00pm Expo Hall Reception

Erika Ehrli Cabral/Sanjaykumar M.



10:30am - 12:00noon

Wouter Van Vugt/Ken Getz

12:00noon - 2:00pm

Wouter Van Vugt/Ken Getz

2:00pm - 3:30pm

Erika Ehrli Cabral/Sanjaykumar M.

3:30pm - 5:00pm

Erika Ehrli Cabral/Sanjaykumar M.



10:00am - 11:30am

Erika Ehrli Cabral/Sanjaykumar M.

11:30am - 12:30pm

Erika Ehrli Cabral/Sanjaykumar M.

Open XML Developer Roadmap

Doug Mahugh, Frank Rice, and I created a new poster to help you discover the different components, markup languages, and vocabularies you can use to create Open XML solutions.

You can find the poster at the Open XML booth and if you are not attending the conference, you can download a copy of this poster from: