OASIS Members Collaborate to Advance Open XML Format for Office Applications

Arbortext, Boeing, Corel, Drake Certivo, Sun Microsystems, and Others Develop Open Office Standard at Global Consortium

Boston, MA, USA; 20 November 2002 -- Members of the OASIS standards consortium have formed a technical committee to advance an open, XML-based file format specification for office applications. The new OASIS Open Office XML Format Technical Committee brings together representatives throughout the industry committed to establishing standard data interoperability for office applications. Their work will be suitable for documents containing text, spreadsheets, charts, and graphs and will retain high-level information for editing.

Although the initial work of the technical committee will focus on standardizing data for content creation and management applications, subsequent phases will address simplifying the exchange of data between any application that utilizes XML, which may include business processes, Web services, databases, search engines, and other applications.

"Our goal is to achieve consensus on an open standard that will protect content--whether it is a 800-page airplane specification or a legal contract--from being locked into a proprietary file format," explained Michael Brauer of Sun Microsystems, chair of the OASIS Open Office XML Format Technical Committee. "A standard method for processing and interchanging office documents will enable companies to own their data and freely choose tools to view and edit information long after originating applications have come and gone."

Sun Microsystems intends to contribute the XML file format specification utilized in the OpenOffice.org 1.0 project to the new OASIS Technical Committee under reciprocal Royalty Free terms. OpenOffice.org is an Open Source full-featured office productivity suite that works transparently with a variety of file formats to enable users of varying office suites to exchange documents freely with one another.

Participation in the OASIS Open Office XML Format Technical Committee remains open to all organizations and individuals. In keeping with the OASIS intellectual property policy that allows both Royalty-Free (RF) and Reasonable and Non-Discriminatory (RAND) licensing, the OASIS Open Office XML Format Technical Committee will accept contributions only if they are granted to all under perpetual, royalty free, non-discriminatory terms. OASIS will host an open mail list for public comment, and completed work will be freely available to the public without licensing or other fees. Information on joining OASIS can be found on http://www.oasis-open.org/join.

Industry Support for OASIS Open Office XML Format Technical Committee

"Arbortext is pleased to participate in the OASIS Open Office XML Format Technical Committee to advance the acceptance of open source development tools. When complete, this specification will provide writers and programmers the ability to share office documents containing text, spreadsheets and graphics for processing and interchange. Arbortext intends to support the OASIS process of defining specifications as well as to incorporate support for those specifications in our product suite," said Paul Grosso, Vice President of Research at Arbortext.

"Boeing strongly supports the creation and adoption of open data formats in order to preserve the long-term integrity of our data. This committee focuses on the creation of such a specification for common office applications, which is generally the greatest source of content creation and sharing in any organization," said Doug Alberg, Sr. Manager, Advanced Authoring & Publishing System Development, The Boeing Company.

"Office documents are an essential tool for maintaining and leveraging corporate knowledge. When based on XML, the power and reach of these documents is greatly enhanced," said Dr. Bruce Sharpe, executive vice president of XML content solutions for Corel Corporation. "Corel is pleased to be working with other software vendors to design an open standard XML format for office documents that will bring enhanced compatibility and longevity to customers' intellectual property."

"By leading the initiative to help advance office productivity using open, XML formats, Sun further underscores its commitment to open standards, open source technology and open file formats," said Curtis Sasaki, vice president, Sun Microsystems, Desktop Solutions. "As an active member of the open source community, Sun continuously contributes to the OpenOffice.org project, most notably through the donation of StarOffice source code and most recently the XML file format specification, which is used in Sun's StarOffice 6.0 product."

About OASIS (http://www.oasis-open.org)

OASIS (Organization for the Advancement of Structured Information Standards) is a not-for-profit, global consortium that drives the development, convergence, and adoption of e-business standards. Members themselves set the OASIS technical agenda, using a lightweight, open process expressly designed to promote industry consensus and unite disparate efforts. OASIS produces worldwide standards for security, Web services, XML conformance, business transactions, electronic publishing, topic maps and interoperability within and between marketplaces. OASIS has more than 500 corporate and individual members in 100 countries around the world.

For more information:

Carol Geyer
Director of Communications
OASIS (www.oasis-open.org)
carol.geyer@oasis-open.org
+1.978.667.5115 x209