Archive for OOXML

PSC Group Featured in OOXML document published by Peter O’Kelly

September 9 2011

Peter O'Kelly has published the research paper "Revisiting Open Document Format and Office Open XML: The Quiet Revolution Continues" on Slideshare. This is an update to the 2008 Burton Group OOXML/ODF report that he was the primary author for. PSC Group and one of our customers is highlighted in the document as an OOXML success story: A Research Director, Inc. (RDI) case study published by Microsoft provides another compelling example of the benefits of open and XML-based document formats. RDI’s service provider PSC Group used OOXML in conjunction with Microsoft PowerPoint to significantly simplify and streamline RDI’s customer analytics. RDI’s case study is an example of an application scenario that would have required an incredible amount of custom application design and development, if the company had not been able to build on OOXML and PowerPoint. I interviewed RDI Partner Marc Greenspan to learn more about his OOXML experience, and he shared the following perspective: “Since 1991,

MWLUG 2011: The Never Ending Integration Story: How to Integrate Your Lotus Notes, Domino, and LotusLive applications with Microsoft Office, .NET, and Lotus Symphony

August 26 2011

The Integration Story started in 1994, with the first ways to combine Lotus Notes and Lotus Ami Pro to create custom applications. In 2011, the Integration story is still going strong. This session will start with the basics and ramp up in skill and capabilities. We will show how to integrate Lotus Notes, Lotus Domino, XPages, and LotusLive applications with the tools on your user's machines: Microsoft Office, Microsoft .NET custom applications, , LibreOffice, Lotus Symphony, and more. We will look how the ODF and OOXML standards are changing the integration story and how they will impact you. You will walk out of the session with lots of sample code and extending your own integration story! MWLUG 2011: The Never Ending Integration Story View more presentations from John Head

JMP208 The Never Ending Integration Story: How to Integrate Your Lotus Notes, Domino, and LotusLive applications with Microsoft Office, .NET, and Lotus Symphony

January 30 2011

JMP208 The Never Ending Integration Story: How to Integrate Your Lotus Notes, Domino, and LotusLive applications with Microsoft Office, .NET, and Lotus SymphonyView more presentations from John Head. Downloads coming shortly

OOXML Drama ... No-Duh!

April 5 2010

Last week, Alex Brown wrote a pretty scathing blog entry about how Microsoft has not followed thru on implementing and supporting the OOXML ISO Standard. We have seen Ars Technica pick up the story. Even Ed blogged about it. Today, Nathan Freeman asked me this in IM: "so, I'm wondering if Alex's (Brown) blog post puts you in MSFT apologist-mode or "no-duh" mode" My answer was a resounding "no-duh" Here are some thoughts why. Microsoft said in late 2008 that there was no way ISO/IEC 29500 Strict was going to make Office 2010. I find this interesting because (I believe) Alex Brown was in the room when they said that. As far as I can tell, Office is on a 4 year development cycle. The first year is when the previous version is in testing, two years of development, and a year of testing. The specification was accepting mid way thru a development cycle. You don't add something like that midway in a product cycle like this. As much as the team I work with at Microsoft, led by Doug Mahugh

Open XML SDK for Microsoft Office Version 2.0 has shipped

March 15 2010

A big day for the OOXML community ... On February 21, 2008, I posted on Microsoft Interoperability Principles, which are designed to make our products more open and more available to the broader software community. Since that day, Microsoft has made several strides in this area, too many to recount here and now, but largely explained by the Interoperability@Microsoft team. Today we are making an important advance in the area of document format interoperability for Office, as part of our ongoing commitment to these interoperability principles. After four successful Technology Previews, today we are releasing the 2.0 version of the Open XML SDK for Microsoft Office. Among its benefits, this release of the Open XML SDK is a significant step forward because of the amount and quality of functionality it provides to developers seeking to build document processing solutions without the use of Microsoft Office applications. Today Visual Studio is the primary developer tool for Office 2010, and

It’s time Microsoft decide how serious they are about real people using OOXML

February 16 2010

As many of my readers know, one of the areas that PSC has invested quite a bit of time in the past 24 months is around Document Generation. Document Generation is defined (by myself) as the ability to generate a document, based on a format, without having any software installed to generate or render the document. This can be done client or server side. I have done quite a bit of blogging on the topic - and taken both Microsoft and IBM to task. We have done some real world client projects, including the Research Director, Inc. project that was highlighted in this case study. While PSC does not participate in the ODF or OOXML standards process, I think our team is one of the deepest on the technical side. I have been working with the PSC team to get our technical knowledge out into the world to share our experiences and engage in the conversations. The first piece of this engagement is a new blog called Coding the Document. Tim Murphy, a .NET guru in our Microsoft practice and one of t

Doug Mahugh highlights the Microsoft Casestudy covering the OOXML Solution PSC built

November 18 2009

Doug Mahugh wrote some very nice things about myself and our new case study: PSC Group LLC is a Chicago-area professional services consulting firm, a Microsoft Gold Partner, an IBM partner, and active in a wide range of technology services and projects. I’ve gotten to know John Head, PSC’s Director of Enterprise Collaboration, fairly well through DII workshops and other activities, where he is a perennial force to be reckoned with. John’s a hands-on expert and is definitely not the kind of guy who ever leaves you wondering what he really thinks -- it’s great to get that kind of direct informed feedback when we participate in DII events. One of PSC’s clients is RDI (Research Director, Inc.), a Maryland-based radio-research consulting firm that analyzes, interprets and presents Arbitron audience research data for over 200 radio stations. RDI came to PSC with a problem: they had been using the same custom system for 10 years, and their needs had grown so much that it was taking three

PSC project highlighted in a new Microsoft Case Study that features OOXML

November 11 2009

A new Microsoft Case Study has been published that talks about Research Director, Inc., one of our customers. The case study features a solution that uses Microsoft Open Office XML (OOXML) to drastically reduce the amount of time it takes to produce hundreds of PowerPoint presentations. Here is a snippet of the case study: RDI develops slide templates that can be quickly customized with customer logos, colors, and themes, and then merged with the data in Open XML to create the Office PowerPoint 2007 presentation on a server. The system then notifies the user that the presentation is available for review. Using the new system, RDI can significantly reduce the time it takes to produce a data presentation. “We were able to improve the application performance so drastically by not having to automate PowerPoint, because it’s not involved until the user actually opens the file,” says John Head, Director of Enterprise Collaboration at PSC Group, LLC. “We couldn’t have done that without Open

"I don’t care about standards, I just want everyone to implement the same thing in the same way”

September 26 2009

Yes it is true - as Doug Mahugh reports on the DII Workshop on Office 2010 Extensions, I did in fact make that statement. It was a good day at up at Microsoft headquarters on Sept 18th, 2009. We talked about how Microsoft is adding new features and functionality to Office 2010 and the OOXML format. Doug explains: Office 2010 takes advantage of two types of extensibility mechanisms in ISO/IEC 29500: extension lists and ACBs (alternate content blocks). These extension points, which are documented in the text of the standard (see Part 3), provide implementers with a standardized way to innovate and add new functionality while maintaining conformance to the standard itself. The core concept is that an implementer can provide more than one representation for an object (a shape on a slide, say), and then consumers of that document can render the version that they understand. The workshop featured four presentations on how Office 2010 uses ACBs and extension lists. Word/Excel/PowerPoin

OOXML - What Microsoft should be doing going forward

May 26 2009

So I have taken ODF to task in the past couple of weeks, and since I have stated that my position is to work with both ODF and OOXML, I thought it was time for a bit of tough love for Microsoft. Before I do that, a bit of a current state observation. When someone says OOXML today, they can mean many things. For most, they are not talking about ECMA-376 or IS29500, the specifically mean Office 2007 file formats for Word, Excel, and PowerPoint. We can argue what the technical term used by the standards community uses, but let's get real. The average person has no clue what either standard is or what they are called or how they are different. They need to work with Office 2007 file formats - reading them and saving changes back to them. If you look at other software vendors; Apple, Google, IBM, etc; when they add OOXML support, they always call it 'adding Office 2007 file format' - and frankly, nothing has really changed for them since adding Office 2003 support. Sure, they might have b

Round 2: Where do we go from here? (ODF & OOXML Discussion)

May 7 2009

So yesterday's post And in this corner ..." - can you hear Michael Buffer introducing ODF vs. OOXML in the boxing ring? is now the single most read post on my blog in the 5 1/2 years I have been blogging. The number of referrers is the highest I have seen as well. All for what I thought was a fairly routine post about what it felt to be caught in the middle of a playground fight over who got to push the swing - and who got to ride. Seeing the further discussion around the web honestly entertained me - as well as disappointed me. My blog entry saw both Rob Weir and Doug Mahugh respond. I am glad I could get both of them talking to each other - and not at each other. I find myself truly in the middle - agreeing and disagreeing with both of them on many of the things being done. But what I want to see is action out of the discussion (and drama) and I really do not see any positive progress on that. So a few comments: 1. I have been asked by many on both sides of the ODF and OOXML debate

"And in this corner ..." - can you hear Michael Buffer introducing ODF vs. OOXML in the boxing ring?

May 6 2009

Last week, Microsoft released 2007 Microsoft Office System Service Pack 2. And boy are the sharks swimming in the water. Before I go on, I want to state where I stand - I really do not care about what games anyone wants to play when it comes to interoperability. Period. I have always been the guy who played in both sandboxes - Lotus and Microsoft. It started out as being the guy who figured out how to make Ami Pro drive Excel via DDE. Then it was Word Pro and Access. Office and Notes. Visual Studio.NET and Domino Web Services. SharePoint and Lotus Symphony. VSTO and XPages (coming to a user conference this August). I love being someone who isn't pigeon holed into one technology or camp. So as application automation morphs into document generation in the next couple of years - I want to work with both OOXML and ODF. PSC is already working with OOXML and ODF with our customers. In the end, I do not care which 'wins' Since the release of SP2, both IBM and Adobe have come out and been

Symphony Thursday: Team Blog on Document Interoperability

April 23 2009

Most readers here know that I am very big on the document independence nad interoperability movement going thru the industry right now. The age of application automation and file format lock-in is giving way to document generation and open standard, document formats. The Lotus Symphony Team Blog has an new entry written by Wei Guo SHI, Development Manager for the product: In current Office market, there are a number of document formats, includes not only traditional binary formats, e.g. Microsoft Office binary format, Lotus SmartSuite format, but also XML based open standard document formats, e.g. ODF(ISO26300), UOF(China national Office standard format), and OOXML(ISO29500), as well as other popular formats, e.g. HTML, PDF etc. For each document format, there are multiple implementations, a large number of end users, and a huge amount of existing documents. With the requirements of exchanging document and sharing information across different formats, interoperability for documents

BP305: The Document Format Dance

January 21 2009

No matter your preference for OOXML, ODF, or PDF … the document standard requirements are going to become a fact of life for users of IBM Lotus Notes & IBM Lotus Domino in the next year. This sessoin will review the technical capabilities of all three formats and how they work with Lotus Software. We will check the format debate at the door and look at which format will provide you the functionality you need. We will then look at how you can generate all three documents from your applications using third-party tools and custom code. You will take home samples that allow you to export Lotus Notes data to OOXML, ODF, and PDF in LotusScript and Java – be prepared for a deep dive into code! Swan 1-2 : Wednesday, 1/21/2008 : 11:15 AM to 12:15 PM BP305: The Document Format DanceView more presentations or upload your own. (tags: ibm lotus)

Lotusphere 2009 Approved!

November 13 2008

I am a bit late to the blogging about these, but I had three Lotusphere 2009 session abstracts approved! First, we have the Jumpstart that Alex and I have given the past couple years Introduction to integration of Lotus Notes and Lotus Domino with Microsoft Office, .NET, and Lotus Symphony. The session has been completely revamped with all new demos and new technology demos including the integration of Google Docs with Notes and Domino applications and some intro samples around creating OOXML and ODF documents. This session has been popular in the past with a back to back repeat pre-scheduled. That is 4 hours of integration demos Sunday afternoon in Orlando to kick off the week. If we do that again this year and you see my Sunday night at the party or eating Ed's sushi at Kimono's after, you will understand why I am punchy :-) Second, I will be giving Lotus Symphony and You - A Developer's Perspective, which is a revamped version of my Irish Lotus User's Group session with less Execut

Microsoft Document Interop Initative Workshop on OOXML - Thoughts

November 2 2008

Thoughts on the workshop The DII (Document Interop Initiative website - Presentations by the Word, Excel, and PowerPoint Teams on what they are doing with OOXML and testing going forward. No specific mention of Office 14 features or support Microsoft wants to created testing documents that everyone can test with their implementations of OOXML Microsoft seems far more interested in supporting both OOXML and ODF than anyone else out there. It seems most vendors are picking one file format or the other. Microsoft wants to continue to let OOXML to grow for their internal use but are very interesting in making sure ODF interop works as well. Nice change from what I have seen from Microsoft in the past Microsoft employees are trained very well to not talk about anything that is not public knowledge. Now, the DII Workshop was not covered by any NDA's, so I understand. But even in back channel discussions I could barely get timeframes and versions out

PSC’s Presentation from the DII Workshop this past week @ Microsoft

October 26 2008

Here are the slides from the PSC presentation at the Microsoft DII Workshop on OOXML from this past week PSC & OOMXLView SlideShare presentation or Upload your own. (tags: psc ooxml)

Test Documents for OOXML and ODF standards

October 23 2008

At the DII Workshop on OOXML today, one of the issues that is under discussion is creating an test suite of documents that implementers can test their implementation against. My recommendation is that the OOXML (and ODF) camp create something like the ACID test. The ACID test let's browser creators test specific features and functionality and let's the user see where they stand. This is not about implementing hundreds or thousands of pages of a spec, its about meeting specific requirements. There should be a test suite of documents that you can open, edit, save, and create. And then some validator to measure how the specific implementation opens and saves these documents. The documents can be tied to versions of the specifications. What is important is that I, the user, can take a document, run it against the validator, and get a visible score myself. It needs to be transparent. I know there is the ODF Validator, but it does not work very well. There should be one place where I uploa

DII Workshop around OOXML starts today in Redmond

October 23 2008

I am back in Redmond, WA this week for the DII Workshop on OOXML. What is great is that this time, I have two other PSC folks with me. David Munaretto, Vice President of Microsoft Services and Andrew Schwantes, OOXML Technical Champion. We are here to listen, learn, and talk about our Case Study around PowerPoint and OOXML. I am betting that this one will be as much fun as the ODF one I attended this summer. I wonder who will attend? :)

New PSC Case Study: PowerPoint as An Enterprise Reporting Framework: Harnessing the Power of OOXML

October 22 2008

We just posted a new case study on the PSC Website. This one talks about our first OOXML project, which uses PowerPoint as an enterprise reporting framework. I am super excited about this solution and can not wait to talk about our OOXML frameworks in the near future! If you are looking at doing any work with OOXML, please contact us!

Prediction: I see the end of Application Automation

July 9 2008

How many times in your life can you say you have seen the demise of your best skill set and had a chance to react ... before that happened. I believe that situation is upon me, and I wanted to share some of my thoughts. For the past 15 years or so, I have focused my technical skills on using one piece of software to automate another. Starting with Ami Pro macros that wrote data to an Excel spreadsheet, this has evolved. SmartSuite and Notes. Microsoft Office. Lotus Symphony. Microsoft Project and Visio. And many more applications. I focused on direct automation (where one application controls another, like Notes using COM and OLE to generate a Word document) and indirect automation (where Word would call a web service to display and generate information, and that web service was from a Domino server). I saw this as a niche I could become the expert on. I believe I have done that and still find new and interesting things I can do for customers and pass along to folks at

Its about the customer, not the technology

April 18 2008

Today, the hard work of multiple PSC employees on a discovery project was presented to a customer. We were reviewing an application framework and making recommendations. One of the pieces is the Output Generation Layer. The requirement is to have the output be in PowerPoint files. From there, they can generate a PDF or HTML, but we need something that in an electronic presentation format that scales. When I came to PSC, I was a very one-sided consultant. I was passionate about Lotus Notes and Lotus SmartSuite. I tolerated Microsoft Office, because people used it. But anything else, I loathed. I was so focused on the holy war of one technology and brand that I hated everything else. It didn't matter if it was Microsoft, Novell, Oracle, or anyone else .. it was not Lotus. And for many years, only the Lotus brand at IBM was something I cared about. PSC describes itself as a business technology services consulting firm. Our job is to listen (get it, it's all in the way we listen) and h