Interoperability between document formats
In the past, exchanging documents was often hindered by proprietary file formats. Then, this was supposed to be remedied by open standards. However, two ISO standards are competing for the favor of users: Office Open XML (OpenXML), the standard file format in Microsoft Office (ISO/IEC 29500:2008), and Open Document Format (ODF), used by LibreOffice among others, and further office suites (ISO/IEC 26300:2006). In order to ensure exchangeability – interoperability – between these two document formats, OpenXML documents must be converted to ODF, and ODF documents to OpenXML, so that they can each be opened in the other office application. Although they have similar features, there are subtle differences in their details, and especially some properties that exist in only one of the formats, that make conversion a real challenge.
The project OpenXML/ODF Translator Add-in for Office was an international multi-team project with teams in France, Germany, Poland, the USA, and India. DIaLOGIKa was responsible for:
- specifying the features to be translated
- technical consulting for the other project teams
- development tasks (converter for text documents)
- quality control (scenario-based tests, testing and release management)
Quality control was conducted using real-world administrative as well as business documents, and was supported by users at the European Commission and Fedict in Belgium, and others Interested parties could actively support the project at the collaboration platform SourceForge, which was used intensively for project communication, development, and quality control.
Well over 3 million downloads attest to the high level of interest in the project: The OpenXML/ODF Translator Add-ins for Office are being used in great numbers around the world, including many within the European Commission. There are further projects to which DIaLOGIKa, with our expertise in document formats, has delivered significant contributions:
- Collaboration on an ISO white paper from the Fraunhofer Institute for Open Communication Systems (FOKUS) on “Interoperability of Document Formats”
- Development of an open source converter for Microsoft’s binary Office formats to OpenXML.
A Powerful Partner
“Due to the in-depth knowledge accumulated by DIaLOGIKa in the OSS world and in the EU institutions‘ IT applications, DIaLOGIKa has been in an ideal position to contribute to the OpenXML / OpenDocument format conversion initiative by identifying and implementing the word processing features required for the day-to-day work with international documents in an increasingly interoperable world.“
DIaLOGIKa GmbH creates customized software solutions for national and international clients. Our work focuses on the innovation fields of Telecom Data Request / Provision Procedure, Telecommunications, Document Life Cycle, Digital Security, Embedded Systems, Green Mobility, and Safeguards.