Members Approve OpenDocument as OASIS Standard

IBM, Sun Microsystems, and Others Develop Royalty-Free Standard for Office Applications Document Format

BOSTON, MA, USA; 23 MAY 2005 -- OASIS, the international e-business standards consortium, today announced that its members have approved the Open Document Format for Office Applications (OpenDocument) v1.0 as an OASIS Standard, a status that signifies the highest level of ratification. OpenDocument provides a royalty-free, XML-based file format that covers features required by text, spreadsheets, charts, and graphical documents.

"XML doesn't always mean open. You can hide a lot in a file format. OpenDocument represents an opportunity to ensure truly open file formats for productivity applications, which is why it will receive the enthusiastic support of public sector steering organizations on a global basis," commented James Governor, principal analyst at RedMonk. "The participation of enterprises in vertical industries, such as aerospace, will also ensure adoption in the private sector. One key to success will be the royalty free status of the spec; there are no financial penalties associated with developing to it."

"Office productivity applications and the documents they create are key to today's knowledge economy. Information critical to the long term functioning of any organization is stored in the spreadsheets, presentations, and text documents its employees create," said Michael Brauer of Sun Microsystems, chair of the OASIS OpenDocument Technical Committee. "Today, for the first time in the 25-year history of office applications, such documents can be stored in an open, standardized, and vendor-independent format."

OpenDocument provides a single XML schema for text, spreadsheets, charts, and graphical documents. It makes use of existing standards, such as HTML, SVG, XSL, SMIL, XLink, XForms, MathML, and the Dublin Core, wherever possible. OpenDocument has been designed as a package concept, enabling it to be used as a default file format for office applications with no increase in file size or loss of data integrity.

"OpenDocument is a fine example of an OASIS Standard that originated in and continues to be endorsed by the open source community," noted Patrick Gannon, president and CEO of OASIS. "The work of was submitted to OASIS in 2002 by Sun Microsystems with the approval of the community for advancement under royalty-free terms, so that it would be freely available to developers and users of any office software application. Now that OpenDocument has been approved as an OASIS Standard, we look forward to its robust use by the many organizations and governments from around the world that have been calling for an open, safe, standardized schema for office documents." Gannon referenced OpenDocument implementations in software from Novell,, Stellent, and Sun Microsystems, as well as several other open source projects, as evidence of significant support in the marketplace.

Future plans for the OASIS OpenDocument Technical Committee include extending the standard to encompass additional areas of applications and users, as well as adapting it to incorporate ongoing developments in office applications. All those interested in advancing this work, including governments, open source initiatives, educational institutions, and software providers, are encouraged to participate in the Committee. OASIS hosts an open mail list for public comment and the opendocument-dev mailing list for exchanging information on implementing the standard.

Support for OpenDocument OASIS Standard

"IBM recognizes the importance of a standards-based document format. Use of open, non-proprietary formats will facilitate seamless collaboration between vendors, customers and partners and ensure the maintenance of corporate and government knowledge," said Karla Norsworthy, vice president, Software Standards, IBM. "IBM supports the OASIS OpenDocument formats, and we believe the standardization is a major accomplishment in an important area."

"Sun believes in the power of open standards to enhance business productivity and to stimulate innovation by preserving the intellectual property rights of content creators," said Tim Bray, Technology Director at Sun Microsystems. "Sun is a founding member of the OASIS OpenDocument Technical Committee, and Sun's StarOffice 8 productivity suite, based on the project, uses OpenDocument as its default file format."

About OASIS:
OASIS (Organization for the Advancement of Structured Information Standards) is a not-for-profit, international 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. The consortium produces open standards for Web services, security, e-business, and standardization efforts in the public sector and for application-specific markets. Founded in 1993, OASIS has more than 4,000 participants representing over 600 organizations and individual members in 100 countries. Approved OASIS Standards include AVDL, CAP, DocBook, DSML, ebXML CPPA, ebXML Messaging, ebXML Registry, OpenDocument, SAML, SPML, UBL, UDDI, WSDM, WS-Reliability, WSRP, WS-Security, XACML, and XCBF.