RealTime IT News

OASIS Backs OpenDocument Group

OASIS is already credited with bringing the OpenDocument Format (ODF) to the market last May.

Now, in an effort to drive ODF product development, the standards body has created the ODF Adoption committee, which is tailored to boost the number of products based on ODF. Members of the committee include IBM, Sun, Novell and Oracle.

ODF allows text, spreadsheet and presentation files to work with one another even if they were created with different vendors' applications.

ODF addresses the concern that, as documents and services are migrated from paper to electronic form, governments and other public agencies may not be able to read important documents if they are not all using a common file format.

The new committee is not to be confused with the OpenDocument Format Alliance, which Sun Microsystems, IBM and others announced last week to promote the technology as an alternative to formats used in Microsoft's Office software.

Microsoft uses proprietary formats and does not plan to support ODF in its forthcoming Office 12 package.

An OASIS spokesperson said both the ODF Alliance and the OASIS ODF Adoption committee will work together in order to avoid overlap.

"We'll be coordinating our activities with the ODF Alliance, but where they will concentrate on influencing public policy for ODF, our group will work to increase the demand for and availability of ODF-conforming products," the spokesperson said.

The ODF Adoption group will also work with the OpenDocument technical committee, which was formed in November 2002 and approved ODF as a standard in May 2005.

The ODF Adoption committee's first meeting will be held March 28.