Open Document Format

The Open Document Formats are Open Standards for your office documents: texts, spreadsheets, presentations, etc.

We live in a digital age where paper documents increasingly get replaced by electronic records. We may even see the day we no longer use paper and pen to keep records.In this situation long-term data becomes critical. This is especially the case for legal contracts and government documents which stay valid and relevant over decades, or even centuries. Just like there were many vendors supplying paper and pens through out the history, and not a single one, so do these formats and applications which are used to make them need to be vendor independent. That is the only guarantee of long-term access to data, even if companies disappear, change their strategies or dramatically raise their prices.

ODF(OpenDocument Format) an ISO standard created with the aim to provide an open XML-based document file format for office applications to be used for documents containing text, spreadsheets, charts, and graphical elements. ODF is defined via an open and transparent process at OASIS and has been approved unanimously by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) and the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) as an international standard in May 2006. Instead of trying to reinvent the wheel ODF reuses established standards like HTML, SVG, XSL, SMIL, XLink, XForms, MathML, and Dublin Core.

ODF leaves space for all present and future vendors do implement it and makes sure that end users won't suffer from any sort of vendor lock-in. In contrast to earlier used binary formats which were cryptic and difficult to process, ODF's use of XML makes accessing the document content simple.

ODF guarantees long-term viability. The OASIS ODF TC, the OASIS ODF Adoption TC, and the ODF Alliance include members from Adobe, BBC, EDS, EMC, GNOME, Google, IBM, Intel, KDE, Novell, Oracle, Red Hat and Software AG. Since June 2006 the ODF Alliance has already more than 300 members.

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