Over the last couple of days I’ve been digging through some of the developer resources for working with the Office 2007 file formats and came across the announcement that the Open XML file formats have won approval as ISO/IEC standards.
Although I doubt that this will result in the end of the file format wars I think it will cause an explosion of developers working with these formats for automatically generated documents, spreadsheets etc. Microsoft is supporting this effort with an Open XML SDK Roadmap looking something like this:
The June 2007 CTP of the SDK is currently available for download. Although, given the proposed timeline we should see a second CTP sometime in the next month or so. Version 1 of the SDK only really provides a wrapper around the packaging format. Where the SDK becomes really exciting is when it provides access to the document information itself (ie a rich API for creating documents). Hopefully we will see that in version 2 later this year – I’m guessing that the release will be scheduled inline with the next release of Office.
While I remember, here are a couple of interesting resources to get started with too: