Whatz in Office XML – Office System Track May 28th, 2007

Vinod Kumar

Back to the Office track :). Now let me move my focus into the session I plan to cover under the Office System Track with Deepak Gulati (deepakg.com/blog). This session would be on Office XML format and working with it. Microsoft Office 2007 introduces new default XML file formats for Microsoft Office Word, Excel spreadsheet, and PowerPoint presentation use. Giving it a XML variation really is a boon to the developers. The new Microsoft Office Open XML Format introduces a number of benefits that will accrue not only to developers and the solutions they build, but also to individual users and organizations of all sizes.

I see these formats realy useful – Unlike in the Binary formats this format will reduce the risk of lost information due to damaged or corrupted files. This format uses compression technologies and hence lower footprint for the document size. Once it becomes a compressed XML files, these documents can easily sent across firewalls without much problems thus increasing the robustness of these formats.

Each file is composed of a collection of any number of parts; this collection defines the document. Document parts are held together by the container file or package using the industry standard ZIP format. Most parts are simply XML files that describe application data, metadata, and even customer data stored inside the container file.

With previous Office versions, developers looking to manipulate the content of an Office document had to know how to read and write data according to the structured storage defined within the binary file. This was the primary cause of corruption of documents when they modify the code for some automation. Moving to the ZIP architecture, there are many tools available today to work with the ZIP format, and using ZIP provides a flexible, modular structure that allows for an expansion of functionality easily. Importantly, Non-XML parts supported as native files (images, OLE objects) and are stored as-is.

As part of security enhancements, the default Office 2007 documents saved in the Open XML Format are considered to be macro-free files and therefore cannot contain code. This behavior ensures that malicious code residing in a default document can never be unexpectedly executed. While documents can still contain and use macros in Office 2007, the user or developer will be required to specifically save these documents as a macro-enabled document type. Now this brings us to the various formats available:

  • Microsoft Office Word 2007
  • Word 2007 XML Document – .docx
  • Word 2007 XML Macro-Enabled Document – .docm
  • Word 2007 XML Template – .dotx
  • Word 2007 XML Macro-Enabled Template – .dotm
  • Microsoft Office Excel 2007 File
    • Excel 2007 XML Workbook – .xlsx
    • Excel 2007 XML Macro-Enabled Workbook – .xlsm
    • Excel 2007 XML Template – .xltx
    • Excel 2007 XML Macro-Enabled Template – .xltm
    • Excel 2007 Binary Workbook – .xlsb
    • Excel 2007 XML Macro-Enabled Add-In – .xlam
  • Microsoft Office PowerPoint 2007
    • PowerPoint 2007 XML Presentation – .pptx
    • PowerPoint 2007 Macro-Enabled XML Presentation – .pptm
    • PowerPoint 2007 XML Template – .potx
    • PowerPoint 2007 Macro-Enabled XML Template – .potm
    • PowerPoint 2007 Macro-Enabled XML Add-In – .ppam
    • PowerPoint 2007 XML Show – .ppsx
    • PowerPoint 2007 Macro-Enabled XML Show – .ppsm

    So from a developers perspective we can do tons while working with these documents. So during TechMela, we will take a tour from an Dev angle to extending and connecting to Office XML documents. You can take a look at Deepak Gulati’s blog on querying Excel (http://deepakg.com/blog/archives/20.htm) for upload of data. More such tips and tricks to be shown during our fun filled session.

    So mark the session on “Office Open XML File Format Fundamentals” on the Office System Track … And cya soon :) …

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    This entry was posted on Monday, May 28th, 2007 at 04:27 and is filed under Uncategorized. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

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