Feeds

Interoperability eludes Office and OpenOfffice

OOXML-to-ODF results may vary

Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction

The simple task of opening a Microsoft Word document in OpenOffice using Open Document Format (ODF) and moving it back without jeopardizing your hard work continues to prove elusive.

Researchers have found a continued lack of interoperability between Office Open XML (OOXML), used in Word 2003 and 2007, and ODF more than a year after OOXML joined ODF as an official international ISO standard.

Their work also comes almost a year and a half after Microsoft convened an industry group with the job of closing the gap between the two, with Novell separately working on interoperability between ODF and OOXML.

Novell in December 2006 promised translators for word processing, spreadsheets, and presentations between the ODF-based OpenOffice.org and Microsoft's Office.

Despite this, the Fraunhofer Institute for Open Communications Systems (FOKUS) has found the level of formatting that'll be retained in a document will vary according to the parts of the document in question and the application or tools you use to open the document.

"Many of the functionalities, especially those found in simpler documents, can be translated between the standards, while the translation of other functionalities can prove complex or even impossible," FOKUS wrote in a white paper that wrapped up its research.

Also important was the where the document originated. "On a round-trip conversion it cannot be guaranteed that the initial document and the document resulting from the conversion will be identical," the paper said.

FOKUS tested interoperability between documents and spreadsheets, looking at presentation instructions, content, metadata, annotations, and elements such as headlines, tables, and captions. The team found problems with white spaces, graphics, and tables, while tracking changes are not supported in ODF in tables. Text formatting was "highly translatable".

FOKUS identified problems when moving a document from OOXML to ODF and back, or ODF to OOXML and back - called round-tripping - and when moving a document in just one direction.

The group earlier this year promised a document-test library and validation tool that would let developers verify if software they're building is compatible with OOXML.

The ability to move documents between OOXML and ODF has been a long-running issue, and the FOKUS report indicates that concerns raised elsewhere (here and here) over the level of interoperability between the two have yet to be completely solved.

You can read the full FOKUS report here (PDF). ®

Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction

More from The Register

next story
Android engineer: We DIDN'T copy Apple OR follow Samsung's orders
Veep testifies for Samsung during Apple patent trial
This time it's 'Personal': new Office 365 sub covers just two devices
Redmond also brings Office into Google's back yard
Batten down the hatches, Ubuntu 14.04 LTS due in TWO DAYS
Admins dab straining server brows in advance of Trusty Tahr's long-term support landing
Microsoft lobs pre-release Windows Phone 8.1 at devs who dare
App makers can load it before anyone else, but if they do they're stuck with it
Half of Twitter's 'active users' are SILENT STALKERS
Nearly 50% have NEVER tweeted a word
Windows XP still has 27 per cent market share on its deathbed
Windows 7 making some gains on XP Death Day
Internet-of-stuff startup dumps NoSQL for ... SQL?
NoSQL taste great at first but lacks proper nutrients, says startup cloud whiz
Windows 8.1, which you probably haven't upgraded to yet, ALREADY OBSOLETE
Pre-Update versions of new Windows version will no longer support patches
Microsoft TIER SMEAR changes app prices whether devs ask or not
Some go up, some go down, Redmond goes silent
Red Hat to ship RHEL 7 release candidate with a taste of container tech
Grab 'near-final' version of next Enterprise Linux next week
prev story

Whitepapers

Designing a defence for mobile apps
In this whitepaper learn the various considerations for defending mobile applications; from the mobile application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies needed to properly assess mobile applications risk.
3 Big data security analytics techniques
Applying these Big Data security analytics techniques can help you make your business safer by detecting attacks early, before significant damage is done.
Five 3D headsets to be won!
We were so impressed by the Durovis Dive headset we’ve asked the company to give some away to Reg readers.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Securing web applications made simple and scalable
In this whitepaper learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.