Wednesday, 26 March 2008 03:01

Microsoft contributes to Apache POI project

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Microsoft has announced that it will - with a European partner - contribute to an open-source project for reading and writing Excel, Word, PowerPoint and Visio files.

The Apache POI API is already used by various open source projects to handle Microsoft Office documents, but work is needed to add Office Open XML support as used by Office 2007 and 2008.

"Donating code to an established, consensus-driven organization such as the Apache Software Foundation benefits both our customers and the open source community at large," said Sam Ramji, senior director of platform technology strategy at Microsoft.

"By helping contribute to new Apache solutions, we are putting our intentions into action, and giving back to this dynamic community. We're excited to work with Sourcesense, whose experience in catalyzing Apache technologies and open development practices makes it the ideal partner."

Sourcesense is a major European open source systems integrator with offices in Italy, the UK and the Netherlands.

Gianugo Rabellino, CEO of Sourcesense, said "Microsoft's participation with the Apache community reinforces its commitment to bridging open standards with Open Source. Through our SHARE methodology, companies are able to more efficiently introduce, control and manage Open Source technology across their organization. The timing is perfect, and we’re thrilled to be a part of this important milestone."

The first release of a version of Apache POI with support for Office Open XML is expected during the second quarter of 2008.

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Stephen Withers

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Stephen Withers is one of Australia¹s most experienced IT journalists, having begun his career in the days of 8-bit 'microcomputers'. He covers the gamut from gadgets to enterprise systems. In previous lives he has been an academic, a systems programmer, an IT support manager, and an online services manager. Stephen holds an honours degree in Management Sciences and a PhD in Industrial and Business Studies.

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