April Release Expected for OOXML SDK 2.0

OOXML software development kits expected in April and July, with key LINQ-to-XML support anticipated in the later release.

Microsoft this month is expected to release a more mature beta of its software development kit (SDK) for the Office Open XML (OOXML) file-format specification.

Available as a community technology preview (CTP) since June 2007, the OOXML SDK provides tooling and resources for programmatic manipulation and handling of XML files produced by the 2007 versions of Microsoft Word, Excel and PowerPoint.

In May, developers can expect the final shipping version of the 1.0 version of the kit, according to Doug Mahugh, Microsoft senior product manager for Office client interoperability. Mahugh says he's confident in the quick turnaround.

"We wouldn't commit to doing that in just a few weeks from now unless we had very high confidence in the code as it stands," Mahugh says.

The beta SDK expected this month will contain the Open XML Packaging API and provide complete support for the defined classes that will be delivered in the final version, including schemas, styles and font tables.

Looking Ahead to SDK 2.0
Microsoft also provided guidance for the next update of the OOXML SDK version 2.0, which is expected to enter beta stage in July. That version will include all the components of the Open XML API architecture, according to Mahugh. This includes markup APIs for WordprocessingML, SpreadsheetML, PresentationML and Shared ML. Key to version 2.0 of the SDK is support for Language Integrated Query (LINQ) to XML.

LINQ is the much-touted Microsoft technology designed to streamline programmatic data access and operations by embedding SQL queries directly within program code. The LINQ functionality is expected to draw a lot of developer attention.

"If you look at LINQ-to-XML technology at kind of a high level, this is a new way of querying XML documents, and the net effect is that it's a lot less code," Mahugh says. "Whenever I look at LINQ-to-XML code, I always think something is missing. It's very terse and elegant code."

Mahugh says OOXML SDK 2.0 is expected to ship in the Office 14 product wave.

[The International Organization for Standardization was expected to render a decision regarding whether to ratify OOXML as a standard after RDN went to press. The decision will be reported online and in the next issue. --Ed.]

About the Author

Michael Desmond is an editor and writer for 1105 Media's Enterprise Computing Group.

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