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Interop using OpenXML Spreadsheet Markup Language

OpenXML is a new standard useful for transfering data across process boundaries in a heterogenous environment.  The new Open XML Formats in 2007 Microsoft Office system were created using existing industry standards for XML and ZIP data. As long as people working with the formats are familiar with XML and ZIP technology, they will be able to access data in Office 2007 formats. By using XML as a common interoperability technology, when someone wants to move data from one type of system to another, that will be relatively easy to accomplish. The licensing mechanism is completely open, and the documentation is rich.

An example of a potential integration is illustrated below:

The scenario is explained below:

  • Generating Spreadsheet ML document from heterogeneous data sources. Real world customer data is retrieved from Oracle Server. The Middleware application developed using java on Linux, will generate SpreadSheet ML file. The data is read from Oracle database XE. 
  • Viewing raw Spreadsheet ML file.  SpreadSheet ML file generated is a XML file packaged/zipped together as .xlsx. Each of these XML files can be opened in any editor to view the data and relationships. The file can be renamed as .ZIP, which is the standard for packaging spreadsheets.
  • Windows User Experience of the Spreadsheet ML using Excel.  The ZIP file generated on Linux can be viewed in Excel 2007. The ZIP file can be renamed as .xlsx and opened using Excel 2007. Modifications can be done on the data in the spreadsheet.
  • Non-Windows user Experience on Linux platform. The .xlsx file can be copied to heterogeneous platforms like Linux. Style sheets (XSL Transformation) can be
    applied to the openXML .xlsx and the data in the xml file can be read on any browsers, Desktop productivity application and other ISV applications as well. is a great site to read for more info on developing with OpenXML.

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