When I first heard about SharePoint Online at the PDC 2008 I was a bit disappointed that you could not use custom code but had to rely on the built-in functionality and the things you could do with SharePoint Designer (which is quite powerful anyway, especially with jQuery). To read more about SharePoint online, head over to Tobias Zimmergrens blog. But with some clever techniques you can take advantage of the Windows Azure Hosted Services and create your custom code.
If you install Windows SharePoint Services 3.0 on a new server you will find that your Office 2007 (.docx, .xlsx etc) files is not indexed as they should but the old binary document (.doc, .xls etc) format is indexed. This is due to the fact that the Office 2007 IFilters is not installed by your WSS installation. To resolve this issue you have to download the Microsoft Filter Pack and install it on your server.
So the last day of PDC 2008 is over. The brain has been cooked for a few days… This very day did not have any keynote and I kicked off with a session on the Visual Studio Extensions for SharePoint. I have note used this add-in since the first releases of it since I didn’t like it that much but had instead relied on manual packaging and deployment as well as STSDev.
Day three is officially over, I’m pretty tired today after staying up to late yesterday and playing around with the “goods”. I installed Windows 7 and tried it for a while, but to my disappointment I found out that the nice stuff that were shown on the keynote was missing in my release… This morning started with the last keynote of PDC 2008 and it was Microsoft Research that should be in the spotlight.
Day two is official over. I’m just back from the attendee party at Universal Studios. Keynotes This Tuesday started with a couple of keynotes. I was fortunate and arrived just as they opened the keynote hall and got myself a seat in the front row. After Ray Ozzies intro Steven Sinofsky took over and showed Windows 7 for the first time in public. You can read about the demos on almost every blog, but here are the stuff that caught my attention:
I gladly received the news that the Office team announced Service Pack 2 for Microsoft Office 2007. Not only for the clients but also for the server products (read SharePoint). First of all it’s the support for the different file formats that I long for (ODF for example) and then there is the Outlook performance – both of these are addressed! XPS and PDF will be supported from scratch – no need to install a free plugin (just as it was in the Office 2007 betas).
Ecma International is currently asking ISO members for comments on the XPS standard. XPS is a new XML based standard for a paginated document format, somewhat like PDF. The current working draft 1.2 is now publicly available for anyone and the technical committee (TC46) of Ecma is requesting comments on the XPS draft. They also provide an issue list with all identified problems and an optional status. XPS has gained a lot of support from hardware/printer manufacturers, such as Konica Minolta and Xerox and software companies such NiXPS and SANATech.
It’s summer and time for some vacation, finally. This year has been hard work so far – and I don’t expect it to get lighter this upcoming autumn and winter. I’ve had fun though! Microsoft SharePoint has really been one thing occupying my work – it feels like everyone is not just looking at SharePoint, they want to use it now! We have a couple of cases that is really interesting and I hope that I have convinced them and proposed a nice solution.
The Swedish Standards Institute has as a result of the chaotic OOXML vote in August changed their rules for participating in technical committees and voting in them. Previously you could just before the vote sign the agreement and participate. From now on you must have been a member of the technical committee at least three weeks ahead of the votes you would like to participate in. The new rules also clearly points out that you only have one vote (I’m still wondering who voted twice…).
ISO has published an official FAQ on ISO/IEC 29500 aka Office Open XML. The FAQ contains official answers from ISO to common questions such as: Why two standards? The ICT industry has a long history of developing multiple standards providing similar functionalities. After a period of co-existence, it is basically the market that decides which survives… What about contradictions? …but these can be taken care of during the maintenance of the standard.
After a lot of turmoil the ECMA Office Open XML document format has been approved as an ISO/IEC standard - IS 29500. The news came out a day earlier than stated, due to a leak which made ISO to go public with the news. The process has not been easy for any part in the process and it has for sure made footprints in the standardization history. A lot of lobbying money as been spent (Politics matter) and a lot of committed people has engaged in verbal and written battles.
Today is the last day that the national bodies can change/update the votes on the Office Open Xml, DIS 29500, approval as an ISO standard. I really hope that enough NB’s change their votes so we can have OOXML as an ISO standard - I know we will all gain on this. To get a hint in which direction the result is going Andy Updegrove has set up a Vote Tracker, which he will continuously update until we have the final result.
ECMA International TC46 has updated the XML Paper Specification documents to working draft version 1.1. The new drafts can be found here as PDF or XPS and the changes can be found here (only as PDF :-) in the issue list. It seems like there are no major changes, mostly minor and editorial changes. I think we can expect some more changes when Office Open Xml has gone through the last steps of the ISO Fast-Track procedure, especially the references to the OPC.
The Ballot Resolution Meeting, BRM, on DIS 29500 is currently taking place in Geneva and I’m really curious on what’s going on in down there in Switzerland. There has not leaked anything of interest, just some rumors and photos. I guess we all have to wait until the weekend and then we will be flooded with upset|angry|joyful|content|happy comments from the delegates.
The Microsoft Office Binary File Formats (.doc, .xls, .ppt…) are now available for everyone under the Open Specification Promise, OSP. This is good news for all of you working with the traditional binary format, when for example moving them to the new Office Open Xml, OOXML, file format. The binary file formats have previously been available for download for a long time (under RAND-Z), but now you download them here.
Today ECMA International published the final responses to the more than 3.500 technical comments, submitted by the national bodies about four months ago, on Office Open XML (ISO/IEC DIS 29500). This is a milestone in the Office Open XML standardization and it is now up to the participating countries to review the answer on the comments and see if the agree or still disagree. The proposed dispositions are not public (they are only available to the BRM members) but ECMA has a summary of the major changes in their press release.
The year of 2007 is about to come to an end, and it has been a really exciting year. First of all I’ve had a great year with my family; my daughters turned four and one years old during 2007 and it’s so wonderful having them around giving me energy. My wife has been home with them the whole year and next year I will take a few months of parental leave and give them my full attention.
The ECMA Technical Committee 45, continues to comment the comments received during the Office Open XML ISO fast-track procedure and have now reached to two thirds of them. The response to comments are only sent to the national bodies The last set of proposed changes contains one major interesting thing; OOXML, or DIS 29500, is proposed to be a multi-part standard, which some national bodies suggested. The parts are: DIS 29500-1: WordProcessingML, SpreadsheetML, PresentationML and SharedML specifications DIS 29500-2: is the Open Packaging Convention, OPC DIS 29500-3: the extensibility specification This is not a big shocker, I imagined it coming, but anyway I’m glad they made the change(proposition to change).
It has been quite calm on the Office Open Xml OOXML scene for a while, but now the BRM on DIS 29500 meeting is approaching in late February of 2008 and the information on the process is increasing. This time I think the ongoing discussion is on a more “nicer” level than right after the ISO vote. Here are some interesting readings that I have read the last few weeks, that I would like to share:
The standardization of the XML Paper Specification (XPS) as an ECMA International standard proceeds. Adrian Ford reports that the initial working draft has been published on the ECMA web site. There are no major changes as of now to the original specification by Microsoft, but rather some editorial changes, read the latest draft here (available as PDF or XPS). Lets hope that the ECMA TC has learned from the recent Office Open XML ISO failure and get rid of all these non-issues that most of the OOXML comments really was about.
ECMA Office Open XML (ISO/IEC DIS 29500) will not get an approval from ISO, as of now. This is what almost everyone expected after the last week of turbulence. Now we can hopefully look forward to some constructive work on all the recieved comments on the specification from ECMA and Microsoft. This will in the end make a better OOXML specification and I hope it will be approved in february of 2008.
Yes, you read it right! Microsoft now offers a royalty-free file format program for the Microsoft Office Binary File Format (the old .doc, .xls and .ppt used in previous versions of Microsoft Office). Microsoft Office 2007 is built-upon the Office Open XML file format which is an ECMA International standard, and an ISO proposal (you have all read about it). But some of us still have application and/or customers that heavily rely on the old binary format.
It is now confirmed that Sweden will abstain from voting for the ECMA Open Office XML specification (DIS 29500). After the annullation of the result taken on monday the working group could not agree on having a new meeting before the ISO voting procedure. Some of the members did not like to have a new vote - guess who? So this is the end of the SIS vote for this time.
I just recieved new information (in Swedish) that Sweden will not vote Yes for DIS29500 Office Open XML, which I previously reported on. Sweden will instead abstain from voting in the ISO vote on September 2nd. The SIS board had a meeting this afternoon and annulled the previous result due to that one of the commitee members had participated with more than one vote. I do not know which member, but I figure we all soon will know it…
Today was the meeting when the Swedish standardisation organisation, SIS, was to vote on the Office Open XML standard. I have observed this procedure, but not actively participated in it since the first working group meeting a few months ago. At that time it felt pretty comfortable and the Yes vote was in reach. When this day approached both camps, the pro Office Open XML team and the no-sayers both gathered their forces for the final battle.
Here are some interesting links on the (summer) hot OOXML vs ODF discussion. INCITS issues a ballot of “yes” with comments by Doug Mahugh South Africa votes No with comments on the standardisation of Open XML Brian Jones comments on Setting a New Standard by Jason Brooks Wouter van Vugt announces his pocket-sized Open XML book and tells us about the Dutch ISO/IEC standardisaton of Open XML
The OOXML versus ODF discussions are getting more intense and either side lays out the same arguments why the other one are better than the other. Some arguments are valid - but some are definitley not! Why do the ODF side always use the “it’s to much to read” argument!? Just take a look at Andrew Updegroves open letter to the state of Massachusetts, two of his five points is about this argument!