Microsoft Corp. announced that it is adopting XML technology for the default file formats in the next version of Microsoft Office editions, currently code-named “Office 12.” The new file formats, called Microsoft Office Open XML Formats, will become the defaults for the “Office 12” versions of Microsoft Office Word, Excel and PowerPoint, which are expected to be released in the second half of 2006. The interoperability capabilities of the Microsoft Office Open XML Formats enable Microsoft Office applications to directly access data stored in systems outside those applications, such as server-based line-of-business applications. These third-party applications, in turn, can access data stored in the new Office file formats. Microsoft Office Open XML Formats are fully documented file formats with a royalty-free license. Anyone can integrate them directly into their servers, applications and business processes, without financial consideration to Microsoft. People using Office 2000, Office XP and Office 2003 will be able to open, edit and save files using the new formats, thanks to a free update available as a download from Microsoft that enables those older Office versions to work with the new formats. Documents created with the current binary file formats in Office also will be fully compatible with “Office 12” applications. So workers can save documents to their current formats and exchange those documents with people using “Office 12” — and when they upgrade to “Office 12,” they can continue to use their existing binary documents. Microsoft will provide further technical information about the Microsoft Office Open XML Formats, including draft versions of the schemas, to help ensure that developers and IT professionals can be prepared to take advantage of the formats before product shipment. People interested in the new file formats and the next version of Office can get additional information beginning Monday, June 6 at a preview site, http://www.microsoft.com/office/preview
OASIS announced that its members have approved the Darwin Information Typing Architecture (DITA) version 1.0 as an OASIS Standard. DITA defines an XML architecture for designing, writing, managing, and publishing many kinds of information in print and on the Web. DITA consists of a set of design principles for creating “information-typed” modules at a topic level. DITA enables organizations to deliver content as closely as possible to the point-of-use, making it ideal for applications such as integrated help systems, web sites, and how-to instruction pages. DITA’s topic-oriented content can be used to exploit new features or delivery channels as they become available. Participation in the OASIS DITA Technical Committee remains open. All those interested in advancing this work, including users, XML tools vendors, and consultants on Information Architecture and Content Management Systems (CMS), are encouraged to join the Committee. OASIS hosts an open mail list for public comment and the dita-user mailing list for exchanging information on implementing the standard. http://www.oasis-open.org
SDL International announced SDLAuthorAssistant 2005. SDLAuthorAssistant enables creators of corporate content to perform real-time, automated comparisons of newly authored content with existing translation memories and terminology glossaries. Content volumes for translation are minimized and forbidden terms are excluded. By integrating a common set of visual tools directly into Adobe FrameMaker, Arbortext Epic, Blast Radius XMetaL and Microsoft Word, SDLAuthorAssistant empowers authors to create content that complies with corporate standards and is optimized for the translation process. http://www.sdl.com
Today’s Supreme Court ruling reversing the decision against Arthur Andersen
is big news in the compliance world. My bet is that it will have two important
The first is that, once again, it will be OK to destroy documents in
accordance with a company’s retention policy. The second is that it is going to
become even more obvious to companies that they really do need to have a
carefully designed document retention policy, along with a way to ensure that it
is implemented and monitored.
Thomas Industrial Network, Inc., provider of Internet sourcing and marketing solutions for industrial buyers and sellers, announced that it is discontinuing its print publications, reflecting an over ten-year transition to the Internet as the primary information source of the industrial market. Following the 2006 edition of the Thomas Register of American Manufacturers, Thomas Industrial Network will cease publication of this print directory, familiarly known to industry as the “Big Green Books.” The Thomas Register Regional Buying Guides will be discontinued as well. The full information from these publications, and much more, will continue to be available free-of-charge at ThomasNet.com. ThomasNet.com is the leading online resource in the industrial/business-to-business arena. Over one million visitors – qualified as industrial buyers and engineers – turn to ThomasNet.com each month to find the products and services they need. The content of ThomasNet.com is 100 percent focused on the industrial market, with over 650,000 manufacturers, distributors and service companies indexed by 67,000 product and service categories. Resources include suppliers’ product catalogs, e-commerce capabilities, and over 20 million CAD drawings. http://www.ThomasNet.com
Captiva Software Corporation announced it closed its previously announced agreement to acquire SWT SA, a leading provider of automatic data extraction and intelligent document capture solutions and technology in France. The acquisition extends Captiva’s market presence, strengthens Captiva’s mailroom and invoice processing expertise, and brings advanced classification and data extraction technologies that Captiva can leverage into its products, customer base and channels. In accordance with the agreement, Captiva paid approximately $17.6 million in cash and issued approximately 179,000 shares of Captiva common stock to SWT management, to purchase all outstanding shares of the privately held SWT.
Design Science announced the release of version 1.5 of its MathFlow line of MathML publishing workflow components. A major feature of this new release is the ability of MathFlow to work with XyEnterprise’s XML Professional Publisher (XPP 7.3). This release also adds significant functionality for Arbortext Epic and Blast Radius XMetaL users. MathFlow Editor now integrates with XPP’s editor to provide an interface for creating and modifying mathematical expressions that can then be formatted by XPP as part of a larger document. MathFlow Editor allows Epic, XMetaL and XPP users to toggle between a Design View for WYSIWYG editing of math expressions, and a Source View for direct editing of the corresponding MathML elements and attributes. The overall usability and look-and-feel has been improved with new and updated toolbar graphics, and revised Help screens. Support for Arbortext’s Enterprise E-Content Engine (E3) has also been added. http://www.dessci.com/mathflow
I have commented before on research done by vendors. Such research is not independent of course, but sometimes you look at the results, and some of it makes perfect sense. Take this chart from a presentation by Jonathan Bruce, XQuery Evangelist for DataDirect Technologies. Jonathan was the featured speaker at a recent meeting of The Washington Area SGML / XML Users Group.
If you are interested in XQuery, I would recommend downloading the whole presentation.