Rivals Microsoft and OpenOffice.org each released toolkits that support building applications for their competing document file formats and productivity suites.
OpenOffice.org's toolkit allows developers to add the ability to save documents in Open Document Format for Office Applications (ODF) to a variety of applications.
Meanwhile, Microsoft's kits help companies build applications for its Office 2007 productivity suite, which is based on Open XML, ODF's rival file format. Office 2007 is available to business customers and will be in wide consumer release on January 30.
The OpenOffice.org ODF Toolkit Project has published an initial version of its toolkit online and is inviting members of the community to add to its development, says Louis Suarez-Potts, community manager for OpenOffice.org.
Previously, developers would have to add "a good piece of OpenOffice.org" code to an application to give it the ability to save documents in ODF, Suarez-Potts says. The creation of the ODF Toolkit makes this easier.
Microsoft's toolkits for Windows SharePoint Services 3.0, Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007 and the Microsoft Office Project 2007 provide technical guidance and sample code so developers can build what Microsoft is calling Office Business Applications.
The company hopes these applications will allow employees to access information from back-end systems through the new Office UI (user interface), which it has named Microsoft Office Fluent. On Tuesday, Microsoft announced the name of the Office 2007 UI for the first time and said it will license Fluent royalty-free so developers can build new applications that look like those in the suite.
More information about Microsoft's announcements can be found on its Web site.
The International Organization for Standardization (ISO) recently approved ODF as an international standard for document file formats. It is supported by companies such as IBM and Sun, which markets its own version of OpenOffice.org called StarOffice. Microsoft's Open XML, on the other hand, recently won approval by Ecma International as a standard, but the ISO has not approved it yet.