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Open XML API Roadmap

Office 2007

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The Open XML Format SDK 1.0 simplifies the task of manipulating OpenXML packages. The Open XML Application Programming Interface (API) encapsulates many common developer tasks that are performed on OpenXML packages, so you can perform complex operations with a few lines of code.

The Open XML API provides a set of .NET Framework-based classes to help Open XML developers create innovative solutions on top of the Open XML file formats. The Open XML API provides high-level functionality at the document and content level, while abstracting the complexity of Open XML semantics and syntax. With this API, you can build both server side and client side solutions for Open XML format documents, such as document collaboration within a document management system.

The goals of the Open XML API are that the API is easy to learn and use, that it is consistent with .NET Framework conventions, and that it outperforms other APIs in the market. The Open XML API provides a common interface for all server and client applications interacting with the Open XML file formats. It makes it easy for you to generate valid Open XML documents and content. The Open XML API version 1.0 provides two main components:

  1. Strong-Typed Open XML Syntax Layer. The strong-typed Open XML syntax layer works directly on the Open XML syntax tree by providing a library of strongly-typed parts and low-level classes for the Open XML elements. A beta version of the Open XML API, which handles strongly typed parts, was released in June 2007.

  2. Open XML API Layer. The Open XML API Layer provides high-level functionality and scenario-based operations on the Open XML documents, such as generating and manipulating the Open XML documents, searching and replacing specific content within a document, and auto-creating Open XML documents based on templates. The content search feature provides an easy way to search content based on content objects rather than the XML syntax. The Open XML validation feature provides a mechanism to validate Open XML documents against the syntax and semantics defined in the Open XML schema.

For each Open XML markup language group, the API provides object models based on content types, rather than the Open XML schema types. This functionality allows you to manipulate objects that are contained within documents directly, such as paragraphs and tables.

The Open XML API Version 1.0 is included with the Open XML Format SDK 1.0 and only contains the Open XML Packaging API. Later releases should contain all of the Open XML API components, including the Open XML Packaging API.

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