OpenDocument Format
The future is interoperability

What people say about ODF

[..] considering the huge potential of eGovernance in the nation as well as the need to adopt open standards to make our data systems more inter-operable and independent of any limiting proprietary tools, we feel that ODF is a great technological leap and a big boon to further propel IT right to India's grass root levels. [..]

- Rentala Chandershekhar, secretary of Ministry of Information and Technology, India

Since the Dutch parliament established an explicit policy on ODF in 2007, adopting the open document format is an important instrument in making government IT more flexible and future-proof, while giving citizens and businesses the freedom to interact with their government using the software they choose.

- Joris Dirks, project lead ODF, 'Netherlands Open in Connection' (NOiV)

We like that ODF has been developed through an open, inclusive process - one that welcomes government participation and input - and that there are many products which support ODF, so vendor lock-in is not a concern. As a vivid promoter of open standards, Fedict welcomes ODF 1.2 and encourages vendors to implement this specification on various platforms, ensuring "universal" (any device/any OS) information accessibility both in the short term and long term.

- Peter Strickx, CTO Fedict
(the agency responsible for developing and implementing e-gov strategy in Belgium).

ODF1.2 is the cornerstone for building interoperable assets of information and knowledge especially within the public sector.

- Manuel Velardo, Chief Operations Officer at CENATIC (part of Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Tourism), Spain

OpenDocument Format is a huge step forward for interoperability for productivity applications. In the post-PC era, there will still be documents and spreadsheets, but it is essential that these are available on many different platforms. That is where ODF comes in.

- Michiel Leenaars, director of Strategy, NLnet foundation.

Just as importantly, with ODF, governments can be assured that they will have access to important documents and records 5, 10, even 20 years from now with no worries that software provider will discontinue support for the format.

- Graham Taylor, Director, OpenForum Europe

Working Group 6 of ISO/IEC JTC 1/SC 34 brings together a team of international experts to work with OASIS on the maintenance of OpenDocument Format in its International Standard form, ISO/IEC 26300:2006. WG 6 has contributed to improving the text of ODF 1.0 and is in the process of aligning the International Standard with ODF 1.1. I am delighted that several WG 6 experts have been publicly acknowledged for their contributions to the preparation of the text of ODF 1.2. I look forward to continuing our work with OASIS on the maintenance of current and future International Standard versions of ODF.

- Francis Cave
, Convenor, ISO/IEC JTC 1/SC 34/WG 6

The OpenDocument Format is not only a great technology that convincingly pulls office applications into the 21st century, it is an open standard with the potential to restore the market to health. It makes it possible for innovative companies like ours to compete with our user focused product against the big companies' office suites that have since long stopped trying to focus on their users. Office applications are not rocket science and in a fair and balanced market the customer stands to win higher productivity, easier integration with business processes, and better value for their money.

- Tobias Hintze, CEO KO GmbH

RDF is the foundation of the Semantic Web: it enables information to be expressed in a manner that both machines and humans can produce and process. The inclusion of RDF in the OpenDocument Format expands the way in which people can communicate information; a single file can contain presentation, text content, and now also explicit meaning through RDF. People, Places, Events, Logistics, and more can be easily shared. Word processing software moves beyond the traditional processing of simple strings of letters to performing reasoning on information and helping you manage the things in your life.

- Dr. Ben Martin, freelance software developer, Australia
Member of ODF TC

Information today is every organisation's key asset. It's clearly unwise to lock those assets into a format that you may or may not be able to open tomorrow. ODF is not only future proof. Since it is a true Open Standard, it also makes your organisation independent from any particular software supplier. Independence and long-term preservation, and openness as a standard: ODF sets a high bar that other standards should aspire to meet.

- Karsten Gerloff, President FSF Europe (Germany)

What governments think

ODF in the public sector

OpenDocument Format has been adopted as the format of choice by governments all over the world, because ODF helps them to be safer, more cost efficient and less error prone. If ODF works for the governments of Argentina, Brazil, Croatia, Denmark, Extremadura, Finland, Germany, Hong Kong, India, Japan, Korea (and the list goes on, you get the point) - you can be sure it will work for you as well.

When security matters

ODF and NATO

Research by Symantec MessageLabs in February 2011 has revealed that almost 60% of the incoming security threats they measure are currently caused by legacy binary office formats (notably Microsoft .doc and .xls-files). The German security agency Bundesamt für Sicherheit in der Informationstechnik promotes ODF because it enables:

  • a deeper analysis of techniques used in attacks
  • development of custom mechanisms to detect attacks
  • Adapting Free Software that is used for rendering and processing of document formats to individually specific purposes – also independently from the vendor
  • Prerequisite for software diversity
  • Promotion of a competitive environment for vendors

No wonder NATO with its 28 members (Albania, Belgium, Bulgaria, Canada, Croatia, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Turkey, the UK, and the USA) uses ODF as a mandatory standard for all members.

Learn more about ODF

OpenDocument Format is standardised by OASIS and adopted by ISO/IEC JTC1 SC34. ODF is the current best practise for sharing and storing office documents across the industry, which is proven by the fact that many governments around the world have already adopted it. Why not try?