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OpenXML Developer
Goodbye and Hello

OpenXmlDeveloper.org is Shutting Down

There is a time for all good things to come to an end, and the time has come to shut down OpenXmlDeveloper.org.

Screen-casts and blog posts: Content on OpenXmlDeveloper.org will be moving to EricWhite.com.

Forums: We are moving the forums to EricWhite.com and StackOverflow.com. Please do not post in the forums on OpenXmlDeveloper.org. Instead, please post in the forums at EricWhite.com or at StackOverflow.com.

Please see this blog post for more information about my plans moving forward.  Cheers, Eric

Does anyone know if Microsoft has any plans on releasing a .NET library to create/edit OpenXML documents?

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  • Does anyone know if Microsoft has any plans on releasing a .NET library to create/edit OpenXML documents?  A couple of weeks ago I had a need to generate an OpenXML document for Excel.  There was a couple of "for sale" tools that were very exspensive.

    Exspensive one from Soft Artisans ($1495 per CPU)



    There was one from Serious Fish that ranges in price from $19-$400


    BUT it requires that you add the Oracle Client DLL (System.Data.OracleClient.dll) to your bin directory to get it to work.


    The one that I ended up using was FREE


    It had enough of the features I needed at the time and you can't argue the price.


    So I hope this helps anyone out there looking for options, but I would like to see if Microsoft has any plans on building these .NET tools to help us developers (since they own Office also) or if they are going to leave this area for the time being to vendors.



    P.S.  Love this new website!

  • Have you looked at the WinFX System.IO.Packaging API? It's used in Stephen Peront's embedded-objects sample on this site, and Kevin Boske has blogged about how to get started with it.

    There are also plans, both inside and outside Microsoft, to provide additional layers of abstraction on top of the packaging API, more geared toward the structure of the document than the structure of the package. But none of those tools are available yet. If you have suggestions about the types of things you'd hope to see in those tools, let us know — this is a good place to communicate those types of ideas broadly within the community.

    - Doug

    - Doug Mahugh Technical Evangelist, Microsoft
  • Thanks for the info and links.  I'll look back at some of this and see if there is anything I can use when I have time to get back to it.  Also I'll have to wait until I can get the current app's features finished before I start looking at moving up to .NET 2.0 that will be required for this.

    As far as features in these tools, I would be looking for the following:

    Have the ability to create these documents via a object based .NET classes that would have collections and enumerations so the developer does not have to know a thing about the XML structure (not that I am lazy or anything, more of an abstraction layer incase there are changes in the format later and not having to reference docs to find all available options for a property)

    The Excel OpenXML object would have the ability to take a DataSet (every DataTable would create a WorkSheet) or a DataTable or DataView (would create a new WorkSheet or append to an existing WorkSheet) and have an optional parameter to include column headers (Maybe even a style to apply to it so they stand out).  I would think that this would hit 80-90% of most people's needs and would have a quick WOW factor for demos.

    The Word OpenXML object would have methods to find text and "user fields" in a document.  That way template documents could be created and values inserted or replaced.  Maybe even a way to pass a DataTable or DataView and find "user fields" with the same name as columns and replace those values.  The result would be a collection of Word OpenXML documents like a "mail merge".

    So these are just a few ideas that I can think of right now that I could use now or in the near future and I'm sure many others out there that could use these too.  But also as I have mentioned in another thread, Microsoft needs to have Office OpenXML viewers available to view these documents as people migate (or pushes them to migrate because they want to edit) to the newer Office Suite.

    Thanks For Your Time,


    P.S. I'm planning on getting a presentation together for the Dallas .NET User Group (www.ddnug.net) and/or North Dallas .NET User Group (www.nddnug.net) to talk about a part of this, so if there is any information you can give me on now or future ability to create OpenXML documents, please let me know so I can include it.  Thanks Again!

  • If I wasn't wearing my tinfoil hat, I'd think you were reading my mind :)

    I put a list of what we currently have planned on my blog.  Art and I have been thinking about tools quite a bit, and we welcome your input.  We have a lot of ideas as to where tools are needed and what we might do in the near-term (see list) and long-term (no announcements).  It is great to hear from all of you where you feel tools are most needed and what you want in order to help us validate our assumptions and prioritize our efforts.   In short, keep the ideas coming! 

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