One of the initial goals of the partnership is contributing to the development of a new version of Apache POI, a top-level project of the Apache Software Foundation (ASF). Apache POI is a Java API used to access and manage Microsoft Office binary formats, and can be applied to billions of binary format documents by alleviating the need for complex programming and/or reverse engineering. Because Apache POI libraries are used in numerous open source projects, developing future libraries to support the Ecma Office Open XML File Formats (the default file format in the 2007 Microsoft Word, Excel and PowerPoint products) will play an important role in new interoperability scenarios where XML-based standard formats will be key for Office documents.
"Apache POI support for Open XML is compelling. It makes it easier to integrate, manage and deploy across the enterprise, and opens up valuable user contributions and feedback -- an essential step to the interoperability and adoption of many collaboratively developed technologies," said Gianugo Rabellino, CEO of Sourcesense.
Apache POI support for Open XML is currently in development within the Apache Software Foundation; its first release is anticipated during the second quarter of 2008. Code contributions are made by ASF members and committers, and overseen by the Apache POI Project Management Committee (PMC).