OpenDocument Gets ISO Certification

The OpenDocument Format Alliance said Wednesday that it had won approval of ODF as an standard by the International Organization for Standardization. The approval ends a two-year process by ODF supporters to have the format officially recognized.

In May 2004, OASIS was urged by the European Commission's Interchange of Data between Administrations Management Committee to submit ODF to the ISO. OASIS obliged, which led to a vote that ended on May 1.

The ODF Alliance believes that the ratification of the format as a standard will help its adoption across Europe. Under European Union directives, ISO standards are officially recognized.

"There's no doubt that this broad vote of support will serve as a springboard for adoption and use of ODF around the world," ODF Alliance executive Director Mario Marcich said. "At the same time, it also represents a milestone for the ODF Alliance, which in just weeks has seen a groundswell of support and continues to grow everyday."

Since its inception in early March, the ODF Alliance has grown from 38 members to over 150. The group's primary goal is to promote the use of ODF within government organizations as a way to ensure that public data will always be viewable no matter what application is used.

"The ODF Alliance intends to build on this successful vote by working with governments around the world to adopt the OpenDocument Format," Marcich said. "We believe access to public records and essential services should never be restricted to users of a particular brand of software or computer platform."

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