Microsoft and Sourcesense, a source systems integration consultancy, are collaborating to develop a new version of the Apache POI file format reader that supports the Office Open XML format.
Apache POI is widely used in financial services and critical enterprise applications across related sectors.
The open source file format reader and writer is used to create, edit and read Microsoft Office formats used in Excel, Word, PowerPoint and Visio.
Apache POI is a Java API that accesses and manages Microsoft Office binary formats, and is a top-level project of the Apache Software Foundation.
Microsoft said that, because Apache POI libraries are used in numerous open source projects, developing future libraries to support the software giant's Ecma Office Open XML File Formats is vital to maintain data interoperability.
"Donating code to an established, consensus-driven organisation such as the Apache Software Foundation benefits our customers and the open source community at large," said Sam Ramji, senior director of platform technology strategy at Microsoft.
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, according to Microsoft.
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