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Piloting of the Office Document Architecture

Objective

The goal of this project was to evaluate and to advance the ISO and CCITT standards on Office Document Architecture (ODA), and to accelerate the exploitation of ODA.
FORMA is an end user oriented, native document architecture (ODA) document editor for personal computers (PC) and UNIX workstations. The FORMA document handler is an ODA structured document processing tool which is supported by character and raster graphics editors, file management, hypertext help, databases and bulletin boards. FORMA interfaces ODA documents to telex, fax and teletext. It also interfaces to desktop publishing and publishing hardware through its use of high quality device independent (DVI) imaging output. This makes FORMA suitable for both office use and typesetting in the publishing industry. The software architecture is flexible such that it is easy to integrate new components to the system, or to specialiste FORMA for particular solutions.

The project produced the following main results. Firstly, demonstration of the office document architecture (ODA) standard by the interchange of documents between commercially available office equipment (word processors, workstations, printers) from 5 different manufacturers. This included the definition of document application profiles with increasing capabilities, and the provision of converters to and from proprietary document formats. The software development has been based on commonly used software (the PODA toolkit) including an ODA formatter, an ODA storage manager and an adaptable format checker which validated the syntax of an ODIF data stream format. Secondly, development and demonstration of a final form imager which converts a formatted form ODIF document into an existing laser printer's format in order to print interchange documents; development and demonstration of a font support system; design and specification of components for an ODA-conformant formatting document editor. Thirdly, development of methods and components to handle confidential documents in office systems; investigation of concepts for data in documents; prototype work on audio systems in the context of ODA; investigation of concepts for data in documents; prototype work on audio systems in the context of ODA; investigative and prototype work on user interfaces.
PODA-1 produced the following main results:
-ODA Document Interchange
Demonstration of the ODA standard by the interchange of documents between commercially available office equipment (word processors, workstations, printers) from five different manufacturers at the 1987 and 1988 Hannover Fairs. This included the definitio n of Document Application Profiles with increasing capabilities, and the provision of converters to and from proprietary document formats. The software development has been based on commonly used software (the PODA toolkit) including an ODA formatter, an ODA storage manager and an adaptable format checker which validated the syntax of an ODIF data stream format.
-ODA Evaluation
Development and demonstration of a final form imager which converts a formatted-form ODIF document into an existing laser printer's format in order to print interchange documents.
Development and demonstration of a font support system
Design and specification of components for an ODA-conformant formatting document editor, additional and complementary to components which were prototyped in project 121, HERODE. This also included prototyping a document-class definition editor.
-ODA Advancement
Development of methods and components in order to handle confidential documents in office systems.
Investigation of concepts for data in documents.
Prototype work on audio systems in the context of ODA.
Investigative and prototype work on user interfaces.
Exploitation
The experience gained from this project has been submitted to standardisation organisations, and has had an impact both on specifications ISO IS 8613 and on the Document Application Profiles.
The results of the project, particularly from the ODA document interchange work, will be exploited through products that will become commercially available in the 1990s.

Coordinator

Siemens Nixdorf Informationssysteme AG
Address
Otto-hahn-ring 6
81739 München
Germany

Participants (9)

Alcatel TITN
France
Address
Rue Galvani
91301 Massy
BULL SA
France
Address
7 Rue Ampère
91343 Massy
Ingegneria C. Olivetti and C. SpA
Italy
Address
Via Campi Flegrei 34
80078 Pozzuoli Napoli
International Computers Ltd (ICL)
United Kingdom
Address
Lovelace Road
RG12 4SN Bracknell
OCE-NEDERLAND BV
Netherlands
Address
St. Urbanusstraat Postbus 101
5900 MA Venlo
SERVICE D'ETUDES COMMUNES DE LA POSTE ET DE FRANCE TELECOM
France
Address
53 Avenue De La Cote De Nacre
14040 Caen
SIEMENS-NIXDORF INFORMATIONSSYSTEME AG
Germany
Address
Berliner Straße
1000 Berlin
Syntax Sistemi Software SpA
Italy
Address
Via Fanelli 206/16
70125 Bari
Birkbeck College, University of London
United Kingdom
Address
Malet Street, Bloomsbury
WC1E 7HX London