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Microsoft Office 2003 Editions: Overview of Developer TechnologiesSeptember 2004

Although XML provides for greater interoperability with heterogeneous systems, WordprocessingML files are not recognized by previous versions of Word, which treats them as XML files of an unknown type.

Microsoft Office Excel 2003. The Excel 2003 XML format or schema, called SpreadsheetML, is available in all versions of Excel 2003. This format saves spreadsheet content and information about workbooks, worksheets, formulas, formatting, Microsoft Office PivotTable® dynamic views and much more. However, unlike the Word XML format, SpreadsheetML does not save all details associated with a workbook. You can find a list of items that are not saved on Office Online under the (search) topic, “Features and limitations of XML Spreadsheet format in Excel.” Excel saves the SpreadsheetML file with a processing instruction at the top of the file so that when a user opens a SpreadsheetML file from Windows Explorer or Internet Explorer, Windows opens the XML file directly in Excel 2003. Microsoft Office XP and Microsoft Excel 2002 also supported SpreadsheetML. Excel 2003 adds new features by using a new namespace: “urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:excel2”.

Microsoft Office InfoPath 2003. Unlike Word and Excel, InfoPath does not define a file format since information captured through InfoPath is saved in the XML format defined by the developer of an InfoPath solution. Instead, InfoPath uses an XML schema, called FormTemplate which is saved with a file extension of .xsf, to define the layout for InfoPath forms. FormTemplate defines information about all other files and components used within an InfoPath form, including UI customizations, XML schemas, views, business logic, events, and deployment settings. The .xsf file holds information about how the form is constructed, used, and deployed. When the InfoPath designer creates a solution, InfoPath creates and manages this file automatically. While you do not usually need to modify this file, directly editing the .xsf file does enable you to extend form functionality in some ways that are not possible through the designer UI.

Suggested Next Steps

Download the Office 2003 XML Reference Schemas: http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?FamilyID=fe118952-3547-420a-a412-00a2662442d9&DisplayLang=en  

Learn to generate Excel 2003 workbooks with XML: http://msdn.microsoft.com/office/understanding/xmloffice/articles/default.aspx?pull=/library/en-us/odc_xl2003_ta/html/odc_xlxmlhowto_.asp

Custom-defined XML Schema Support

Schemas define the structure and type of data that each element in an XML document can contain. You can use a schema to define the format of information needed for a particular application and then use the schema to ensure that the solution captures and manipulates valid XML data. Word 2003, Excel 2003 and Microsoft Office Access 2003 have many new features to support custom schemas that adhere to the W3C 1.0 recommendation for XML Schema, allowing you to work with information more easily in a familiar, specific format rather than navigating various aspects of specific object models for individual Office applications.

Note   Custom-defined XML schema support is available only in Microsoft Office Professional Edition 2003, Microsoft Office Professional Enterprise Edition, and the standalone versions of each individual product.

Custom-defined XML Schema Benefits

All data has meaning within the context of a business. The custom-defined XML schema support in Office 2003 Editions allows you to work with data that is marked according to a business-defined schema more often than unlabeled text items in Office documents. For example, purchase orders contain data such as prices and item numbers. Before Office 2003 Editions

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To comment on this paper or request more documentation on these developer features, contact us at O12Devdx@microsoft.com. We look forward to hearing from you.

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