XML-based standards gain momentum

XML-based standards are gaining increasing favour with companies in Europe and the US, according to research published this week.

Large organisations are being driven in the direction of such standards by an increasing need for interoperability, in addition to archiving needs, and transitional factors, claims the Microsoft-commissioned IDC study.

"Pragmatic business needs are clearly on top of mind when it comes to standards adoption, both within the public and private sector," said Per Andersen, managing director of IDC Nordic. "The survey results reveal that multiple document standards are deployed today, and that companies see the transition of the existing base of documents as one of the most important criteria when selecting a document standard."

The research also found that big companies with a diverse range of business requirements are more likely to adopt multiple document standards to meet their needs, despite IT managers preferring the single standard route as a way of reducing costs and implementation complexity.

Portable Document Format (PDF), Open XML and Open Document Format (ODF) standards are all being actively embraced today, with the latter regarded as the most dominant force.

European businesses driven towards Open XML expect to be trialing or fully deploying the standard in a year's time, while those looking at the ODF standard are more likely to still be at the consideration stage in the same timeframe.

"The survey validates that organisations evaluate and implement XML-based document formats based on a complex set of criteria," said Jean Paoli, general manager of interoperability and XML architecture at Microsoft.

"Although we are glad to see strong adoption of Open XML, we realise that individual organisational requirements vary, and interoperability remains critical," said Paoli. "Therefore, we continue to promote the development of tools that offer customers a choice in which formats they can use."

Maggie Holland

Maggie has been a journalist since 1999, starting her career as an editorial assistant on then-weekly magazine Computing, before working her way up to senior reporter level. In 2006, just weeks before ITPro was launched, Maggie joined Dennis Publishing as a reporter. Having worked her way up to editor of ITPro, she was appointed group editor of CloudPro and ITPro in April 2012. She became the editorial director and took responsibility for ChannelPro, in 2016.

Her areas of particular interest, aside from cloud, include management and C-level issues, the business value of technology, green and environmental issues and careers to name but a few.