Main Page | See live article | Alphabetical index logo (OOo) (not "OpenOffice," due to a trademark dispute) is an office applications suite. It is based on the open-sourced code from an older version of StarOffice that was acquired and made open source by Sun Microsystems. OOo is released under the LGPL and the SISSL and is thus free software.

The project aims to compete with Microsoft Office and emulate Microsoft Office's look and feel. It is also able to read and write almost all Microsoft Office files.

Primary platforms for OOo are Microsoft Windows, GNU/Linux and Solaris, with ports available or in progress for many Unix-like operating systems. There is a version of OOo 1.0.3 for Mac OS X, which requires the use of X11.

OOo Version 1.1 was released on September 2, 2003. It includes:

OOo can also be configured to integrate with other databases such as mySQL and postgreSQL, so as to offer similar functionality to Microsoft Access.

Table of contents
1 History
2 in the marketplace
3 Development
4 GNOME and KDE integration
5 External links


In August of 1999, Sun Microsystems purchased StarDivision, a German software company who produced an office suite known as StarOffice. Sun's strategy at the time was to provide an alternative office suite to the dominant Microsoft Office. They opened the source code in 2000 and started the project, with the aim of allowing Sun access to rapid development with little cost. It also allowed the general public a version of StarOffice that was free including the source code.

Releases of StarOffice since StarOffice 6.0 have been based on the OOo codebase (similar to the relationship between Netscape Navigator and Mozilla), with some proprietary components included. in the marketplace

OOo has emerged as the most prominent alternative to the dominant Microsoft Office application suite. The ability to import from and export to Microsoft Office file formats is the most important feature of OOo for many of its users.

Microsoft has publicly acknowledged OOo and denounced its usefulness. When the Israeli employment agency announced plans to switch from using Microsoft Office to OOo, an unnamed Microsoft representative was quoted ([1]) as saying "The employment agency has selected an immature and unproven software package and its functionality is at best close to Office 97."


The OOo API is based on Universal Network Objects (UNO), the OOo component technology, and consists of a wide range of interfaces defined in a CORBA-like interface description language.

The document file format used by is based on XML and several export- and import-filters. All external formats read and written by are converted back and forth from the internal XML representation. By using compression when saving the XML to disk, OOo's files are generally smaller than the equivalent binary Microsoft Office files. The OOo file format is also the basis of the OASIS file format standard.

Other projects run alongside the main project - including documentation, localisation and the application programming interface. There is also a scripting project which aims to be a repository for distributing macros. (OGo) is a set of OOo extension programs released under either the GPL or the LGPL to share files. Using open Internet standards, a user can share calendars, addressbooks, emails, instant messaging and blackboards, browse the web and access other groupware applications.

The OOo 2.0 beta and release candidate is called Pelican.

GNOME and KDE integration

Sun and Ximian are integrating OOo with GNOME, which means that the applications of OOo will become part of GNOME office. On systems running GNOME, this will give OOo the same look and feel as the other GNOME applications running on that system. Ximian includes OOo in their Ximian Desktop product [1].

There is also work in progress on integration with KDE.

External links