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Ecma TC46 has delivered the OpenXPS Standard

The June 2009 Ecma General Assembly approved ECMA-388, the Open XML Paper Specification


Geneva, 20 July 2009

The two year effort of Ecma TC46 was rewarded on June 16, 2009 in Budapest, Hungary, with the Ecma General Assembly approval of ECMA-388, the Open XML Paper Specification. Work on the OpenXPS Document standard began in June of 2007 with the creation of the Ecma TC46 committee. Ecma members from across the international office and print systems industries, twenty companies in all, joined together to add their expertise to the initial Microsoft offering, upon which the OpenXPS Document standard is based. In addition to the Open XML Paper Specification itself, TC46 prepared and distributed, in advance of the Ecma General Assembly approval meeting, explanatory slides and a White Paper. During the voting process, the Ecma General Assembly noted that the efforts of TC46 to provide explanatory materials were most appreciated. These materials are available at Dr. Istvan Sebestyen, Secretary General of Ecma International, provided the following perspective at the conclusion of the Ecma General Assembly vote, “I am very glad that Ecma has completed the OpenXPS specification in a timely manner - that is so important to the IT industry. The Ecma TC46 group is one of the finest standardization groups that I have had the pleasure to work with.

The key trends that motivated the development of the OpenXPS Document standard are businesses’ use of increasingly complex and colorful documents, concern with print related costs across the Fortune 500, workforces served by increasingly intelligent peripherals that operate on networks without a local host, and technology breakthroughs leading to the growing use of 3D in displays, printing, and document exchange. The OpenXPS Document standard answers these trends, providing a foundation layer that enables a variety of solutions addressing related user needs. “Autodesk is proud to have participated in bringing the OpenXPS standard to market,” said Subu Gupta, Autodesk’s Director of AutoCAD Engineering, “The inclusion of 3D standards now makes it possible for the designers to easily share and communicate the power of their 3D models.” Ann McCarthy, Imaging Systems research engineer at Lexmark International, Inc., and Chair of ECMA TC46, added that “the advantages of OpenXPS, such as its support for the ‘ITU-T T.832 Information technology – JPEG XR Image Coding Specification – Part 2: Image coding specification’, can be expected to improve the general user printing experience.

Yoshiyuki Suzuki, senior general manager of the Office Imaging Products Planning Center at Canon, also a contributor to the work on the standard, responded to the news of OpenXPS approval with “plans to incorporate the OpenXPS specification in future products. Canon fully supports the Ecma and theOpen XPS standard.” Mark Goldwater, Zoran Corporation's representative to Ecma TC46, had this to say, "As an active committee member, Zoran is fully supportive of the ECMA-388 standard and is adding OpenXPS compatibility to its IPS XPS interpreter in an upcoming release of its IPS print language interpreter software." Bart-Jan van der Vorst, Océ's International Product Manager for Office Software added "After contributing to the committee, Océ fully supports ECMA-388 standard and wishes to add OpenXPS compatibility on the Emperon based Océ Office printer devices (i.e., Océ VarioLink family) and upcoming XPS capable printers." Shinobu Nishikubo, the general manager of Electronic Information Technology R&D Center of Konica Minolta Business Technologies, Inc., commented: "Konica Minolta Business Technologies, Inc., the Vice Chair of the committee, supports the ECMA-388 standard. OpenXPS is a sophisticated data format for document workflow as archiving, sharing and printing. Konica Minolta Business Technologies, Inc., supports OpenXPS with future products and will offer new benefit to the users."

OpenXPS has been designed and optimized to provide a bridge between electronic paper and physical paper, and to address the requirements for sophisticated document content in complex workflows between people, PCs and devices. The resulting format is efficient and straightforward to implement, and enables interoperability between a wide range of systems and solutions. “This open and collaborative effort to standardize OpenXPS has resulted in a specification that effectively supports the advancements taking place in the electronic document world plus delivers greater interoperability as people view and print documents,” said Craig Shank, general manager, Interoperability Group, Microsoft. Martin Bailey, the CTO of Global Graphics Software said, “It was a pleasure to chair such a committed and professional team in TC46 until April this year. The outcome builds on the strength of the base XPS specification in enabling exchange of ‘electronic paper’ and streaming of rich graphical content to print devices efficiently and robustly.

About Ecma International

Since its inception in 1961, Ecma International (Ecma) has developed standards for Information and Communication Technology (ICT) and Consumer Electronics (CE). Ecma is a non-profit industry association of technology developers, vendors and users. Experts from industry and other organizations work together at Ecma to develop standards. Ecma submits its work for approval as ISO, IEC, ISO/IEC JTC 1 and ETSI standards and is a frequent practitioner of “fast-tracking” of specifications through the standardization process in international standards organizations. Ecma publications can be downloaded free of charge from the Ecma International website.

For more information: please contact Dr. Istvan Sebestyen, Secretary General of Ecma International. Email: