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Open Document Architecture (ODA) and interchange format

2nd edition, December 1988

The purpose of this standard ECMA-101 is to facilitate the interchange of documents.

In the context of this Standard, documents are considered to be items such as memoranda, letters invoices, forms and reports, which may include pictures and tabular material. The content elements used within the documents may include graphic characters geometric graphics elements and raster graphics elements, all potentially within one document.

NOTE 1-1 – This Standard is designed to allow for extensions, including topographical features, colour, spreadsheets and additional types of content such as sound.

This Standard applies to the interchange of documents by means of data communications or the exchange of storage media. It provides for the interchange of documents for either or both of the following purposes:

  • to allow presentation as intended by the originator;
  • to allow processing such as editing and reformatting.

The composition of a document in interchange can take several forms:

  • formatted form, allowing presentation of the document;
  • processable form, allowing processing of the document;
  • formatted processable form, allowing both presentation and processing.

This Standard also provides for the interchange of ODA information structures used for the processing of interchange documents

Furthermore this Standard allows for the interchange of documents containing one or more different types of content, such as character text, images graphic and sound.


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Technical CommitteeTC29 (this TC is no longer active)


  • ECMA-101, 1st edition, September 1985Download