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29 September 2009, 10:01

Apache POI 3.5 released with OOXML support

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The developers of the Apache POI project have released version 3.5 of the Java library for working with Microsoft's document formats. Previous versions have supported Microsoft's OLE2 Compound document formats and version 3.5 adds support for Microsoft's OOXML documents. The library is therefore capable of manipulating XLS, DOC, XLSX, DOCX adn PPTX files using pure Java code with no native libraries.

Version 3.5 has been in beta since July 2008 after Microsoft announced it would be be cooperating with the Apache POI developers in March 2008. POI, originally an acronym for "Poor Obfuscation Implementation" in reference to the obscure nature of Microsoft document formats, is composed of a number of components including POIFS, a set of APIs for accessing OLE 2 documents, and HSSF and XSSF, for accessing Excel and OOXML spreadsheets.

In the 3.5 release, POI-SS allows developers to work with HSSF and XSSF files with a common API, allowing them to worry less about which version of Excel generated the spreadsheet. POI-XSSF has been enhanced to support formula evaluation and to work in low memory situations. POI-XWPF provides the Java API to access Microsoft Word 2007 OOXML files supporting text and embedded data extraction. POI-XSLF provides a similar level of access to the content of PowerPoint 2007 OOXML files.

A change log details the fixes that apply to the final version. The Apache 2.0 licensed code is available to download from Apache mirror sites.


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