03/11/2009 09:00

Netherlands government launches ODF service at Italian Plugfest

'interoperability effort makes market more transparent

Press release

Orvieto, Italy/The Hague, The Netherlands, November 3 2009

The Dutch government program "Netherlands in Open Connection" and OpenDoc Society have announced the public availability of a beta version of Officeshots.org. Officeshots logoOfficeshots is an online webservice that makes it possible to compare the output quality of various office suites as well as web-based productivity applications. The project is financially supported by a grant from the Netherlands based not-for-profit investor NLNet Foundation.

The announcement took place during the second ODF plugfest, which brought together vendors and open source projects like IBM, Google, KOffice, Microsoft, Novell and OpenOffice.org. "In a mature market a user should be able to compare the various suppliers transparently." says Bert Bakker, president of the OpenDoc Society. "Officeshots.org ensures that you can see who delivers the best support for document exchange standards"

The service is available in a number of languages, including English, French, German, Chinese and Dutch. Users can submit a document, and can see what the output is of the various applications on the market. Officeshots gives both end users and developers a powerful tool to make quality differences measurable. Vendors are encouraged to add new office products themselves to the service, to allow customers to check as many products on the market prior to purchase.

"We want to make interoperability quantifiable" said Ineke Schop, program manager at Netherlands in Open Connection."Any differences between the various applications are now visible and measurable, which helps support the ambitions of the Dutch cabinet to standardise on ODF and PDF for document exchange."

Under the "Netherlands in Open Connection" action plan, the Dutch administration accepts and uses the Open Document Format as of April last year. Other government bodies in the Netherlands do so since January 2009. The program is a joint initiative of the Dutch government, led by the minister for Foreign Trade Heemskerk and the State Secretary for the Interior and Kingdom Relations Bijleveld-Schouten.

Note to the editors

Some more information can be found at: http://officeshots.org

For more information:

Michiel Leenaars
OpenDoc Society
tel: +31 6 27050947
mail: michiel [@t] opendocsociety.org
sip: michiel [@t] nlnet.nl

Pim Bliek
Netherlands in Open Connection
telnr: +31 70 888 74 35
mail: pim.bliek [at] noiv [dot] nl

About the quoted persons:

Bert Bakker (1958) is president of OpenDoc Society, other affiliations include President of the Association for International Labor brokers and the board of Mira Media, seeking diversity in the media. He is employed as a senior advisor to international strategy consultants Meines & Partners. From 1994 to 2006 he was a prominent member of the Dutch House of Commons on behalf of D66 as their financial spokesperson. In addition he was involved with economic affairs, defense and media. He was chairman of the inquiry into the fall of Yuguslavian enclave Srebrenica, which led to the fall of the Dutch cabinet. Before he joined parliament he held a number of other positions, including being a correspondent of the Universitaire Pers (University Press) and head of administrative affairs and information of the SER (Social and Economic Council). He became a well-known public figure through his chairmanship of the inquiry that examined the peacekeeping missions of the Dutch army.

Ineke Schop is program manager of the Netherlands in Open Connection. As program manager she is responsible for collaborating within the government in order to achieve more interoperability through the use of open standards. In addition NoiV promotes open source software wherever possible. Prior to her engagement at NoiV mrs. Schop was program manager at the Dutch e-Government program for municipalities EGEM.

Logo's of the Nederlands in open Connection and of OpenDoc Society are enclosed. Print quality logo's can be sent by enquiry. Logo's for NLnet can be found at http://nlnet.nl/logo

More info on the Netherlands government policy on ODF and other open standards:
Action plan: the Netherlands in open Connection


About OpenDoc Society

The goal of OpenDoc Society is to bring together individuals and organisations with a stake or interest in the openness and future of documents to learn from each other and share knowledge. OpenDoc Society offers a platform where developers, publishers, decision makers, educators, vendors, IT managers, academics, writers, archivists and other stakeholders kan bring their knowledge together and learn and collaborate with interesting like-minded people. OpenDoc Society wants to build local human networks of experts and stakeholders in ODF from all areas. It want to be a leading organisation in spreading knowledge about open format like ODF and PDF to society at large, through publications, workshops, masterclasses, tutorials for developers, decision makers, users and other stakeholders. It wants to foster and strengthen the ecosystem around open document formats: from enterprise content management, assistive software for the visually impaired up to readers for cell phones and game consoles. OpenDoc Society is supported by a large number of organisations, including government bodies, international corporations, educational, cultural and scientific institutions and NGO's . If you care about an open information society and a transparent market, why don't you join?

More info: http://nl.opendocsociety.org

Netherlands in Open Connection (Nederland Open in Verbinding)

The Netherlands in Open Connection (NOiV) informs government organizations about the possibilities of open standards (OS) and open source software (OSS) and encourages them, where possible to fit into their information systems. The program is based on the Action programmes Netherlands in Open Connection, initated by the Netherlands minister of Foreign Trade and the state secretary of Interior and Kingdom Relations in September 2007. The program NOiV offers practical support in the form of information, knowledge and tools for government organizations open source software can use. The program is executed by ICTU Foundation, commissioned by the Ministry of Economy Affairs and the Ministry of Interior Affairs and Kingdom Relations. The activities of the program are primarily aimed at policy makers and public sector ICT management and their suppliers. In addition, NOiV has a coordinating role with the parties from the government and semi-government and the private sector.

More info: http://noiv.nl

About NLnet Foundation

NLnet Foundation is a private charity fund supporting open standards and open source worldwide, and has over the years actively contributed to (internet) standards, open source projects and subsidiary or enabling activities such as the development of GPLv3. NLnet foundation is an independent organisation whose means came initially from interest on a very substantial own capital formed in 1997 by the sale of the first Dutch Internet Service Provider. Its private capital ensures an absolute independent position. The articles of association for the NLnet foundation state: "to promote the exchange of electronic information and all that is related or beneficial to that purpose".

More info: http://nlnet.nl