Denmark adopts ODF and PDF/A

The Danish parliament has mandated the use of open-standards formats for central government bodies
Written by David Meyer, Contributor

Central government bodies in Denmark will have to use open document formats, including ODF, from 2011, the Danish parliament has ruled.

The OpenDocument Format (ODF) will be the only editable format in the list of approved formats for Danish governmental use, according to a statement made on Friday by the ODF Alliance, an industry group that promotes the format.

Non-editable documents are to be stored in the PDF/A specification, an open-standards variant of Adobe's popular PDF format that is intended for long-term archiving.

"Today's decision by Denmark reflects the growing specific demand and support for ODF, especially among governments," ODF Alliance chief Marino Marcich said in the statement. "Open standards-based interoperability through ODF offers real value to governments in terms of choice of IT solutions, savings and long-term access to data."

Marcich added that vendors should "take note of the open standards-based interoperability that their customers, particularly in the public sector, are demanding".

According to reports, the mandatory use of open-standards formats in Denmark will be in place from 1 April, 2011, starting in national institutions and moving later to councils and regional institutions.

Denmark is the latest in a string of countries to back ODF over proprietary rivals, such as Microsoft's OOXML format. Other notable adopters of the format include Belgium, Brazil and South Africa.

ODF documents can be read and edited by a variety of productivity suites, including OpenOffice and Microsoft's Office 2007.

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