ODMA: Open Document Management API

Q000101 ODMA FAQtip
ODMA Compliance


0.50 2007-07-28 -11:14 -0700

The latest version of this information is available on the ODMA Interoperability Exchange site.

1.  What is ODMA Compliance?
2.  How Do ODMA-Aware Applications Work?
3.  How Are ODMA-Compliant Products Integrated?
4.  What Platforms and Technologies Are Used?
5.  Is There Compliance Testing/Certification?

Revision History

1. What is ODMA Compliance?

A document-management product is ODMA-compliant if it integrates automatically with ODMA-aware desktop applications

With an ODMA-compliant document-management system (DMS) integration, there is no need to provide application-by-application integration with those popular applications that are already ODMA-aware. 

In addition, upgrading of desktop applications that remain ODMA-aware does not require any adjustment on the part of the ODMA-compliant document-management system.  This simplifies integration for document-management vendors and their user communities.

see also:
- Discussion of compliance under ODMA 1.0 Status: ODMA 1.0 Development
- Analysis of ODMA's success in connecting applications into document-management

2. How Do ODMA-Aware Applications Work?

ODMA-aware applications come with their ODMA support built-in.  The application will operate as a conventional desktop application whenever ODMA support is not installed. 

There is usually nothing that has to be done to enable ODMA support in an ODMA-Aware application.  (Microsoft Office is an exception.)  ODMA-aware applications automatically check for presence of the ODMA Connection Manager:

This is done each time the desktop application is used, so that the latest ODMA setup is automatically employed.

The user of the application does not have to take any special actions.  Switching to the ODMA-compliant DMS is an automatic feature of the application, which is programmed to use the Open Document Management API (ODMA) for that purpose. 

When the desktop user requests document New, Open, Save, and Close operations, they will be accomplished using the DMS instead of the regular file system.  In this way, managed documents are created and accessed by applications in the same way as unmanaged documents in the local computer's file system.

 The DMS-supplied dialog windows allow the user to decline to use the DMS.  The application will then supply its ordinary unmanaged-document file-system dialog.

3. How Are ODMA-Compliant Products Integrated?

Every ODMA-compliant DMS provides an ODMA DMS-integration Dynamic Link Library (DLL) as part of the software that is installed for it on Microsoft Windows desktops.

This DLL is "registered" as an ODMA DMS integration in the Windows registry.  The DMS Identification used with the DLL is registered at the same time.  There may be any number of DMS integrations usable on a single Windows desktop.

As part of the registration procedure, a single DMS integration can be specified as the automatic default for all ODMA-aware applications installed on the computer.

For finer-grained control, a particular DMS integration can be specified to be the default for an individual application, over-riding any all-application default.

There are also ways to prevent individual ODMA-aware applications from operating with any ODMA even though there are DMS integrations present and used by other applications.

Generally, the setup of ODMA-compliant products is performed when the DMS is installed and deployed on Microsoft Windows desktops.  The ODMA Connection Manager is usually installed along with the first ODMA-compliant product on the desktop computer.

4. What Platforms and Technologies Are Used?

ODMA Integration is only supported on the Microsoft Windows platform.

The ODMA Connection Manager software that is the "middleware" for integration between ODMA-aware applications and ODMA-compliant DMS integrations is provided only for the Win32 platform.  (A Win16 version was also produced but support in new versions of products is rare.)

Although Microsoft Component Object Model (COM) interfaces are used for DMS integration, this is a specialized usage that involves custom DLL implementations in C or C++ Language.

The extension of ODMA for working with additional technologies has had limited experimentation and discussion.  At this time, ODMA integration is limited to native-platform Microsoft Windows applications with integrations using C/C++ Language application-program interfaces.

5. Is There Compliance Testing/Certification?

No.  There is no testing or certification process for assessing the degree of ODMA-awareness and ODMA-compliance software achieved by any software.

Peter Küng asked what the criteria are for a product being ODMA-compliant or not, and what the value is (2005-06-23).
Betsy Fanning requested confirmation that there are no testing or certification procedures for ODMA (2001-01-26).
Matthew L. Swayne requested how to tell if a product is ODMA-compliant (2000-01-31).
Revision History:
0.50 2005-06-28-18:38 Provide basic response
This draft covers the basic questions that have been asked up until now.  It is now available for review, comment, and clarification.
0.00 2005-06-28-12:45 create  initial placeholder and provisional content
Incorporate job jar and use it to drive the completion of essential items here, providing an initial skeleton for more content.  This page is a customization of the FAQtip Bootstrap Template 0.10 template.  A version from Develop FAQtip Bootstrap Template (0.10) Material was used.

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created 2005-06-28-12:45 -0700 (pdt) by orcmid
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$$Date: 07-07-28 11:16 $
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