ODMA Support
ODMA 1.0 Status

Version 0.35 Last updated 2001-01-17-12:22 -0800 (pst)
The latest version of this information is available on the AIIM DMware ODMA site.

The initial ODMA Specification was established in 1994.  It defined a simple framework for integrating desktop applications with DMS systems.   That framework is preserved by all later ODMA specifications.

All new development for ODMA middleware is based on more-recent specifications and software.  

ODMA 1.0 is not obsolete: Developers of ODMA-aware applications and ODMA-compliant DMS integrations continue to employ ODMA 1.0 for its simplicity.  ODMA 1.0 is downward compatible from ODMA 1.5-compliant and ODMA 2.0-compliant components and the latest ODMA middleware. 


1. About ODMA 1.0

2. ODMA 1.0 Development
3. ODMA 1.0 Support

4. ODMA 1.0 Specifications

5. ODMA 1.0 Connection Manager

6. ODMA 1.0 Software Development Kit

7. Other ODMA 1.0 Materials and Resources


Change History

1. About ODMA 1.0

Colin O'Brien
1999 August 24

ODMA is the Open Document Management API. ODMA provides applications with a consistent method to integrate seamlessly with clients from document management systems (DMS). Rather than each DMS vendor having to do custom integration with each application, ODMA enables each DMS and application vendor to do the job once, for all.

The copyright for the ODMA specification is owned by AIIM, the Association for Information and Image Management International. AIIM provided marketing and administrative support to the ODMA coalition. The content of the specification is the result of agreement amongst the members of the ODMA coalition.

The original specification was proposed in 1994, and was ported to 32-bit Microsoft Windows environments in 1995. ODMA 1.0a is the specification implemented in most of today's products. It did not change the API from 1.0; it clarified some of the text based on the experience of early implementers. An extension was release in 1995 to provide the same standard ease of integration with workflow systems.

ODMA 1.5, released in 1996, provided support for desktops that used more than one DMS integration.

The specification for ODMA 2.0 was approved in September 1997 and the new developer's kit was released during the AIIM show in May 1998.

2. ODMA 1.0 Development

The original level of ODMA support is that defined in the ODMA 1.0 Specification.

This level is most commonly-supported by desktop applications that provide for access to documents in Document Management Systems via ODMA.

Any Document Management System (DMS) integrated under ODMA supports ODMA-1.0-aware applications.  Even when a more-recent level of ODMA specification is supported by a DMS, the DMS must operate properly with applications that rely only on the features of ODMA 1.0.

Although there is no active development of the ODMA 1.0 specifications, the ODMA 1.0 level of features and operations remain important in the creation of interoperable application and DMS integrations via ODMA configurations of all levels.

There are six ways in which compliance and interoperability with ODMA 1.0 remains important:

  1. Users of ODMA Applications can rely on ODMA-1.0-compliant applications interoperating with all versions of ODMA and all ODMA-compliant DMS integrations for the same platform (presently 16-bit and 32-bit Windows systems separately).
  2. Users of ODMA DMS Integrations can rely on the fact that ODMA-1.0-aware applications will always operate properly, even when more-advanced levels of ODMA function are also supported for the same platform.
  3. Developers of ODMA-aware applications can achieve the greatest level of interoperability by limiting operations to those specified by ODMA 1.0 and by automatically-scaling for optional use of higher-level ODMA features only when supported by the ODMA Connection Manager and the connected DMS integration.
  4. Developers of ODMA-compliant DMS Integrations can maximize the utility of operation by smoothly-accommodating ODMA 1.0 requests and providing at least ODMA-1.0-compliance for both 16-bit and 32-bit Windows integration.
  5. Integrators and operators of ODMA configurations can upgrade Win32 Connection Managers and Win32 DMS Integrations knowing that ODMA 1.0 Applications will continue to operate properly.
  6. Integrators and operators of legacy ODMA configurations on 16-bit Windows can continue to use ODMA 1.0 applications and connection managers with any levels of 16-bit DMS integrations that remain supported.

3. ODMA 1.0 Support

3.1 Reported Problems and Remedies

The ODMA Support area of the AIIM DMware site  provides the latest information on support of all versions of the ODMA specification, ODMA middleware (Connection Managers), and other components and tools.

Formal problem reporting, tracking, and resolution is not done separately for ODMA 1.0.  AIIM DMware support for ODMA middleware, initiated in April, 2000, uses the ODMA 2.0 Connection Manager as the stable, supported version.  This is the only level for which complete source code is available for further open-source development.

New problems and workarounds can apply to ODMA 1.0 components and middleware, although no repairs are available directly for ODMA 1.0.  It is recommended that ODMA 2.0 middleware, which is under active maintenance, be used with ODMA components at all levels of ODMA-compliance.

3.1.1 ODMA 1.0-Compliant Components

see also:
ODMA Support Incident Log
Q000705: Changes Between ODMA Versions

Problems are tracked against the latest specification and the latest Connection Manager middleware.  This includes problems involving operations with ODMA 1.0-aware applications and ODMA 1.0-compliant DMS integrations.  ODMA 1.0 components are expected to operate successfully in configurations employing components designed to later versions of the ODMA specification.  This is part of the ODMA commitment to downward compatibility

The ODMA 1.0 Specification is also impacted by errata developed for later specifications.  Only the latest specification is updated.

3.1.2 ODMA 1.0 Connection Manager Problems

see also:
Latest ODMA Software
ODMA-Aware Application and Connection Manager Version Compatibility

In many cases, problems that are detected with current ODMA Connection Managers also apply to the connection managers for earlier versions.  This is often reflected in the identification of components with which an incident report is associated.

3.2 ODMA 1.0 Projects

Proposals for projects and questions about any projects can be posted to the ODMA Tech list.

ODMA Project activities of AIIM DMware are defined and tracked in the ODMA Projects section of the ODMA site.  Some projects benefit ODMA 1.0 as part of overall support for ODMA.  There are no current projects specific to ODMA 1.0.

4. ODMA 1.0 Specifications


Download the ODMA 1.0 Specification:

  • 1995-06-20 Mike Gardiner edition.  The June 1995 version of the ODMA 1.0 Specification is part of the original ODMA 1.0 Software Development Kit.
  • 1994 original Brad Clements edition: Zip file, odspwp.zip (16.8kB) containing 58.4kb Word Perfect document, odma10.wpd.

There are three versions of the ODMA 1.0 Specification:

Version 1.0 - with small BHC-325 at the end of the document (June 24, 1994)
Brad Clements, SoftSolutions. This is the original version.  
 Version 1.0 - with small DM1\285 at the end of the document (June 20, 1995)
Mike Gardiner, Novell. This contains additional information for registering ODMA under Windows 95 and NT. It also adds a new table for document ID constants.  This specification is included in the last-provided ODMA 1.0 SDK.
Version 1.0a (December 28, 1995)
Rod Schiffman, Novell. Additional information on the ODMA spec background, usage of calls, suggestions on the use of document ID character sets and the addition of ODM_E_INUSE as a valid return code in ODMActivate.

Version 1.0a is the definitive ODMA 1.0 specification.  It is the one on which subsequent versions were developed.

On October 11, 1996, the ODMA 1.5 Specification was introduced.  It preserves all of ODMA 1.0 and defines additional capabilities that ODMA-compliant components can deliver and use for extended operation with multiple DMS integrations.

5. ODMA 1.0 Connection Manager

[obtain from ODMA 1.0 SDK for now.]

6. ODMA 1.0 Software Development Kit



Download the ODMA 1.0 SDK:

  • Version 1.0.0 SDK: Windows Zip File oddev.zip (295kB)
  1. The Zip archive contains several directories of material.  
  2. Select a directory to extract the Zip archive into, and specify that extraction occur with folder names used.
  3. The extracted subdirectories carry libraries, middleware, sample source codes, and an early version of the ODMA 1.0 specification.

The ODMA 1.0 SDK provides materials needed by three groups of people:

The included MultODMA test application is useful in confirming basic operation.

The ODMA 1.0 SDK includes the following software:

  1. ODMA Connection Manager: The ODMA 1.0 16-bit connection manager, Odma.dll and the ODMA 1.0 32-bit connection manager, ODMA32.dll
  2. Sample DMS Implementation: A Sample DMS, ODMASAMP, with source code, that can be installed and used (16-bit and 32-bit versions).  This sample confirms simple operations using text-format documents.  The source code for the Sample DMS is included for use as a model by developers of DMS integrations.
  3. ODMA Test Application:  MultODMA (16-bit and 32-bit versions) operates using ODMA with the Sample DMS and can be used to confirm and explore the ODMA configuration.  The source code for MultODMA is also installed for use as a model by developers of ODMA-aware desktop applications.
  4. ODMA 1.0 Specification: The pre-1.0a edition of the ODMA 1.0 specification is included.
  5. ODMA Libraries: The ODMA libraries and header files needed to build ODMA 1.0 DMS drivers and ODMA-1.0-aware desktop applications are included.

7. Other ODMA 1.0 Resources and Materials

7.1 ODMA Workflow 1.0

The ODMA Workflow 1.0 specification was developed as a supplement for use in conjunction with ODMA 1.0.  The specification, available software, and additional information are provided on the ODMA Workflow Support page.



Jamal Abu-Dayyeh
emphasized the importance of ODMA 1.0 as a desirable level for creation of interoperable ODMA-aware applications
Dale Frohock
requested information on ODMA 1.0 as part of having a complete record of the specifications
Dennis Hamilton
gathered the material and compiled the ODMA 1.0 support page
V.J. Mohan
affirmed the importance of knowing what to expect from ODMA-1.0-compliant DMS integrations
Colin O'Brien
provided the descriptive materials and other files important for review and use of ODMA 1.0, providing ActiveDoc material on all versions of ODMA.
Bob St. Jean
provided the original ODMA 1.0 Specification and other historical information

Change History

Version 0.35: Clean up links and edit (orcmid)
Reviewed all links to current material, using original sequestered documents wherever possible.  Minor editing.
Version 0.30: Add link to ODMA Workflow 1.0 (orcmid)
Include sources for information on the Workflow package introduced in parallel with ODMA 1.0.
Version 0.25: Expanded information (orcmid)
Test and correct all links. Anticipate information on how and when to use ODMA 1.0, how to preserve interoperability with ODMA 1.0 components, etc.
Version 0.20: Consolidation of materials (orcmid)
Create links to available materials.  Look for opportunities to add material on when one would choose to employ or supply ODMA 1.0 interfaces. 
Version 0.10: Initial draft (orcmid)
The ODMA overview article by Colin O'Brien is replicated from the ActiveDoc web site.

created 2000-10-20-15:10 -0700 (pdt) by orcmid
$$Author: Orcmid $
$$Date: 01-03-07 14:48 $
$$Revision: 9 $