This week I had occasion to talk to some slides I had prepared earlier this year about migrating to ODF, the OpenDocument Format (also ISO/IEC 26300:2006). There were four slides total in that part of the talk and what follows is the text from those slides with a couple of edits. There’s clearly a lot more that can be said on the topic, but in the hope that these thoughts get people thinking about their own situation, I’ll start with this.
Assess Your Situation: 10 Questions
- What is the extent of your current use of word processing, spreadsheet, and presentation documents?
- How complicated are your documents?
- Do they extensively use complicated templates and macros?
- How often do you access older documents?
- How often do you change older documents?
- On what desktop platforms do you create and view most of your documents?
- What desktop platforms do you plan to use in the future?
- How often are your documents shared within and outside your organization?
- Do you plan to increase the availability of your documents on the Web?
- What did you learn from previous, similar migration experiences?
10 possible elements of your ODF migration strategy
- Continue the availability of your current document software at the current version for changing older documents for a set period of time.
- Start using newer software that supports older formats as well as ODF, for example, the IBM Workplace Client, Sun StarOffice, or an open source solution like OpenOffice or KOffice.
- Start translating templates, particularly the simpler ones, to ease in use of OpenDocument Format and increase familiarity.
- Increase your use of Adobe Portable Document Format (PDF) for documents that are shared but not modified by the recipients.
- Phase in use of ODF by workgroup or by functional area.
- Identify and train potential local experts or “gurus” who can help others with their basic questions.
- Set explicit policy and a deadline for migration to ODF.
- Take advantage of the resources provided by the ODF Alliance and the OASIS ODF Adoption Committee.
- Establish a network with others who are also doing a migration to share your experience and solutions.
- Strongly recommend to your current software provider that they support ODF in a first class, native manner.