MS Office 2007 and OpenOffice for the E-Business Suite

[Nov. 22, 2010 Update:  Office 2010 (32-Bit) is now certified with the E-Business Suite; see this article for details]

[Oct 16, 2007 Update:  BI Publisher is certified with Office 2007:  the Template Builder plug-in is certified and RTF templates work smoothly with Office 2007.  ADI 7.2 Rollup Patch 10 (patch 6455020) is certified with Office 2007]


Lately I've been getting a rising number of questions about our plans for certifying Microsoft Office 2007 with the E-Business Suite.  Additionally, I've started to receive a relatively smaller number of questions about our plans for certifying OpenOffice with the E-Business Suite, too.  Here's a quick discussion about both of these certifications.

Microsoft Office 2007 website screenshot: Screenshot of Microsoft Office 2007 website

Current Microsoft Office Integration Points

The E-Business Suite has a small number of integration points with Microsoft Office.  These include:
  • Financials
    • Application Desktop Integrator (ADI) / WebADI to Microsoft Excel
  • Customer Relationship Management (CRM)
    • Proposals to Microsoft Word
    • Contracts to Microsoft Word
    • Sales to Microsoft Outlook
  • Projects
    • Projects to Microsoft Project
Who Does Those Certifications?

That list is compiled based on my limited vantage.  It might not be complete -- for reasons you'll understand in a moment.  Bear with me: I need to part the curtain to show you a glimpse behind the scenes. 

One of my team's responsibilities is certifying the latest technology stack components with the E-Business Suite.  For more information about my group's responsibilities, see this article

However, we're not involved in any certifications of Microsoft Office with Apps.

The reason:  testing these integration points requires fairly deep functional knowledge and expertise.  For example, the ADI integration bulkloads financial data into Oracle Financials via Microsoft Excel.  We don't have any Financials or ADI specialists in my central certification organization, so my team wouldn't be able to assess whether the Excel-to-Financials integration is working correctly.  Therefore, the WebADI team is responsible for certifying and documenting the latest version of Microsoft Excel with their product.

Escalating Your Requests

As far as I'm aware, none of the the products [Editor Oct 16 update:  besides ADI] listed above have been certified with Microsoft Office 2007 yet.  Since those certifications fall outside of my group's responsibilities, it's a bit difficult for me to make any firm statements about their progress.

This has been raised with our E-Business Suite program management team.  They're looking at ways to track and document these certifications centrally.  I'll be sure to post updates here as soon as our plans firm up on this.

In the interim, if your organization is planning a Microsoft Office 2007 rollout, your best route would be to log a formal Service Request via Metalink against the specific Applications product about their latest certification status.  If your rollout is happening soon, you can escalate your SR, too.  Make sure that you provide specifics about the integration point that you're using, as well as information about your rollout schedule.

Adding OpenOffice to the Mix

There's been a lot of publicity lately about OpenOffice, especially following IBM's announcement that they're joining the OpenOffice.org community.  It's inevitable, then, that some of you may be curious about our plans for certifying OpenOffice components with the E-Business Suite. 

OpenOffice website screenshot: Screenshot of OpenOffice.org website

One thing to note is that this may not be a simple plug-and-play replacement.  I can only theorize on the possible issues.  At minimum, I would anticipate a number of potentially non-trivial technical issues driven by the lack of direct Visual Basic (VBA) macro support in OpenOffice today and the inherent differences in file types. 

This doesn't rule out the integrations, naturally.  However, making OpenOffice work with the existing integration points will likely require real development effort.

As far as I'm aware, none of the product teams listed above have any plans to augment their existing integration points with support for OpenOffice.  I would speculate that this is something that could be revisited if there was sufficient demand. 

The conclusion reached for Microsoft Office 2007 applies here, too.  If your organization is considering an OpenOffice rollout, log a formal Service Request via Metalink against the E-Business Suite product.  Make sure that you indicate the scale of your rollout as well as your planned schedules.  This will help our product teams gauge the degree of market demand for OpenOffice certification.

If any new developments arise on either of these certifications, I'll be sure to post them here.

Related
The above is intended to outline our general product direction.  It is intended for information purposes only, and may not be incorporated into any contract.   It is not a commitment to deliver any material, code, or functionality, and should not be relied upon in making purchasing decision.  The development, release, and timing of any features or functionality described for Oracle's products remains at the sole discretion of Oracle. 

Comments:

"A_B",Thanks for your comment.  BI Publisher is certified with Office 2007.  The Template Builder plug-in is certified and RTF templates work smoothly with Office 2007.Regards,Steven

Posted by Steven Chan on October 16, 2007 at 03:37 AM PDT #

1) BI Publisher must support 2 common formats:
- RTF
- ODF

2) Reports From BI Publisher must be ziped

Posted by guest on October 16, 2007 at 04:09 AM PDT #

Any plans on getting Oracle Tutor certified with Office 2007?

Posted by Amit Shankar on February 28, 2008 at 02:35 AM PST #

Hi, Amit,Investigating this now... Regards,Steven 

Posted by Steven Chan on March 28, 2008 at 05:23 AM PDT #

Hi, Amit,Sorry for the delay in responding to this.  I just unearthed this thread in my follow-up box.  The Oracle Tutor Product Management team has confirmed that Tutor works with Office 2000, 2003, and 2007 (with minor modifiations when using it in the 2003 compatibility mode).  The Tutor team plans to enhance it for full 2007 functionality and capabilities going forward.  This is documented in the Tutor Data Sheet on the Tutor Resource Library on Oracle.com:http://www.oracle.com/applications/tutor/tutor_collateral.htmlRegards,Steven

Posted by Steven Chan on May 29, 2008 at 06:40 AM PDT #

Amit and others,

The Oracle Tutor Development team has revisited their earlier statements about Word 2007 compatibility. They've noted that there are customers who are using Tutor with Word 2007, and some members of the Tutor Development team have Word 2007 installed.

However, they have noted that there are some issues, particularly with Tutor Publisher.

Their updated statement as of today is that Tutor is not certified with Word 2007 yet. They haven't provided an outlook for this certification yet. You're welcome to monitor or subscribe to this blog for updates, which I'll post as soon as soon as they're available.

Regards,
Steven

Posted by Steven Chan on July 24, 2008 at 08:10 AM PDT #

Hello Steven,

About a year ago you were not sure about Star / Openoffice support in EBS. Meahwile SAP is there. https://www.sdn.sap.com/irj/sdn/weblogs?blog=/pub/wlg/10337

So, is Oracle planning any time soon to embrace the Star / Openoffice, already an ISO standard and extensively supported and promoted by Sun, IBM, Novell and many others?
Riaz

Posted by Riaz on August 20, 2008 at 01:47 PM PDT #

Hi Steven

I have the same question as Riaz concerning the certification of openoffice. Specially now with the version 3 out an increasing number of companies are moving this direction (as least in Europe) and I do find it strange that Oracle is not supporting these customers in this area.

Posted by Bert on November 21, 2008 at 05:38 PM PST #

Hi, Bert,

Can you provide details about the companies that you've heard are replacing MS Office with OpenOffice?

In particular, I'm interested in finding out more about the specific companies doing these conversions, the schedule for these rollouts, number of affected end-user desktops, end-user desktop operating systems, specific EBS products in use, and plans for coexistence (e.g. mixed Office and OpenOffice usage).

If you can provide contact names and information for IT management in those companies, that would be helpful.

Feel free to drop me a private email with those details, since this is likely proprietary information.

Regards,
Steven

Posted by Steven Chan on November 24, 2008 at 06:39 AM PST #

Hi Steven,

Has there been an update as to when Tutor will work with Word 2007?

The last post regarding this was in May 2008.

Regards,

Bret

Posted by Bret on January 20, 2009 at 06:56 PM PST #

Hi, Bret,

I haven't seen anything from the Tutor team yet. I've forwarded your question to them directly, and will post any updates I get.

Regards,
Steven

Posted by Steven Chan on January 21, 2009 at 07:26 AM PST #

Hi, Bret,

Our Tutor team reassures me that they're still working on this certification. They've noted that it's been a bit of a challenging certification so far. They're still in the final leg of the coding phase, which leaves outstanding the test and certification phases.

We're not allowed to speculate about product release dates, but I'll make sure that I post any progress updates or the final certification announcement as soon as they're available.

Regards,
Steven

Posted by Steven Chan on January 27, 2009 at 07:03 AM PST #

Hey Steven -

Does the tutor team have a blog/email address as not being able to use tutor with 2007 is driving me nuts!

Posted by Sean Williams on April 10, 2009 at 04:02 PM PDT #

Hey, Sean,

Sorry to hear your frustration. I know the team has been working on this, but I haven't heard any updates lately.

They haven't published an externally visible account that I can share here. I'd recommend logging a Service Request against that product to make your organization's concerns formal.

I will also pass on your comment to them directly.

Regards,
Steven

Posted by Steven Chan on April 13, 2009 at 07:19 AM PDT #

I'm the Senior Development Manager for Oracle Tutor and UPK Content.

Office 2007 has been quite a challenge for us. We have been working non-stop on a certified solution since Office 2007 was released.

Meanwhile, we have a number of customers who have been using Word 2007 with Author and Publisher since Office 2007 was released. The key is to use .doc files instead of .docx files. The workarounds have been posted on Metalink since last July - see note 602813.1.

Thank you for continuing to be Tutor fans despite the delay in a certified solution for Office 2007. We are looking forward to finishing this development so that we can move on to new and exciting features for Tutor.

Posted by Mary Keane on April 13, 2009 at 08:04 AM PDT #

Hello Steven,

What are Oracle's plan for Openoffice (Staroffice) now?

Posted by Riaz on April 24, 2009 at 11:32 PM PDT #

Hello, Riaz,

It's a little early in the process to comment on certification implications of the still-pending Sun acquisition. We're not permitted to discuss anything associated with this acquisition yet.

I'll post an update on OpenOffice and other Sun-related topics for EBS users as soon as this situation changes.

Regards,
Steven

Posted by Steven Chan on April 27, 2009 at 03:11 AM PDT #

Tutor Development has released two patches that contain the following updates:
- Support for Word 2007
- Support for Vista Operating system
- Global font change to Arial
- Actor Bar color changed to blue in Word documents

Patches are available from Metalink
- Tutor Author R12.1 patch is 8561798
- Tutor Publisher R12.1 patch is 8561802

To find Tutor patches on Metalink, select the correct information:
Application = Applications R12
Platform = Microsoft Windows (32-bit)

See Metalink note 171864.1 for complete instructions to find and download Tutor patches

Posted by Mary Keane on June 11, 2009 at 03:55 AM PDT #

dear steve,

i am intrested to know about the plan of repalcing the Microsoft "M" from our enterprises group of companies with "SUN & Oracle " colaborations . but i am wondring on (Email client , Exchange , MSN , and PPT usage and Content Management System centerilized with "Oralce Ebiz Suite" DB integratons and product like SHARE PIONT PORTAL SERVER .. default scripts) could you please advise where we may start............ we have been purchased ORalce EBS R 12 for our ERP and now we need to do all other towerd ORACLE.

REGARDS/WASEEM
IT CIO Neee-Shat Chunian Textiles

Posted by Muhammad Waseem on July 15, 2009 at 03:47 PM PDT #

Hello, Waseem,

It's possible that a combination of Oracle's products like Beehive, WebCenter, and our content management tools might be worth looking at.

I would recommend that you do a functional comparison of those products against your requirements. You should also get demonstrations of those products, so you can see them first-hand.

Your best bet for getting help with this would be to contact your Oracle account manager. He or she can assist with your requirements analysis and can arrange for demonstrations.

Best of luck with your evaluations.

Regards,
Steven

Posted by Steven Chan on July 17, 2009 at 04:10 AM PDT #

Hi

Last we heard was Tutor of R12 was certified with Office 2007

Is there any word on certification for R11i 11.5.10.2

Thanks
IK

Posted by Irfan Khan on November 03, 2009 at 07:01 AM PST #

Hi, Irfan,

I've asked the Tutor team for an update. I'll post details here as soon as I hear back from them.

Regards,
Steven

Posted by Steven Chan on November 04, 2009 at 05:01 AM PST #

Hi, Irfan,

My apologies for the long delay in responding to this. Your question somehow got buried within my backlog queue.

Our Tutor team confirms that Office 2007 is now compatible with Tutor. They've released the following Oracle Tutor 12.2 release in the following patches:

Patch 9075186: SOFTWARE - TUTOR AUTHOR 12.2 IS RELEASED
Patch 9075187: SOFTWARE - TUTOR PUBLISHER 12.2 IS RELEASED

Oracle Tutor 12.2 is also available from Oracle E-Delivery now. In their words:

--------

Oracle Tutor 12.2 has a new look to the HTML files, as well as a new look to the Word files. We have gone to a tabbed format for the Tutor documents to make it easier for users to maneuver through the material. There is also a link to hide/show details so that users can collapse the introductory section and tasks, and then expand just what they need. Lastly, we have added an accessible/printable link to all documents to remove the tabs for assistive technology and printing.

As with all versions of Oracle Tutor, this version can be used with any version of EBS, and any version of Oracle applications. There is no direct integration with any of the Oracle applications, meaning that a customer can use Tutor to document procedures for EBS 11i, PeopleSoft, etc.

---------

Regards,
Steven

Posted by Steven Chan on December 15, 2009 at 06:19 AM PST #

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