The Apache Software Foundation Blog

Tuesday Aug 30, 2011

The Apache Software Foundation Announces 10th Anniversary of Apache POI

Open Source project in use at Deutsche Bank, IBM, J.P. Morgan, NASA, Siemens and more.

The Apache Software Foundation (ASF),  the all-volunteer developers, stewards, and incubators of nearly 150 Open Source projects and initiatives, today announced the 10th anniversary of Apache POI. First created in 2001, Apache POI's cross-platform Open Source Java APIs allow users to read and write various file formats from the Microsoft Office suite of applications, including Word, PowerPoint, Excel, Outlook, Visio, and Publisher.

Apache POI is deployed in many highly-visible environments including CERN, Deutsche Bank, Freddie Mac, IBM, J.P. Morgan, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, NASA, SAP, and Siemens, among others. In addition, Apache POI is also used in Open Source projects such as Alfresco, JasperReports and Apache Tika.

"Apache POI's powerful solutions give users the ability to create and maintain many Office OpenXML (OOXML) and OLE2-based file formats," said Yegor Kozlov, Vice President of Apache POI. "With POI, you can do almost anything that you can with Microsoft Office products, only using Java."

The latest stable release of the project is v3.7 (October 2010) and the latest development version is 3.8beta4 (August 2011). Highlights include:

- the ability to read and write OLE2 files, including .xls, .doc, and .ppt, as well as MFC serialization API based file formats;

- the ability to read and write OOXML files, including .xlsx, .docx, and .pptx;

- a low-level API to support Open Packaging Conventions using openxml4j;

- highly-developed Java APIs for Excel workbooks, Word documents, and PowerPoint presentations;

- support for Outlook messages and attachments;

- converters for Excel and Word documents to streamline document production and consumption in HTML and XSLF-FO formats; and

- porting other OOXML and OLE2 formats

"Apache POI is a vital component of WSO2's Middleware Platforms and Open PaaS. WSO2 Governance Registry makes use of Apache POI to extract keywords to build its search index for MS Office Documents stored within the resource repository. Meanwhile, WSO2 Data Services Server relies on Apache POI to access MS Excel spreadsheets as Data Sources; making it possible to read data from any Excel Sheet and expose them through Data Services." said Senaka Fernando, Apache Member and Governance Registry Product Manager at WSO2.

In addition, POI's robust spreadsheet API enables advanced formatting, graphics, conditional formatting, data validations and evaluation of Excel formulas. Its streaming spreadsheet API increases performance when used for very large spreadsheet production with limited heap space.

"The spreadsheet libraries in Apache POI have been invaluable in our efforts to streamline workflows for renewable-energy infrastructure modeling and analysis," said Brian Bush, Principal Engineer, Energy Forecasting & Modeling Group, US Department of Energy National Renewable Energy Laboratory. "The clean and robust API that POI provides made it easy for us to embed externally provided spreadsheets within our applications and to evaluate the formulae within those spreadsheets as part of a larger set of analytic computations. We also found that POI opened new avenues for exposing spreadsheets as Web services and for Apache Ant-based regression testing of spreadsheets."

To improve functionality, the Apache POI project often collaborates with other Apache projects and Open Source communities that include Apache Cocoon, Lucene, OpenOffice, and Tika.

"We've donated components directly to those projects for POI-enabling them, and welcome additional contributions," added Kozlov.

Availability and Oversight
As with all Apache products, Apache POI software is released under the Apache License v2.0, and is overseen by a self-selected team of active contributors to the project. A Project Management Committee (PMC) guides the Project’s day-to-day operations, including community development and product releases. Apache POI source code, documentation, mailing lists, and related resources are available at http://poi.apache.org/.

About The Apache Software Foundation (ASF)
Established in 1999, the all-volunteer Foundation oversees nearly one hundred fifty leading Open Source projects, including Apache HTTP Server -- the world's most popular Web server software. Through the ASF's meritocratic process known as "The Apache Way," more than 350 individual Members and 3,000 Committers successfully collaborate to develop freely available enterprise-grade software, benefiting millions of users worldwide: thousands of software solutions are distributed under the Apache License; and the community actively participates in ASF mailing lists, mentoring initiatives, and ApacheCon, the Foundation's official user conference, trainings, and expo. The ASF is a US 501(3)(c) not-for-profit charity, funded by individual donations and corporate sponsors including AMD, Basis Technology, Cloudera, Facebook, Google, IBM, HP, Matt Mullenweg, Microsoft, PSW Group, SpringSource/VMware, and Yahoo!. For more information, visit http://www.apache.org/.

"Apache" is a trademark of The Apache Software Foundation. All other brands and trademarks are the property of their respective owners.

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CONTACT: Sally Khudairi
         The Apache Software Foundation
         press@apache.org
         +1 617 921 8656

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