Though relatively new to Apache, the OpenOffice open-source office productivity software suite has been around for more than 25 years. The technology started out as StarOffice—created by Star Division—in 1984. Sun Microsystems acquired Star Division in 1999. Oracle completed its acquisition of Sun in 2010 and a year later donated the OpenOffice code to Apache.
“The graduation of OpenOffice is testament to The Apache Way successfully scaling from incubating ‘ingredient brands’ to a highly established end-user product,” ASF executive vice president and Apache OpenOffice mentor Ross Gardler, said in a statement. “The incubation process allowed experienced Apache contributors to mentor the project, helping both new and established OpenOffice contributors build an Apache-style community that is both open and diverse.”
“The OpenOffice graduation is the official recognition that the project is now able to self-manage not only in technical matters, but also in community issues,” said Andrea Pescetti, vice president of Apache OpenOffice, in a statement. “The ‘Apache Way’ and its methods, such as taking every decision in public with total transparency, have allowed the project to attract and successfully engage new volunteers, and to elect an active and diverse Project Management Committee that will be able to guarantee a stable future to Apache OpenOffice.”
During its development period in the Apache Incubator, the Apache OpenOffice project transitioned nearly 10 million lines of code, added numerous enhancements, and fixed dozens of user-reported bugs in the popular and free productivity suite, ASF officials said. In addition, the software received five industry awards, ranging from individual component highlights to the top download to the best open-source desktop office productivity application suite.
In May 2012 Apache OpenOffice v3.4.1 was released in 20 languages, and downloaded over 20 million times by individual, corporate, educational and government users in 228 countries. Since then, the project has been working on new functionality, innovations and releases targeted for the first and fourth quarters of 2013.
“It’s really cool that OpenOffice is now a top-level project at Apache,” said Juergen Schmidt, Apache OpenOffice release manager, in a statement. “We met many challenges to achieve this milestone: Our first Apache OpenOffice 3.4 release required our community to not only transition the code from Oracle repositories to Apache, but also replace incompatibly licensed libraries in order to successfully meet Apache’s licensing requirements. Now our Apache OpenOffice source code is available for the benefit of other projects and organizations. We are extremely proud of this important milestone and welcome OpenOffice into our stable of world-leading Apache projects.”
Apache OpenOffice is available free of charge to any user for any purpose, and may be downloaded from http://openoffice.org. The product can be downloaded for an unlimited number of PCs for an unlimited number of users. The project has a strong focus on open standards support, from Open Document Format (ODF) to future plans for Content Management Interoperability Services (CMIS), OpenSocial and OData.