Binary Formats Got You Down?


Welcome news from Microsoft as they have released the technical specification of select Microsoft Office file formats (pre-Office 2007).

The release of this information is covered by the Microsoft Open  Specification Promise which may or may not have implications for individuals who view the data.  It depends who you ask.  Sounds like a good time to invest in becoming a programmer/lawyer!?

The released docs include the docfile definition and format for Word, Excel and PowerPoint.  I’d like someone to explain why PowerPoint’s format uses compression twice, and why they used two different compression algorithms!  That was a fun find.

Additional: I have some old C++ code which extracts VBA/Macro code out of the MS Access 2000 file format (and prior versions). 

I’ve been debating whether to post some highlights from the code because I’ve met few people who have ever needed to or actually accomplished the task of pulling the VBA docfile out of Access’s file format.

Post a comment here if you are interested in seeing some highlights from this code.  I’ll only post it if there is enough demand (it’ll be time consuming to polish it up for publication).


About Rob Sanders

IT Professional and TOGAF 9 certified architect with nearly two decades of industry experience, 18 years in commercial software development and 11 years in IT consulting. Check out the "About Rob" page for more information.

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