The ISO-approved Open Document Format (ODF) is now one of the mandatory standards in NATO.
The military alliance included the Open Standard for electronic documents recently in its so-called NATO Interoperability Standards and Profiles. NISP lists all standards that are in use by NATO, ranging from mandatory to recommended.
According to NATO's documentation, NISP is meant to support interoperability between the various national systems. "Services must be implemented using a range of de jure and de facto standards."
The inclusion was reported last week by NOIV, the Dutch government project to increase the use of Open Source and Open Standards by Dutch public administrations. According to NOIV's programme manager Ineke Schop, ODF was included at the suggestion of the Dutch ministry of Defense. "We knew that the ministry had suggested it to NATO a while ago. Last week we were informed that it had been included."
The Dutch Defense ministry wants support for ODF as it last April became the country's standard for revisable documents, Schop explained. "One of the founding principles of NATO is cooperation between governments. Interoperability is key for its ICT systems and this makes Open Standards very important."
A spokesperson at the ministry was not immediately able to comment.
Schop said NATO's inclusion of ODF shows that Open Standards are gaining ground even within transnational organisations.
NATO Interoperability Standards & Profiles
(Volume 2, chapter 3, section 4)