Microsoft KB Archive/212398

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Article ID: 212398

Article Last Modified on 8/17/2005


  • Microsoft Word 2000 Standard Edition

This article was previously published under Q212398


ODMA is the Open Document Management API. ODMA provides applications with a consistent method for integrating seamlessly with clients from document management systems (DMS).

ODMA is a standardized, high-level interface that enables you to transparently access a DMS from your desktop program, such as Microsoft Word 2000. With ODMA, these services appear to be an extension of the program.

Common DMS software packages replace the standard Open and Save dialog boxes in Word with customized dialog boxes that provide security and version control functions such as:

  • A way to enter or remove a document
  • Controlled access to documents
  • Locks on any document when checked out
  • Some degree of security when distributing documents
  • A means for quick searches on the names of documents in the system
  • A means of tracking access to the document system

In order to turn on ODMA functionality in Word or Office, you must install a DMS system along with the Word or Office software.

NOTE: Microsoft Word 2000 and Microsoft Office Binder 2000 are ODMA-compliant applications. When you add a Word 2000 document from file or add a new Word 2000 section to a binder, Word 2000 remains ODMA-compliant.


Described below are the specific calls and steps an ODMA-compliant application goes through during integration with a DMS.

When an application (such as Microsoft Word) first begins to interact with the document management environment, it issues an ODMRegisterApp call to the ODMA Connection Manager (ODMA). It typically does this as part of its startup, but it can delay the call until the user actually initiates interaction with the document management system (DMS). ODMA returns a handle for the application to use for identification in all subsequent calls. When the application quits, it calls ODMUnRegisterApp to return the handle.

As part of this registration process, ODMA searches the Windows Registry for a registered DMS in the following key:


The application tries to connect to the first DMS whose key has a subkey of DEFAULT. The value for the DMS key itself is for an executable provided by the DMS vendor. This is typically a .dll whose function is to translate the ODMA calls into calls to the DMS client's own integration API. If the user has not already logged on to this DMS either directly or from another application, the DMS client puts up a log-on screen.

After an application has registered with ODMA, it either continues with API calls or can switch to a COM interface. ODMA then becomes essentially a transparent traffic manager, passing ODMA calls through to the appropriate DMS client. The DMS client implements the COM interface, as an aggregation of that in ODMA.

NOTE: Applications do not register with ODMA. They provide an additional API call that the Connection Manager uses to "wake up" the DMS integration, which returns an interface ID.

Requests for new documents and searches go to the default DMS. If the application provides a document ID that is for a different DMS, the Connection Manager starts the DMS client, if it is not already connected, and passes the call to it.

All dialog boxes for searching, selecting, and setting properties of documents, as well as log on, come from the DMS client. In ODMA 1.0, neither ODMA nor the application (such as Microsoft Word) provides any dialog boxes.

To open a document, the application calls ODMSelectDoc, and the DMS displays a dialog box for the user to select the document and version required. The application calls ODMOpenDoc to ask the DMS to retrieve a work copy for the application to open.

To save a new document, the application calls ODMNewDoc to get a temporary document ID, ODMSaveAs for the user to complete a profile, ODMOpenDoc to get a file name to save to, and ODMSaveDoc to let the DMS know it can take the file. ODMCloseDoc completes the process and tells the DMS to delete the local work copy of the file.

For more information about ODMA, please see the following Web address:


The following is a list of Document Management System (DMS) vendors:


1 Sparks Avenue
North York, Ontario
Canada M2H 2W1
Telephone: (416) 496-2200 or (877) 359-4866
Web Address:

Technical Support:

Telephone: (850) 942-5000
Fax: (850) 942-8085


6801 Koll Center Parkway
Pleasanton, CA 94566
Telephone: (925) 600-6800
Fax: (925) 600-6850
Web Address:

Technical Support:

Support Hotline: (925) 600-6860


Novell, Inc.
1555 North Technology Way
Orem, UT 84097
Telephone: (888) 321-4272
Web Address:

Technical Support:

Telephone: (800) 858-4000
Support Web Address:

The third-party products that are discussed in this article are manufactured by companies that are independent of Microsoft. Microsoft makes no warranty, implied or otherwise, regarding the performance or reliability of these products.

Microsoft provides third-party contact information to help you find technical support. This contact information may change without notice. Microsoft does not guarantee the accuracy of this third-party contact information.

Keywords: kbinfo kbinterop kb3rdparty KB212398