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Using the power of OOXML for bringing electronic invoicing to SME’s

During the past years Albalia Interactiva, a Spanish consulting firm, has developed solutions for managing XML-based invoices using Microsoft Office. Albalia Interactiva is a company specialized in systems that provide legal certainty for electronic transactions.

In 2009 Albalia has developed an add-in for Microsoft Word 2007, called FactOffice, that enables the management (issuing, receiving and visualizing) of electronic invoices based on the Spanish XML format Facturae.

In 2010 Albalia upgraded the functionality to Microsoft Office 2010 (Word and Excel), rebranded the name to OffInvoice and extended the supported XML formats. Now the solution supports Facturae V3.1 and V3.2, UBL (Universal Business Language) and the UN/CEFACT Cross Industry Invoice, commonly known as CII.

Both solutions are developed as an extension to the Ribbon User Interface, the task-oriented Graphical User Interface (GUI) introduced in Office 2007, and the solutions are available as open source projects on CodePlex (the Open Source Project Community site hosted by Microsoft).

There are three licenses involved:

- For the Add-in there is a Dual licensing approach:
Microsoft Public License (Ms - PL)
European Union Public Licence (EU-PL)

- For the bouncycastle library: The Legion of Bouncycastle http://www.bouncycastle.org/licence.html

- For the Backtrust signature library developed by Albalia Interactiva S.L.: http://www.backtrust.net/index.php?page=backtrust-for-offinvoice-license

The solutions use Word or Excel as a template for capturing data in the case of issuing and visualizing in the case of receiving. Additionally they enable the validation of and signing with electronic signatures in XAdES-EPES (Explicit Policy Electronic Signatures) and XAdES-X-L (Extended Long-term Signatures) formats (XAdES).

For installing the add-in download the installer for FactOffice or OffInvoice from the CodePlex site, choose FactOffice.Codeplex.com or OffInvoice.CodePlex.com. But first check the requirements to find out what software is required to run the solution.

The approach taken by Albalia uses the power of the Microsoft Office Open XML (OOXML) format and complies with the multi-purpose exchange format I described in a bloart of October 2009. In this weblog article I present the multi-purpose exchange standard as a solution for opening Electronic Invoicing on a larger scale to all companies.

Tags: Adobe XML Data Package (XDP), Open Document Format (ODF), Office Open XML (OOXML), UBL, e-Invoicing, UN/CEFACT

Last update: 24-11-2011

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