With the release of Office 2007, Microsoft moved their document formats over to XML-based formats. This text-based format has many advantages, including, but not limited to readability, good compression and ease of reconstruction.
However, as developers [responsible for report creation], OpenXML has significant benefits for us. We now have a consistent object model across all Office applications. More importantly, we no longer have to understand the intricacies of the Component Object Model (COM) in order to create an Excel spreadsheet (for example) from our applications. This in itself should be reason enough to consider looking at OpenXML!
Looking at costs, OpenXML can bring savings. Server-side creation of Word, Excel, etc. documents can be performed without an Office license being purchased - these files are little more than text-based files. Similarly, if you are using a brand-name reporting engine, the cost of its license could be saved by using Excel or Word as your reporting medium.
Over the course of 60-75 minutes Craig will introduce OpenXML and will demonstrate how he is incorporating it into one of his line-of-business applications. Code examples will be written using C#.