Server Fault is a question and answer site for system and network administrators. It's 100% free, no registration required.

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

Given the fact that Office 2007 document formats (.docx, .xlsx, .pptx, etc) are entirely XML based, why did Microsoft not build in the ability to store only the 'diff' changes when using the versioning features? We're obviously finding that it's extremely wasteful to store up full copies every time a change is made, and that is the only option with binary formats, but the new formats should be different. I know we can turn off document versioning, but we really do like the feature. Am I missing something here? It seems like that was one of the major draws of changing over to an XML-based document format in the first place. Does anyone make a plug-in that accomplishes this?

share|improve this question
up vote 3 down vote accepted

They are XML-based but still compressed to ZIP files making them binary as far as SharePoint is concerned. Considering that SharePoint doesn't recognise the Office 2007 formats unless you configure them yourself or install the Microsoft Filter Pack, it looks like this feature wasn't ready for SharePoint 2007 RTM.

share|improve this answer
Ah, I didn't realize that they used .zip compression on that container. That makes more sense. Thanks Alex! – pk. Aug 7 '09 at 14:51
No problem. The reason for ZIP besides compression is because a container is required for artifacts such as images saved in the document. – Alex Angas Aug 7 '09 at 15:01

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.